Volume. XXV, No. 51
Sunday, 19 June 2011


Towards Victorious Christian Living Part 1


The term “Victorious Christian living” is perhaps one of the more common and possibly curious phrases that a Christian may encounter. What exactly does this term “Victorious Christian living” mean?   It’s quite likely that depending on our current stage in life as well as past experiences, the term “Victorious Christian living” would hold different and very personal meanings to each one of us. Hence, in discussing or interpreting this phrase “Victorious Christian living”, it is probable that we will not find total concurrence amongst any given community of believers.

Fortunately, the Bible contains a rich tapestry of wisdom and guidance for us to pursue a pathway to victorious Christian living in according to God’s will and purpose for our lives.   A passage that we can look upon as a guide towards living a Christian life that is pleasing to God is 2 Peter 1:5-8 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Let us now look more closely at each of the elements in the verses above.

1. Virtue

Virtue here refers to the moral excellence or moral character that a Christian ought to have and exhibit to the world. This aspect is important as Christians have frequently been described as “salt and light” to the world, as is written in Matthew 5:13 “Ye are the salt of the earth….” and 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” We do need to be constantly mindful that unbelievers are constantly “monitoring” our lives for evidence that Christ has made a difference. As a result, we bear the privilege of being a living testimony and witness for Christ to those around us. It is thus important that we conduct ourselves everyday in a manner that obeys God’s word as faithfully as possible. In so doing, we demonstrate that our Christian faith has indeed made a difference in our lives, which of course is central towards portraying an effective witness for Christ to our contemporaries. 

On the flip side, living a life that is inconsistent to our Christian beliefs and values will certainly be detrimental to the effectiveness of our Christian witness and ministry. In other words, we need to guard against hypocrisy, which has the potential to do long-lasting damage to our Christian testimony. A.W. Tozer once wrote: “There is a large amount of ineffective Christian testimony among us today. Much of it is well-intended, I am sure—honest and sincere. We do the best we can with what we have. But our performance turns out to be something like that of the salesman promoting fountain pens. He tries to make a case for his product, but his would-be customers know he really thinks ballpoints are far more practical.  Too much of our Christian witnessing is unconvincing because we have not been convinced. We are ineffectual because we have not yet capitulated to the Lord from glory.”

Let us therefore in the words of A.W. Tozer, “capitulate” to our God by not only proclaiming our Salvation, but by living our lives in a manner that is consistent to His Word and one that can stand up to scrutiny by both men and God.

2. Knowledge

Knowledge refers to the spiritual truth of wisdom, which principally comes from the Bible as the inspired Word of God. Careful and dedicated study of God’s Word, including listening to His Word, is the primary way for the Christian to learn about God and provides the foundation in the Christian’s quest to be more like Christ everyday. Indeed, the quest to win hearts for Jesus begins with the intellect, to which many first generation Christians can probably attest when looking back to their experiences in being convicted of their sinfulness and subsequent acceptance of Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour. The knowledge and understanding from God’s Word is crucial not only at the point of our conversion, but also whenever we are called to defend our faith when challenged or questioned by unbelievers regarding our Christian beliefs. Under these circumstances, the Word of God can be relied upon as a figurative weapon with which we can defend our faith, just as it is written in Ephesians 6:17: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. The Word of God is described as a sword here – a hard-hitting and effective weapon capable of piercing even the most resolute mental and spiritual defence with its simple truth.   However, this is not to say that we are to respond with blind aggression when people question or challenge our Christian beliefs, as we are exhorted to respond in love toward unbelievers as a living testimony of God’s love for sinful Man, consistent with the commandment to “love thy neighbour” as written in Leviticus 19:18:  “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.”

3. Temperance

Temperance refers to self-control. Self-control is perhaps one character attribute that is becoming increasingly endangered in our modern world where consumerism and narcissism combine to feed our ever-growing appetites for self-indulgence. Hardly a day passes by without a report appearing in the mass media on how people landed in mischief due to their inability to exercise self-control, with the Internet being an almost ideal avenue for feeding one’s insatiable desire for self-appeasement and self-promotion. A current example is a certain US politician who had “promoted” himself using a popular social networking tool and in so doing, has effectively destroyed not only his political career, but also his family and private life. A less extreme example is the excessive dependence of many people, especially the Internet-savvy, on social networking tools to the extent that “traditional” modes of social interaction such as face-to-face interaction have been displaced to a significant extent. As Christians, we need to be on guard against such extreme behaviours, especially those that involve the loss of temperance or self-control in the face of the current pervasiveness of popular culture and a mass media that increasingly propagates self-promotion. We should heed the words of the apostle Paul to the Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians 4:18: “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

4. Patience

Patience is an essential Christian quality that enables a Christian to “run the race to the finish”, i.e. it is a quality that gives a disciple of Christ the perseverance or endurance to walk his/her Christian walk closely and faithfully despite the ups and downs of life. Just like temperance, patience is another character trait that is under siege in our modern age of instant gratification, where our “wants” increasingly dominate over our “needs”. Instead of casting our eyes upon eternity where we look forward to the Kingdom of Heaven, we instead become obsessed with the temporal things that the world around us has to offer. Before long, our values and perspectives become “bogged down” by the weight of our materialistic pursuits. A most apt verse that reflects this danger comes from Hebrews 12:1 which says: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us”. Indeed, the Christian life and perspective is analogous to a marathon (as opposed to a 100 metre sprint), in that the Christian life is a lengthy journey that is often filled with periods of struggles (akin to running uphill), but with rewards periodically coming our way as and when we reach the next downhill run. In the end, what matters is not our different pathways in life, but instead that every Christian should be able to declare victoriously at the end as the apostle Timothy did in Timothy 4:7 – “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”. Let us draw encouragement and strength from these words of Timothy as we persevere in our quest to live a victorious Christian life.

To be continued next week………
           
Dn Wai Kin Wong



****************
25th Anniversary Greetings (3)

Dear Pastor Weng & Elder Michael,

Greetings in the blessed name of our risen LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ!

We rejoice with you all on the occasion of the 25th Thanksgiving Anniversary of Hope B-P Church. In this regard, we have, on 31 May (Tuesday), sent you via speedpost a bank draft drawn in favour of the church and marked for the attention of Elder
Michael.

Please let us know once you have received the bank draft.

God bless,
Elder Thomas & Mrs Poh Hong Liaw, Singapore.

******
Dear Pastor/Session members,

Greetings in Christ!

Thank you for your kind invitation to join your church 25 Anniversary Thanksgiving celebration.

On behalf of Sharon BPC we rejoice with you and look forward to serve together for the faith of the gospel.

A gift will be forward to Hope BPC shortly.

Yours faithfully in Christ, 
Rev. Peter Chua, Sharon BPC, Singapore.


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements
Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Boong Atijatuporn. Next Lord’s Day: Sis Suzane Lim.
*Hope Bookstore - New books available in bookstore upstairs - open 12:30-1:45pm every Sunday.
*Helpers needed for VBS in July. If you can help please see Sis Tabitha Tan.
*Deepest Sympathy to Bro Phil & Sis Iris Surman on the death of Bro Phil’s father in Bendigo.
*Church Service Roster - Please inform Dn. Edwin regarding your availability for the next quarter.
*Israel Study Tour - 27 Nov - 8 Dec 2011 organised by Life B-P church. If interested to go, please see Ps Weng for more details.
*Next week’s Fellowship Lunch is catered. Adult $5 and children under 5 years old - free
*CDs of 2011 Family Camp Messages are available for pickup. Please see Dn Colin Gan with exact amount.


Looking Ahead
*Vacation Bible School, 18 - 22 July.
*AFG Retreat, 1 - 3 Oct.
*Christmas Concert, Sat, 3 Dec.


Praise and Thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Dns Joyce Gong; Sisters Sam Chai, Joanne Quek & Serene Wong (S’pore), Bros Yick Ho Lam (S’pore) & Lucas Yiew (Adl); Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong & Stephen (Melb); Sis Sarah Carpenter (Adl); others who arrived safely.
Church activities - over the past week.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Missions Trip to Batam: Dns Joyce Gong; Sisters Sam Chai, Joanne Quek & Serene Wong


Prayer items
Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang; Bros Colin Creaser;  Elton Law, & Len Pearson; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Myung Ki, Choon Fong Lee (KL), Gillian Ong (Bris), Lehia Paauwe (Per), Margaret Pearson, Irena Kurek-Braden & Susan Varadi; & others in affliction.
Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & Ministry; Life University (Sihanoukville); Khmer Pastors & families, B-P churches  in Cambodia.
Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam & Ministry.
Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa (Filadelfia Church & Orphanage).
iSketch&Tell Studio - Pr H S Lim & ministry.
IBPFM (USA) - Rev K Coleman, Board & Missionaries around the world.
Ministry in New Life BPC, Singapore & Batam - Ps & Sis Ki.
Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries.
Ps & Sis  Weng - ministry in Hope BPC.
Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.
Journey mercies: Ps & Sis Ki (Lond); Dn Wai Kin Wong (Vic/Adl); Bros Yick Ho Lam (Adl) & Lucas Yiew (S’pore); Sisters Melissa Chong (Adl) & Peng Ha Yeo (Overseas) & those who are travelling.
Hopefuls away: Dn Tony & Sis Sally Law (Canada); Sis Miriam Atijatuporn & Jaden (Thailand); Sis Marion Chan (Myazaki).
Job - Sisters Clara Sim & Corinne Teng.
 Studying in Auckland, NZ - Bro Peter Koo
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.
God’s comfort - Bro Phil & Sis Iris Surman.
 Street-Evangelism - Protection of participants & Salvation of those who received Gospel tracts.  
High School & University Students - Exams & Assignments.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063