Volume. XXV, No. 15
Sunday, 10 October 2010

From the Pastors Heart - Worship Part 18

I am going to continue with the sixth principle of biblical worship, which is on praise and music.

(11) Praises have general descriptions. (a) They are pleasant and comely. Psalm 147:1, “Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.” There are a few considerations we may need to think about. One, the Hebrew word for “sing praises” in the middle of the verse can also be translated as “to play an instrument.” Therefore, praises include both singing and playing instruments. Two, the word for “good” also means “joyous,” “desirable,” “lovely,” or “good” in character and value. This word may define what nature of music we should use to praise God. Three, the word for “pleasant” also means “agreeable” and “lovely.” Interestingly, this particular word is also related to the praises of the name of the Lord in Psalm 135:3, “Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.” Four, the word for “calmly” means “beautiful,” “lovely,” or “fitting”. Having considered all of these points, we may safely say that praises in Psalm 147:1 tells us about the nobility and beauty of praises that are worthy of His name. (b) It is to call upon the name of the Lord. Isaiah 12:4 says, “And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.” To praise Him is also related to declaring what He has done and making His name exalted. (c) It is an act of glorying the Lord. Isaiah 42:12, “Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands.” The word for praise can also be translated as “glory,” though it is from a different Hebrew word translated as “glory” in the same verse. Or we may understand glorying God as declaring His praises. (d) It is a duty of all God’s creatures. Isaiah 43:21 says, “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” This verse talks about God’s creation and purpose of human beings. It was for Him. His creatures are to show forth His praises. There is an interesting question: “what does it mean to show forth His praise?” The Hebrew word for “show forth” also means “to recount.” Thus, the NASB and the NIV translate it as “declare” and “proclaim” respectively. The Greek version says “to tell,” “to relate,” or “describe.” The Greek word for “praise” in this verse may also mean “moral excellence”, “virtue”, “praise”, or “manifestation of divine power.” Then, praise is not simply related to music. It may mean any display, demonstration, or declaration of who God is. (e) It is a ground of His mercy. Isaiah 48:9 says, “For my name\'s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.” The structure of the verse indicates that God’s name is also His praise. It shows us the value and sanctity of His praises. (f) It is God who enables us to praise Him. Isaiah 61:11 says, “For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” If we praise God because He has enabled us to do so, offering our praises to Him is spiritual. Then, all the more what and how we praise also indicates the quality and level of our spiritual life and maturity. (g) God Himself is our praise. Jeremiah 17:14 says, “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.” (h) It is a sacrifice. Jeremiah 17:26 says, “And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the LORD.”
The next is the seventh principle of biblical worship:
There are worshippers. I’ll list a few verses first. Nehemiah 9:6, “Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.” It becomes very clear that whatever is created by God is obliged to worship Him. Psalm 22:27, “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.” Psalm 66:4, “All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.” Matthew 28:9, “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.” Luke 24:52, “And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy”. Hebrews 1:6, “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” Hebrews 10:2, “For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.” When we talk about worshippers, we cannot but talk about worship, especially corporate worship. This issue goes on to the next point which is whether Christians must go to church in order to be sincere Christians. I must take an example from C. S. Lewis who was once asked, “Is attendance at a place of worship or membership with a Christian community necessary to a Christian way of life?” His answer was as follows: “That’s a question which I cannot answer. My own experience is that when I first became a Christian, about fourteen years ago, I thought that I could do it on my own, by retiring to my rooms and reading theology, and I wouldn\'t go to the churches and Gospel Halls; and then later I found that it was the only way of flying your flag; and, of course, I found that this meant being a target. It is extraordinary how inconvenient to your family it becomes for you to get up early to go to Church. It doesn\'t matter so much if you get up early for anything else, but if you get up early to go to Church it\'s very selfish of you and you upset the house. If there is anything in the teaching of the New Testament which is in the nature of a command, it is that you are obliged to take the Sacrament, and you can\'t do it without going to Church. I disliked very much their hymns, which I considered to be fifth-rate poems set to sixth-rate music. But as I went on I saw the great merit of it. I came up against different people of quite different outlooks and different education, and then gradually my conceit just began peeling off. I realized that the hymns (which were just sixth-rate music) were, nevertheless, being sung with devotion and benefit by an old saint in elastic-side boots in the opposite pew, and then you realize that you aren\'t fit to clean those boots. It gets you out of your solitary conceit” (God in the Dock, pp. 61-62). I would say that there are a few reasons why we must come to church and take efforts to be a part of local congregations. First, it is because all believers are members of one body. Therefore, there are no independent members from this body. Second, all members are to be built upon the same foundation, and in Christ Jesus they are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit (Eph 2:21-22). Third, it was a pattern of early Christian gatherings. They came and were gathered together. It was initially in the Temple according to Acts 2:46-47, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat 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.” We must remember that they had one mind in gathering for prayer, preaching, and sacraments. We must also pay attention to the use of the word, church, in verse 47. There was already a church, not a building, but a congregation, in Acts 5:11. Through church discipline, the church became alert. A great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem in Acts 8:1. Saul went into houses to arrest the believers of Christ in order to destroy the church in Acts 8:3. The church is always in the centre of the believer’s life. Acts 11:26, “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” I’ll continue in Part 19.
Your Senior Pastor

More Lively Hope



*Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Bro Colin Gan. Next Lord’s Day: Team Leader: Bro Boong Atijatuporn.
*Warm Welcome to Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe and Mr Mark Chen & family.
*HBPC Wireless Router MAC Address Housekeeping. Please identify the MAC addresses in Hope BPC’s Wireless Router settings page as listed on the notice board in the foyer. If not identified by TODAY, these MAC addresses will be removed.
*Tentative dates for Missions to Batam and Bintang: 20-23 Jan 2011. Please see Dn David Yeo if interested.
Looking Ahead
*BP National Youth Camp, 29 Nov - 3 Dec.
*Christmas Day Worship Service: Sat, 25 Dec.
*Watchnight Service: Fri, 31 Dec.
Praise & Thanksgiving
1. Journey mercies: Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Dn Colin & Sis Grace Gan & family; Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong; & Dns Joyce Gong (Adl); Dn Christanto & Sis Jenni Budiman & family (Per/Adl); Bro Elton Law & family (Tokyo); Bro Joseph & Sis Chrisanthi Selvanayagam & family; Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam (Vic/Adl); Dns Purdee Yeo & Sis Peng Ha Yeo (S’pore); & others who have travelled.
2. Church activities - over the past week.
3. Daily mercies & guidance in our lives.
4. Recovery from illness - Bethany Ting
Prayer Items
1. Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi (JPN), Elton Law, Jonathan Liao (Melb), & Len Pearson; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Annie D’Mello & her mother (Mumbai), Lydia Fan, Myung Ki, Choon Fong Lee (KL), Gillian Ong, Lehia Paauwe, Margaret Pearson, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; & others in affliction.
2. Cambodia Missions - Rev Stephen Choi & Ministry (Phnom Penh); Khmer Bible believers.
3. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam & ministry (Vientiane)
4. iSketch&Tell Studio - Pr H S Lim & his ministry.
5. IBPFM (USA) - Rev K Coleman, Board & Missionaries around the world.
6. Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries.
7. Ps & Sis Weng - ministry in Hope BPC.
8. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.
9. Journey mercies: Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe (Per); Mr Mark Chen & family (Per/S’pore); Dn Wai Kin & Sis Mavis Wong and family (Adl); Dns Purdee Yeo & Sis Peng Ha Yeo (Phillipines); Sisters Margaret Hooper (HK/China/Japan) & Christabelle Selvanayagam (Syd); & all others who are travelling.
10. Job - Bro Richie Hornung; Sisters Judy Li & Corinne Teng.
11. Ministry in London - Ps & Sis Ki
12. Good health in pregnancy - Sisters Myra Hornung (Mindanao) & Monica Tan. 
13. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
14. Year 12 Students: Sisters Jillian Chia & Shilsha Ninian.
15. Health & strength for Sis Demelza Ting after delivery, & healing for Bethany.
16. Hopefuls away (short term): Dn Edwin D’Mello (Ottawa); Sisters Mariam Atijatuporn & Jayden (Udon Thani), Marion Chan & Michelle Lee (Japan).
17.  ICCC Conference: 11-15 Oct, in Manila/Bacolod (Dns Purdee Yeo & Sis Peng Ha Yeo)



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