Volume. XIX, No. 25
Sunday, 02 January 2005

From the pastors heart: A new goal for year 2005

While you are enjoying sunny and bright days in Australia, we are breathing cold and chilly air in South Carolina. Except evergreens, there are no leaves on trees and no flowers blossomed here. All grasses are brownish and the air is very dry. Maybe we’ll see snow soon in Ohio. Many homes are adored with Christmas decorations, but there is no more excitement. Many churches are quite empty because most of their members are gone for holidays in this part of the States. I do not know whether the earth rotates quicker than before or whether clock runs faster than decades ago. Somehow, time moves faster nowadays at least to me. One year is gone like a brief moment of time and a new year has arrived. As I am pondering on this new year and new opportunities, I chose Philippians 1:27 to be our theme verse for this year. “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” I would like to focus on “striving together” in the verse.

Philippi was the chief city of Macedonia and a Roman colony. The city was named after a famous king, Philip of Macedon. Philip enlarged the settlement in the city. At this time the gold-mining industry was developed, and gold coins were struck in the name of Philip and became commonly recognized. In 42 BC, the famous battle of Philippi was fought with Antony and Octavian ranged against Brutus and Cassius. This prominence was enhanced further when, after the battle of Actium in 31 BC, in which Octavian defeated the forces of Antony and Cleopatra. Paul wrote a letter to the believers in this city from his prison about AD 62. Paul loved this church as a father cared for his children.

In the first part of Philippians 1, Paul talked about Christ and his desire to be with Him. Then in this past portion of the same chapter, Paul emphasized on togetherness in striving for the faith of the gospel. At this point, I need to remind all of you about BP church history. There were very heated debates and arguments between modernist/liberals and conservatives/fundamentalists in early part of the 20th century in America. Ecumenism had gained momentum to form a forcible power among liberal churches. In 1948 in the Netherlands, A World Council of Churches (WCC) was formed and began to represent the ecumenical movement, which emphasis was one world church. There were a group of church leaders who knew of the coming danger against Bible believing churches. Bible Presbyterian church movement is an offspring of their efforts to stand firmly to fight against liberalism and ungodliness. Therefore, Bible Presbyterian churches are Presbyterians in their church government, but they cling to the Bible as the only rule of faith and practice.

Once Harold Lindsell, who is a prolific writer, once said, “"No one wants division or schism. But this possibility must be weighed against another possibility: that of the purity of the church. Peace at any price is always possible. There is no place in the world where peace may not be bad with the Communists. All men need to do is to capitulate to their demands, and peace, their peace, will come. But peace at the price of theological purity for the church is too high a price to pay. We must by all means strive for both peace and purity. But when peace is threatened in the struggle for purity, it is a necessary risk that cannot be avoided."

A few decades ago, J. Gresham Machen said, “The warm and vital type of Christianity emanated from Princeton - the Christianity that not only proclaims the gospel when it is popular to proclaim it, but proclaims the gospel in the face of a hostile world, the type of Christianity that resolutely refuses to make common cause, either at home or on the mission field, with the Modernism that is the deadliest enemy of the cross of Christ, the type of Christianity that responds with full abandon of the heart and life to the Savior's redeeming love, that is willing to bear all things for Christ's sake, that has a passion for the salvation of souls, that holds the Bible to be, not partly true and partly false, but all true, the blessed, holy Word of God - this warm and vital type of Christianity ... is disconcerting to the ecclesiastical leaders; and so Princeton Seminary, from which it emanates, must be destroyed. Such has often been the fate of those who have felt compelled to warn the Church. The ecclesiastical machinery rolls smoothly on, and the Church proceeds to destroy that wherein its real safety rests."

Such words were spoken nearly eight decades ago. Probably you could feel the heat from his words. Things have not been changed since the time of his speech. Paul’s days were not much different from Machen’s. There were denials of truth everywhere in Paul’s days. People preached Christ with wrong motives. Christian churches suffered lots of divisions and conflicts. Thus, Paul spoke to the Philippians to strive together. It is my hope and prayer that we’ll work, pray, and serve together.

There are three areas in which we must together according to Paul’s message: (1) in good manner of Christian life, (2) in the furtherance of Christian faith, and (3) in the contention for Christian truth. These three areas cover both our conduct and doctrinal beliefs. There has to be a balance between these two. If a man knows all doctrines but does not live accordingly, he is not striving together with other believers. If a man is good in manner but does not know doctrines, he is not and cannot strive together with other saints of God. Thus, let us strive together. Here are a few practical suggestions. To learn Biblical truth, come to every worship and Bible study sessions. To pray together, come to every prayer meeting. To be good people with manners, come and serve together. Be an encourager. Do not wait until you are served, but be a servant like Jesus.

It is my wish for year 2005 that all of the Hopefuls will strive together. May the Lord bless us to do so!

Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question 83: Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous? Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.

Please pray for healing for Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, & Sisters Myung Ki, Aranka Rejtoe & Susan Varadi “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

Please pray for - journey mercies for Ps Ki & family (S. Carolina), Elder and Mrs Peng Kiat Khoo (Melb, Adl), Dn & Mrs Tony Law and Bro Lincoln (Warrnambool), Sis Wendy Gong (Alice Springs), Bro Dillon Chang (Adl), the Chong Family (Adl), Brethren from Ebenezer BPC (Adl); Missionaries - Bro Phanith & Family and the Pailin Church & School; Missions Team’s preparation to Cambodia, Jan 10-31; Ministry of Elder Peng Kiat Khoo at Hope Church; Victims of the tsunami in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, East Africa & other parts of the world; All Hopefuls away.

Praise and thank God for - journey mercies granted to Pastor Ki & family (USA), Bro Winston & Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam (Sydney), Bro Joseph Selvanayagam (UK), Dn & Mrs Eric Lee (Singapore), Bro Terence & Sis Evelyn Lee & Lauretta (Perth), Dn & Mrs Gong & Family (Adl), Dn D’Mello’s brother and Family (Qld), Elder & Mrs Lee & Family (Adl), Bro Dillon Chang (Syd), the Chong Family (Melb); Watch Night Service and testimonies of Hopefuls; God’s blessing on Hope Church throughout the year 2004.

The Session wishes all Hopefuls a Blessed New Year!

RPGs and Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ for Jan - Mar 2005 available. Donation: $1 per copy. Junior RPGs also available - please see Sis Purdee Yeo.

Please note: Members who are interested in serving in the Finance Committee, please see Dn. Yaw Chiew Tan.

Looking Ahead: The Missions Trip to Cambodia, January 10-31, 2005.



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