Volume. XXI, No. 29
Sunday, 14 January 2007

Book Review on Gods rules for holiness by Dr. Peter Masters

(Dr Peter Masters has been the minister of the world—famous metropolitan Tabernacle (Spurgeon’s) in central London since 1970. He edits the international magazine ‘Sword and Trowel’ [started by Spurgeon in 1865] and directs the studies of aspiring pastors in  the Tabernacle’s adjunct seminary.)


This book which has as its subtitle ‘Unfolding the Ten Commandments’, shows that the Commandments are far greater than their surface meaning.


The Commandments challenge us as Christians on a still wider range of sinful deeds and attitudes . They provide positive virtues as goals and they give immense help for staying close to the Lord in our walk and worship. The introductions also say that the commandments are vital for godly living and for greater blessing but we need to enter into the panoramic view they provide of the standards and goals for redeemed people.


The book gives five keys for unlocking the commandments. In summary they are:


They show God’s character - The moral code of the Ten Commandments reveals God’s wonderful nature and divine attributes e.g. the eighth commandment ‘Thou shalt not steal’ reflects the wonderful character of the Lord, who is the great giver and not the spoiler of men. God’s blessings are countless and free and His people are to resemble Him by being those who give out, not those who sponge, feed upon, or drain away the resources (and emotional strength) of others as the eighth commandment goes well beyond the act of physical theft. Sadly, many Christians who have never stolen anything material in their lives are passengers and burdens in their churches, and are therefore thieves, contributing nothing by way of spiritual witness or effort


They keep their full authority today - Some people ask why the civil and ceremonial laws, which God gave to Moses, be swept away while the Ten Commandments keep their authority. All these secondary laws, both civil and ceremonial, were intended to operate only until Christ came, even though their underlying principles have many lessons and applications for today. The Ten Commandments stand above them all as the abiding moral law of God.


They were designed for believers - even though they are binding on all mankind, when their full contents are recognized, they are especially relevant to Christian people, even providing rules for worship and for the structure of the church. Though they also include stern prohibitions, they are designed to be a blessing to those who love the Lord.


Each Commandment covers a whole family of sins - this key has dramatic effect on how we apply the Commandments, for if this key is neglected, our understanding of the Commandments becomes superficial. This fourth key is the belief that each sin named in the Commandments represents an entire species of sin. According to Dr Masters, Moses demonstrated this principle in several passages and the New Testament confirms it repeatedly. For example, the commandment against adultery also covers lust in  the heart. The Commandment against murder includes hatred. Therefore, where a Commandment forbids a major sin, all the ‘lesser’ sins in  the same family are to be included in  the scope of that Commandment.


All the Commandments though mainly expressed in  the negative forms, are also commands to perform the opposite positive virtues. For example:

            - The First Commandment ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before


            - Opposite virtues - Putting God First (that in all things he might have   the preeminence’ Col.1:18)

            - The Second Commandment ‘Thou shalt not make... any graven


            - Opposite positive virtue - Faith in God - which is the basis of all

            acceptable communication with God. (It is a choice between images     or faith, because the former will always destroy the latter.)

      At this point, I will leave the other opposite positive virtues to you all to

      discover when you read the book.


In conclusion, I would like to say that we really need holiness, for without it , there can be no real expression of love for Christ, for He said, “if ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)


Love in Him,

Dn. Ngie Goo Gong

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question 79: Which is the tenth commandment? The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
Please pray for health & God’s healing: Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Rev David Koo, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, & Winston Selvanayagam; Sisters Sheila George, Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Aranka Rejtoe (Hampstead), Chrisanthi Selvanayagam, Juanita Tong, Susan Veradi, & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction. "..I am the LORD that healeth thee” (Ex 15:26).
Please pray for – a) Cambodia Missions - Rev Stephen Choi & Ministry (Phnom Penh); FEBC graduates serving the LORD in villages; b) Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam; c) Pastors & believers in India & Pakistan; Ps Ki - Ministry in India, from 18 Jan; d) Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim; e) Journey Mercies - Ps Ki (Kerala); Dn David & Sis Giok Yeo & family, Auntie Oei (Perth); Bro John Wong (Adl/HK); Sisters Samantha Foo (Auckland), Amanda Fu (Adl), & Josephine Lee (HK/Kuching/S’pore); & others travelling during the summer vacation; f) More rain - to end the drought in Australia; g) God’s guidance - those in authority in Australia; h) Hopefuls & worshippers overseas & interstate; i) Dn Edwin D’Mello - as he prepares sermon for next Lord’s Day.
Praise and Thank God for – a) AFG Seminar, YAF Bible Study & Prayer, & Wed Prayer & Bible Study; b) Journey mercies - Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng (Darwin/S’pore);Bro John Wong (Brisbane); Sis Joyce Gong (Adl); & all those travelling during the summer vacation; c) Salvation - Sis Samantha Foo.
Special Prayers for overseas missions - YAF Hopefuls (and brethren from BPCWA, Perth) in street evangelism in Singapore on Sat afternoon, 20 Jan.
Flowers’ Roster: More are urgently needed to go on this roster. Please add your names on the list.
Looking Ahead: Outing for Sunday School students on Australia Day, Fri 26 Jan, at Tusmore Park. All are welcome to join. For more details, please see Dn Edwin D’Mello.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041