Responsibilities of worshippers
Dear BPCWAians, I hope that we have come to a good realisation that God intends for the Body of Christ, the Church, to be His instrument to magnify Him. We have seen how the local church should be a pure and holy witness to declare God’s commands and authority. This week, we need to see some responsibilities of worshippers, since we make up God’s Body. To be uninterested is tantamount to telling God “thank You for shedding Your Blood to redeem me. Now, please leave me alone till I see you in heaven!”
Prioritise the church. We are repeatedly reminded from Ephesians that we are saved for God’s purpose – to be to the praise of His glory (1:6, 12, 14). That is the underlying purpose for electing us even before time began. So what does this really translate to in our lives when God says, “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (3:21)? It translates to us ensuring that the glory of Christ in His church is our priority. Where does this stand as a priority in your life? It also translates to you and I prioritizing whatever fulfils God’s purposes in the church above fulfilling our desires. In other words, the church does not exist to serve me. Instead, it is the other way around. Some leave churches because they feel that church is not fulfilling what these individuals want for themselves. Some come to church to be loved rather than to love others in Christ. To be told that church exists not to serve us and do what we want it to do for us is indeed very humbling. The church exists to do what pleases God, do His kingdom’s work, and bring glory to God, not man. But we need to see this fact in a positive light. Paul prayed that “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (1:18). To participate in God’s purpose in our calling and election is a glorious privilege! When we see things in this light, we will prioritise the church’s plans over our own – gratefully, and not grudgingly. BPCWA exists to do God’s will. If it is doing so, then support its priorities even if they disagree with our personal priorities. May we count it a privilege to do so. We must learn this lesson and fulfil our responsibility. If not, we will become murmurers, like the church in the wilderness which expected God to give them exactly what they wanted all the time.
Promote the church. The church is to promote Christ (3:10-11, 21). This becomes our individual responsibility because we make up the body of Christ. What does it mean to promote the church? (1) Invite people to come to hear the Word preached in the church. This is not about marketing it to get big church growth for the sake of numbers. It is not about getting numbers through providing food or playing games or just mere social chit chat. While we want people to come, it is all about feeding the sheep with “the principalities and powers in heavenly places…the manifold wisdom of God” (3:10). It is about wanting people to come to know God through what He has revealed about Himself. (2) Live holy lives that rightly portray what people who make Christ’s Body are supposed to be. We are reminded, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (2:10), “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (2:19). We are saved to walk according to God’s ways. Our new life as members of the household of God’s church must reflect that to those outside and to those who come in to BPCWA. We do not live for ourselves anymore. You need to be conscious that you do represent the church. Why would someone come upon your invitation if you are no different from them except for the fact that you call yourself a Christian? If you don’t seem to be happy or excited about going to church after work and on Sundays? If God doesn’t seem to be real or important in your life? And if the church is God’s instrument to promote Who God is, then we must not only tell them about Christ, but also invite them to the church. When was the last time you invited a relative, a school friend, a colleague, or a service provider you meet regularly? Invite them not just merely so that they can be saved from hell, but so that they can know, live for and worship Christ as you do in the assembly of His saints. Evangelism has a greater goal than just the salvation of souls from hellfire – it is to make disciples, live as His people, in His body.
Protect the church. This does not mean we protect the church even when it teaches unsound doctrines and practices or makes unbiblical decisions. There is no perfect church on earth. But if it is sound in its teachings and practices and strives to be pure, then treasure it. Do not keep nit picking on things. And not only should we protect the church from erroneous doctrines, we must also protect it when someone seeks to sow discord and cast doubts. Stop them. Protect the church by not lending your ear to them. If someone keeps doing it, you should tell the church leaders about what they’re doing. Why? Because “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Ga 5:9). Sin is like a disease that spreads unless it is stemmed. Someone who whispers a doubt in your ear will have no qualms planting the same poison in others’ ears. It is not just about you – it is about keeping the body of Christ safe and sound. God hates “A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Prov 6:19). Also, if you are struggling with some things that you do not understand or have heard something from someone that troubles you, do not withdraw yourself and avoid being part of church and nurse that unhappiness within you. Speak to the leaders of the church. This is not how we respond when we have misunderstandings in our family, neither should it be in the church family.
God put you in BPCWA, the local church. It is not by chance. Having understood God’s plan and purpose for the church, let us all fulfil it. We pray that as we do so in obedience, BPCWA will be found faithful, loyal, united in the faith, and pleasing to our Lord when He returns for His Bride.
Yours in our Lord’s service