Revisiting our 2019 Church Theme
Dear BPCWAians, As this is the last Sunday of 2019, let us take a closing look at our church theme, taken from Acts 2:42 “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
Continuing stedfastly. What a wonderful testimony of the first New Testament church worshipers. Has this been your testimony too? It isn’t just about having good aspirations at the start of the year. It is not just about putting those into action in January. More importantly, it is about continuing stedfastly. Children often start off on a new hobby or project very enthusiastically, but they lack that sustaining motivation to keep at it to the end. What about you? Did you once use to be fervent about doctrine, about fellowship with the saints, treasured each moment that you could take the Sacraments and loved the assembling of yourself together with the church to pray, but has backslidden? If yes, this is a wake-up call to action. It is not to bemoan “those bygone days” as if “you can’t help it” now. Make those changes in your personal life, your home life, and your church life. Do it with an undivided heart out of love for your Saviour. Stedfastness is critical.
In the apostles’ doctrine. We live in an age which is increasingly “doctrine averse”. Many feel that “doctrines divide”. Also, to many Christians today, teaching doctrine is considered boring, strict, old fashioned and impractical. Pastors are now in churches to entertain the congregation. Stories and testimonies are what appeal to the people, rather than expositional teaching from God’s Word. Will BPCWA stay true to God’s way to teach only the truth rather than worldly experiences and the philosophies of man? If attendances fall and some goats come in and protest that BPCWA has too much teaching and we should instead begin to follow the pattern of other churches and be less strict, have less Bible based teaching, have more activities – will you also get influenced and be tempted to join in calls to water down our teaching and preaching? Let us remember Christ’s saying that “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (Jn 10:27). We want His sheep, not goats, to stay in our fold.
And fellowship. As we learned, fellowship is inseparable from doctrine. While we want many to come through our doors to worship together with us, it must never be at the cost of truth. There was a time when some tried to move our fellowship meetings towards being “getting to know you” and game focussed gatherings and activities. Such fellowship meetings may build stronger friendships, but they are not Christian fellowships in reality. Christian fellowship is built on the foundation of a common love for a common Biblically based truth. As we learn together at our fellowship meetings, we gather in order to be able to mutually encourage one another to walk in those truths. God reminds us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Heb 10:25). Yes, you can listen to audio messages and YouTube at home, but that is no substitute for coming to the fellowship meetings. You have a responsibility to your fellow brother or sister in Christ in church and to fulfill that, you should be at church. When we go out with each other, let our conversation and what we do be reflective of true Christian fellowship too.
In breaking of bread. These are God’s ordained means for us to continue to renew our consecration to Him. Remember when you were not yet baptised and how you yearned to be able to join with the rest of the church to partake of the Holy Communion? During the Old Testament, the Passover was an important part of their life, as part of their covenant with the LORD their God. It served to remind them that they should be grateful and faithful to their covenantal Lord who had chosen and delivered them. For those who have been in BPCWA through the years when there was no resident Pastor, you may have treasured each time you could partake of the Lord’s Supper. Now that God has opened the way whereby we can partake of it every month, don’t take it lightly. Remember with tenderness and gratefulness your Saviour’s love, forsake your sins and backsliding, and resolve anew to continue stedfastly in your Christian walk with Him. This is the reminder of the sacraments.
In prayers. God’s house is to be called a house of prayer. Come for the prayer meetings – to pray. As we studied in Ephesians, the Christian as well as the church are always in a spiritual battle. We need the prayers of the saints before God’s throne. In learning God’s word, you receive passively. In praying, you serve actively. Let us not wait till troubles assail us before we pray to God. Let us not be complacent. Come and pray with the church and for the church. Come with your family. Even as we’ve seen over this past year, the church’s enemy is raging as fierce and as wicked to unsettle God’s church and His work. Brethren, pray for us (2 Thess 3:1).
While 2019 may be over and we will soon focus on a new theme, may all of us at BPCWA continue to remember every part of this verse every day of BPCWA’s existence, so that we will be a church that continues as God intended for His church. As we continue “stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers”, let us pray that BPCWA will also be “continuing daily with one accord … with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved (Acts 2:46-47).
Yours in our Lord’s service,