Volume. XXVI, No. 35
Sunday, 26 February 2012


From the Pastor's Heart - Worship Part 20


The eleventh reason for believers’ corporate worship is that it is the will of God. One day a week is designated for worship. The Lord’s fourth  commandment is about the day of worship. However, the Christian churches have lost their faithfulness in upholding the Day of the Lord. Such spiritual degradation has not gone by without its damages. The church of God has been derided by infidels. One of many examples is found in the works of Karl Marx in 1855 (written on June 25, 1855, and published in Neue Oder-Zeitung on June 28, 1855). He wrote about the anti-Church movement demonstration in Hyde Park as follows: “It is an old and historically established maxim that obsolete social forces, nominally still in possession of all the attributes of power and continuing to vegetate long after the basis of their existence has rotted away, inasmuch as the heirs are quarrelling among themselves over the inheritance even before the obituary notice has been printed and the testament read – that these forces once more summon all their strength before their agony of death, pass from the defensive to the offensive, challenge instead of giving way, and seek to draw the most extreme conclusions from premises which have not only been put in question but already condemned. Such is today the English oligarchy. Such is the Church, its twin sister. Countless attempts at reorganization have been made within the Established Church, both the High and the Low, attempts to come to an understanding with the Dissenters and thus to set up a compact force to oppose the profane mass of the nation. There has been a rapid succession of measures of religious coercion.” Though we do recognize Karl Marx as an unfriendly figure to the Christian faith, we cannot deny that society overall in 19th century England was becoming ungodly. Many people had already departed not only from the Church, but also from Christianity altogether. It seems there was an effort to curb the trend by imposing certain rules upon the public in order to ensure they would keep the day of the Lord tight. Karl Marx mentioned the Beer Bill as the first measure of religious coercion. This bill effectively shut down all places of public entertainment on Sundays, except between 6 and 10 pm. He said, “this bill was smuggled through the House at the end of a sparsely attended sitting, after the pietists had bought the support of the big public-house owners of London by guaranteeing them that the license system would continue, that is, that big capital would retain its monopoly. Then came the Sunday Trading Bill, which has now passed its third reading in the Commons and separate clauses of which have just been discussed by commissions in both Houses. This new coercive measure top was ensured the vote of big capital, because only small shopkeepers keep open on Sunday and the proprietors of the big shops are quite willing to do away with the Sunday competition of the small fry by parliamentary means. In both cases there is a conspiracy of the Church with monopoly capital, but in both cases there are religious penal laws against the lower classes to set the consciences of the privileged classes at rest.” He further says, “The classical saint of Christianity mortified his body for the salvation of the souls of the masses; the modern, educated saint mortifies the bodies of the masses for the salvation of his own soul.” The following are complaints by critics of the 19th century Christian church and Christianity: “Six days a week . . . we are treated like slaves and now Parliament wants to rob us of the bit of freedom we still have on the seventh. These oligarchs and capitalists allied with sanctimonious parsons wish to do penance by mortifying us instead of themselves for the unconscionable murder in the Crimea of the sons of the people.” Though such words came from the lips of an unbeliever, it is not uncommon to hear the same sort of expression from many church goers today. Sanctifying the day of the Lord and keeping the day of the Lord holy is almost unknown to most Christians today. They think that such teachings are taking their freedom away. Keeping the day of the Lord holy has become a tedious practice of old religions, they say. Godly and sincere Christian worship on Sundays has been done away with by society in general.

 

The Sunday Trading Act 1994 was passed through parliament in the United Kingdom, and the shops were allowed to open on Sundays with some conditions (6 hours of opening time). Christians have lost their desire to keep the day of the Lord holy. It has become a shopping day, holiday, play day, or whatever day to please themselves. The Lord’s Day as the day of worship has lost its attraction amongst the believers of Jesus Christ. Worship on the day of the Lord must be upheld and honoured because it is a creation ordinance, a command of God, a celebration of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a day of rest and worship for the glory of God and the benefit of man as the Lord’s Day Observance Society has insisted up until now. Believers must be gathered to worship God together on His day. Let us remember that worshipping God is a privilege. Revelation 14:7 says, “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

 

The eighth principle of biblical worship is that worship comes with the right attitude from the worshippers. In other words, worship is not casual, but solemn and majestic. I am not talking about the form of worship, but all manners and attitudes of the worshippers in general. Psalm 5:7, “But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.” Psalm 96:9, “O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.” Psalm 132:7, “We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool.” Philippians 3:3, “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” A. W. Tozer said, “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are  automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified.” J. C. Ryle said, “A little child is easily quieted and amused with gaudy toys and dolls and rattles, so long as it is not hungry; but once let it feel the cravings of nature within, and we know that nothing will satisfy it but food. So it is with man in the matter of his soul. Music and flowers and candles and incense and banners and processions and beautiful vestments and confessionals and man-made ceremonies of a semi-Romish character may do well enough for him under certain conditions. But once let him ‘awake and arise from the dead,’ and he will not rest content with these things. They will seem to him mere solemn triflings and a waste of time. Once let him see his sin, and he must see his Saviour.”

 

At this point, we may talk about humility. Noah Webster’s English Dictionary defines humility as (1) In ethics, freedom from pride and arrogance; humbleness of mind; and (2) act of submission. Thus, Proverbs 15:33 says, “The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” When Paul described his attitude in serving the Lord, he said in Acts 20:19a, “serving the Lord with all humility of mind.” The most frequent word in both the Old and New Testaments is one which means to make obeisance, to bow down, to prostrate. Both Hebrew and Greek words for worship denote the act of bowing or prostrating oneself in submissiveness and reverence. The outward posture reflected an inner attitude of humility and respect. Through humility, the worshippers of God show their high view of God and a low opinion of themselves. Humility in worship enables the worshippers to see the beauty of God in His perfection and themselves in their imperfection.

 

Lovingly,

 

Your Senior Pastor

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Daniel Volvricht. Next Lord’s Day: Sis Yvone Kam.

*Hope Bookstore - Open from 12:30 - 1:45pm.

*Special thanks to those who provided snacks & drinks for O-Week; food & help for YAF Welcome Night.

*Updating our Church Directory. Please update your name, address & contact details by 4 Mar.

*Easter Family Bible Camp - Volunteers are welcome to be part of the planning committee. Please see Dn Colin Gan if interested.

*Easter Family Bible Camp Registration - Please note that Camp Registration & Special Diet Request forms are available on the foyer table or from Sis Shu Ai Cho or Dn Colin Gan. Completed forms, with EXACT camp fees are to be submitted to Sis Shu Ai. The draft camp programme & location map is on the notice board.

*Adult Sunday School - all encouraged to attend.

  

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (China); Sisters Cyndi Chan (Melb/Adl), Marion Chan, Jillian Chia (Adl), & Tabitha Tan (S’pore), Rosalie Gan (Melb), Gillian Ong (Bris); Bros Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo/Adl) & Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); & others who have arrived at their destinations.

2. Church Activities - over the past week.

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. Visitors & new worshippers.

5. God’s care & guidance for Sis Marion Chan in Miyazaki, Japan for last 16 months.

6. Uni O-Week - stall helpers, outreach & visitors. YAF Welcome Night on Friday.

7. God’s help & strength during exams - Sis Monica Tan.

 

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Cathy Carpenter, Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), Yashu Qin (S’hai) & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs. Chuilin Yap (Malacca); & others in affliction.

2. Cambodia Missions - Rev Moses Hahn & Ministry; Preacher Zhang & Ministry (Sihanoukville); Bro SunSokha (Phnom Penh).

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

4. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

5. God’s Comfort - those who are grieving.

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

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

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

9. Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries.

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

11. House of Hope, Cebu, The Philippines - Ministry to drug addicts.

12. Journey mercies: Elder Michael & Sis Alice Lee (Melb/Geelong/Adl); Mr Kwai San & Mrs Joy Fan (S’pore); Bros Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo) & Jason Tan (S’pore); Sisters Lydia Fan (S’pore), Michelle Lee (Melb/Geelong) & Yashu Qin (Adl); & others who are travelling.

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

14. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.

15. Believers under persecution in Islamic countries.

16. Health in pregnancy: Sis Bernadette Ng.

17. Full-time Jobs - for our university graduates.

18. God’s guidance in work - Sis Lydia Fan (S’pore).

19. Godly wisdom & guidance - those in authority in Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

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