Volume. XXVI, No. 27
Sunday, 01 January 2012


A Psalm for the New Year


“But grow in Grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be Glory both now and forever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18.

 

Introduction

Behold, beloved, our perpetual dangers. Where can we go to escape from peril? Where shall we fly to avoid temptation? If we venture into business, worldliness is there. If we retire to our homes, trials are there. One would have imagined that in the green pastures of the Word of God there would have been perfect security for God’s sheep. Surely no lion shall be there, and no ravenous beast shall go up from there! Alas, it is not so, for even while we are reading the Bible we are still exposed to peril. Not that the Truth of God is dangerous, but that our corrupt hearts can find poison in the very flowers of Paradise! Mark what our Apostle says of the writings of St. Paul, “Wherein are some things which are hard to be understood.” And mark the danger to which we are exposed, lest we, being unlearned and unstable, should wrest even the Word of God itself to our own destruction.

With the Bible before our eyes, we may still commit sin; pondering over the hallowed Words of Inspiration we may receive a deadly wound from “the error of the wicked.” Even at the horns of the altar we need that God should still cover us with the shadow of His wings. It is a very pleasing reflection that our gracious Father has provided a shield by which we may be sheltered from every evil, and in our text the evil of heterodoxy finds a suitable preventative. We are in danger, lest misinterpreting Scripture we should make God say what He does not; and lest by departing from the teaching of the Holy Spirit we should wrest the letter of the Word and lose its spirit, and from the letter draw a meaning which may be for our soul’s ruin.

How shall we escape this? Peter, speaking by the Holy Spirit, has in the words before us, pointed out our safeguard! While we search the Scriptures and grow in acquaintance with them, see to it that we grow in Divine Grace; and while we desire to know the Doctrine, long above all to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and let our study of Scripture, and our growth in Divine Grace and in the knowledge of Christ, still be subservient to that higher objective, that we may live to bring Glory both now and forever to Him who has loved us and bought us with His blood! Let our hearts say evermore, “Amen” to the doxology of praise, so shall we be kept from all pestilent errors, and we shall not fall “from our own steadfastness.”

It appears, then, that our text is adapted to be a heavenly remedy for certain diseases to which even students of Scripture are exposed; and I am persuaded it may also serve as a most blessed directory to us through the whole of the coming year.

To begin, then, at the beginning, we have here first of all, A DIVINE INJUNCTION WITH A SPECIAL DIRECTION—“Grow in Grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

“Grow in Grace.” What is this? It must be in the outset implied that we have been quickened by Divine Grace, otherwise this text cannot apply to us at all! Dead things cannot grow. Only those who are alive unto God by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, have in them any power or capability of growth. The great Quickener must first implant the seeds of life, then afterwards those seeds can germinate and grow. To you, therefore, who are dead in trespasses and sins, this text has no application! You cannot grow in Divine Grace, because as yet you are under the curse of the Law, and the wrath of God abides on you.

Tremble, repent, believe, and may God have mercy on you! But being alive from the dead, and quickened by the Spirit of God which is in you, Beloved Brothers and Sisters, you who are born-again are bid to grow, for growth shall prove your life. A post planted in the earth grows not; but a tree rooted there, increases from a sapling to a forest king! Drop a pebble into the richest soil, and it will still be a pebble of the same size; put in there grain or a seed, and it will spring up and produce its stalk and its flower. You who are alive unto God, see to it that you grow in all the Divine Graces!

In the second place, we have A GRATEFUL THANKSGIVING WITH A MOST SUGGESTIVE TERMINATION—“To Him be Glory both now and forever. Amen.”

The Apostles, we must remark, very frequently suspended their writing in order to lift up their hearts in praise. Praise is never out of season, and it is no interruption to interrupt any engagement in order to laud and magnify our God. “To Him be Glory.”

Brothers and sisters, do not let me preach now, but let me interpret your emotions. Let it be not so much my utterance, as your utterance by my lips. Let every heart joyously feel this doxology, To Him, the God who made the heavens and the earth, without whom was not anything made; to Him who in His infinite compassion became the Surety of the Covenant—to Him who became a Baby of a span long—to Him who was despised and rejected of men, a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief—to Him who on the bloody tree poured out His heart’s life that He might redeem His people—to Him who said, “I thirst,” and, “It is finished!”—to Him whose lifeless body slumbered in the grave—to Him be Glory! To him that burst the bonds of death—to Him who ascended on high, and led captivity captive—to Him who sits at the right hand of the Father, and who shall soon come to be our Judge—“to Him be Glory.” Church of God respond! Let every pious heart say “To Him be Glory.” Yes, unto Him be Glory, you Fiends of Hell, as you tremble at His Presence, and see the key of your prison swinging at His belt. Let Heaven and earth and Hell—let things that are, and were, and shall be, cry, “To Him be Glory.”

But the Apostle adds, “now”—“to Him be Glory, now.” O Brothers and Sisters, postpone not the day of His triumph!  Put not off the hour of His Coronation. Now, NOW—“Bring forth the royal diadem, And crown Him Lord of All.” Now, now; for now, today, He has raised us up together, and made us sit in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God,” now are our sins forgiven; now are we robed in His righteousness; now are our feet upon a Rock, and our goings are established. Who is there among you who would defer the time of your hosannas? “To Him be Glory now.” O cherubim above, “To Him be Glory now,” for you “continually do cry, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts.” Adore Him yet again, for, “To Him be Glory now.”

“And forever.” Never shall we cease our praise. Time! You shall grow old and die. Eternity! Your unnumbered years shall speed their everlasting course. But forever, forever, forever, “to Him be Glory.” Is He not a “Priest forever, after the order of Melchisedek”? “To Him be Glory!” Is He not king forever?—King of kings and Lord of lords, The Everlasting Father? “To Him be Glory forever.” Never shall His praises cease. That which was bought with blood deserves to last while immortality endures. The Glory of the Cross must never be eclipsed; the luster of the grave, and of the Resurrection must never be dimmed. Oh, my beloved Brothers and Sisters, my spirit begins to feel the ardor of the immortals. I would anticipate the songs of Heaven! My tongue, had it but celestial liberty, would begin even now to join those thrice melodious sonnets sung by flaming tongues above. O Jesus! You shall be praised forever! As long as immortal spirits live—as long as the Father’s Throne endures—forever, forever, forever, unto You shall be Glory! But now, there is a conclusion to this of the most suggestive kind, “Amen.” Brothers and Sisters, I want to work this amen out—not as a matter of Doctrine, but as a matter of blessed transport. Come, give me your hearts again: “To Him be Glory both now and forever, Amen.”

And now, throughout this year will you go forth, my Brothers and sisters, and say amen to this? I pray you do so. You who do not love Christ cannot say amen. Remember you are under the Law. There is an amen to all the curses for you! There is none to the blessings while you are under the Law. O poor Sinner under the Law, may this be the day when your slavery to the Law shall come to an end! “How can it be?” you ask. By faith in Christ, I answer! “He who believes on Him is not condemned.” Oh that you may believe on Him, and then your joyful heart will say amen! Then will you say, “Loudest of all the saints in Heaven, I will shout amen, when I see the royal crown brought forth, and Jesus is acknowledged Lord of All.”

Conclusion

May God grant that this year may be the best year this Church has ever had! This year concludes eight years of my ministry among you, and seven years of Printed Sermons are now before the public. How much of blessedness God has caused to pass through our mind, and how much He has been pleased to acknowledge His Word, we cannot fully measure. But we know that He has been with us in deed and in truth! Now that we begin this year, may the Lord make it so that all the past shall seem to be as nothing compared with that which is to come! I bless you, my Brothers and Sisters, in the name of the Lord, and commencing this year, I beg again for renewed tokens of your affection by a renewal of your prayers. And on my part, I only trust that it may be mine through this year and as long as I live, to be giving my amen to that doxology—“To Him be Glory both now and forever. Amen.”


Adapted from a sermon delivered on Sunday morning, January 5, 1862,

by Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Newington

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Dns Joyce Gong. Next Lord’s Day: Bro Daniel Volvricht.

*Session wishes all members & worshippers a Blessed New Year.

*Hope Bookstore - Open from 12:30—1:45pm today, new music CDs are now available.

*Flower Roster for 2012: if able to serve the Lord in this area, please see Sis Peng Ha Yeo.

*Special thanks to all those who contributed to last week’s sumptuous Christmas Lunch.

*Fellowship Lunch today, $5 per adult, Free for under 5 years old.

*No Tiny Tots Sing-a-long till mid Feb 2012.

Praise and Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong & Stephen (Melb); Bros Raphael Ng (Pt Aug/Adl),  Jason Teng (Syd/Adl) & Daniel Volvricht (Melb);  & others who have arrived at their destinations. 

2. CPM & YAF meetings - over the past week.

3. Watchnight Service last night.

4. Healing: Joshua Weng.

5. God’s daily provision, mercy, guidance & blessings.

6. Visitors & new worshippers.

7. God’s mercy, guidance & provision in 2011.

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev Luke Kim (Post-cardiac surgery, S Korea); Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Dn Edwin D’Mello’s mother (Mumbai); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser;  Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Tony Wong (Bro John’s father); Mrs. Chuilin Yap (Malacca); & others in affliction. 

2. Cambodia Missions - Rev Luke Kim& Ministry(Phnom Penh & Veal Renh); Bro John Saray (Kampot)

3. Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki.

4. Batam Missions - Next week’s missions trip - 4-7 Jan 2012. Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

5. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr HS Lim (Melb).

6. IBPFM (USA) - Rev Keith Coleman, Board & missionaries in India, South America & USA.

7. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.

8. Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries; Pastor Mark Baldwin’s wife, Mrs Wiwin, post-op recovery (Cambodia).

9. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.

10. House of Hope, Cebu, Philippines - drug addicts: for their salvation & healing from drug addiction.

11. Journey mercies: Dn Wai Kin & Sis Mavis Wong & family (S’pore); Dns Joyce Gong; Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (Adl); Bro Augustino & Sis Hanni Wibowo & family (Melb/Adl); Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong & Stephen (Bris); Bro Daniel Volvricht (Adl); Sisters Sarah Carpenter (Tas/Adl), Shu Ai Cho (Adl) & Serene Wong (S’pore) & others who are travelling.

12. God’s comfort: Those in mourning.

13. Logos International School (Phnom Penh) - Bro Peter Koo.

14. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.

15. Sisters Clara Sim & Melissa Chong - God’s guidance, job & direction in S’pore or elsewhere.

16. Job - Bro Raymond Ang & our uni graduates looking for jobs.

17.  Believers under persecution in Islamic countries.

18.  Unity & fellowship of Australian B-P Churches.

 Hopefuls away interstate & oversea

 

 

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