Month: July 2020

The Chief End of Man – To Glorify God

Dear BPCWAians, During the recently concluded family camps, I spoke on the topic of “Glorifying God” during our morning devotion messages. This is a phrase that most of us use quite readily in our conversations and in our responses during Bible studies. While it is an important thing, we must know and understand what it means to the Christian, and not just somethingthat we say. We are all familiar with 1Cor 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God”. From here, we learn that even the most basic things in our life must be done for God’s glory. I hope that the recapturing of this series will help reinforce what it means to glorify God after camp. We must understand what does it mean to glorify God, what is the glory of God, how to glorify God, what does it cost us to achieve this chief end of man. What the glory of God is not about. Today, some Christian circles teach that God is most glorified when man is most satisfied with Him. Many think that what God does, He does to make us happy. Over time, Christianity has become “me” centred, almost with God existing just to serve our pleasure and do good things for us. Over time, this will deteriorate to being no different from the pagan’s concept – the god that meets their desires most and satisfies them best is the god they will choose to be their god. God declares the chief end of man. The chief end of man is determined and defined by the Creator, our God. Man, the creature, does not choose his end purpose. Our creation and election to salvation are for God’s glory. Isa 43:7 tells us so, “Even every

Abiding in the Truth – A good conscience

Dear BPCWAians, Who are we, really, in matters of faith and living? We have just finished both our English and Chinese camps. Holding faith and a good conscience is crucial to avoid a shipwrecked life. Last week, we looked at what being true means. This is a common misunderstanding that people have of the ninth commandment. It is more than not just speaking lies. Instead, the ninth commandment is about being wholly sincere and honest, in all our speech, actions, thoughts, and intentions. The 6th commandment about killing isn’t just about murder as the people of the world think of it, but is about the righteous promotion of life. Similarly, this 9th commandment about lying is ultimately about the righteous promotion of truth. When you do so, you will have a good conscience before God and man. The saddest state is a Christian who has lived a lie for so long, he or she begins to live and believe that lie and refuses to believe the truth about themselves. We also learned from this morning’s message that we need to ask if we have a deceitful heart. This week, we will continue to look at several examples of how we often do not abide in truth. How we typically fall into the trap of not abiding in truth. 5) The blame game. A common practice is to push blame on someone or something else for our actions, removing any blame from ourselves. The world is often ready to blame “bad behaviour” on external factors. For example, someone who commits a crime may blame it on an abusive home environment that has scarred them. Is an abusive home environment wrong? Certainly. Can bad memories of this home environment continue to stay in the mind long after it is over? Certainly. But

Abiding in the Truth

Dear BPCWAians, The theme song for this year’s Online Family Camp is “I would be True”. This was chosen to reinforce our church theme for this year, which is taken from 1 Tim 1:19 – Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck. The first line of this hymn begins with “I would be true, for there are those who trust me”, echoing the theme’s emphasis on holding faith and a good conscience. God called Satan the father of lies in John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it”. What being true means. Abiding in truth is not just about being in a Biblical church and not compromising Biblical truths. That is an important  part, but for the believer, it is not complete. It is about the obedience to the 9th commandment. Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Some of the ways the Westminster Larger Catechism further explains it is “the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man. . . and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things whatsoever . .. keeping of lawful promises; studying and practicing of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.” These are certainly high standards, but they are God’s standards. We possibly may have heard of the familiar sworn testimony that requires the person to declare that he

Return to the Sacraments

Dear BPCWAians, We saw in last week’s pastoral that Sacraments are the holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace. Today, we have also observed the Sacrament of the Holy Communion instituted by our Lord personally when He replaced the Old Testament (covenant) Passover with this Lord’s Supper. How should you view the Sacraments? What should the response from your heart be? How should you view Sacraments in church? I mentioned last week that the Sacraments are precious and to be held in the highest regard. It is therefore crucial we understand its place and also that we approach the Lord’s table carefully.  The Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) well assures us that the Sacraments are, “immediately instituted by God, to represent Christ and his benefits, and to confirm our interest in him”. God intended there to be benefits, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” (1Cor 10:16). The cup is called “the cup of blessing” and the bread is “the communion of the body of Christ”. If you are a true believer, God tells us that the Sacrament of water baptism means that you “ . . . have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal 3:27). Hence, we must view the Sacraments to be a blessing and an interest in Christ. The Holy Communion is not a mere symbolic ritual. God instituted it to be observed regularly for our blessing. The remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice regularly works a work of grace. The cup of blessing “which we bless” refers to our gratefulness and praise (that is what it means for believers to “bless God”). The Presence of our Lord Jesus