Volume. XXIV, No. 49
Sunday, 06 June 2010

From the Pastors Heart: Worship Part 9

Hebrews 12:28-29 say, “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.” Verse 29 says that we ought to serve the Lord (including worship) with reverence and godly fear. This same God is interested in the way that we dress according to 1 Timothy 2:9. The way we dress for worship reflects our view of God and our heart attitude and preparation for worship. 1 Timothy 2:9, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” I was curious about the meaning of “modest” apparel. What is “modest”? The Greek word used for “modest” in this verse is also used in 1 Timothy 3:2, which says, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach”. Hence the same Greek word is translated as “good behavior,” which is also translated as “respectable” in the NASB and the NIV. The word also means “well-arranged” or “seemly”. “To respect” means “To view or consider with some degree of reverence; to esteem as possessed of real worth”. And “to be respectable” means to “to possess the worth or qualities which deserve or command respect; worth of esteem and honor” (Noah Webster’s 1828 English Dictionary). This word study indicates that the way we dress for worship ought to be respectable. Our dress code for worship must show our reverence to God. Thus, I do have a few suggestions about our dress code:

(1) Men should wear men’s clothes, and women should wear women’s. There should not be any confusion over our identity through the types of clothes we wear.
(2) Cleanness is commendable, not price tags.
(3) Figure-hugging clothes should not be worn.
(4) The necklines for shirts should not be too low; and skirts should not be too short (below the knees is commendable).
(5) Especially for ladies, covering is a virtue not a shame. Hollywood stars or the fashion world is not an example that we have to emulate.
(6) For gentlemen, shirts and ties are commendable for public worship.
This shameless society has promoted and praised various shameless styles of clothes. What I find quite difficult to tolerate is when people wear their pants too low, and whenever they bend, they expose their bottoms. There is no difference between men and women in this matter. Dearly beloved ones, let’s cover up decently and respectably. If you think of the way you dress when you go for job interviews, you may have better ideas about the way you need to dress when you come to worship God. The next principle of worship is:
Sixth, worship includes praises of Him.
In the King James Bible, there are 4 forms of “praise” related words (singular and plural nouns, verb and participle forms), 304 times in 261 verses. There are at least 5 Hebrew and 3 Greek words that may be translated as “praise.” The etymology of the English word “praise” indicates that it is from a Latin word meaning “price, praise, reward, value, or worth". Probably, Revelation 4:11 and 5:12 show us the best picture of praise: “Thou art worthy [underline added], O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created”; “Saying with a loud voice, Worthy [underline added] is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing”. In these two verses, the worthiness of the Lord is declared, which is a worship of praise. It helps us to
understand the quality of praise in worship. We need to evaluate praises we offer to the Lord and see whether they are worthy of God. Our careful evaluation must include the contents and manners of praises. It is also important to evaluate how praises are presented. Every part of praise must be evaluated and checked to determine whether they do reflect the worthiness of God. Though this consumer-oriented generation values “consumer-friendly styles and contents of praises,” the primary focus should not be given to them but to God. This generation uses many forms and styles of praises. Thus, there are praise worships for teens, for youth, for children, for adults, or for the elderly. There are traditional and contemporary praises.
Some argue that Sunday worship is for the seekers or the unbelievers, so that they may find God in their hearts. I understand that it is important for us to make room for them. However, the primary focus of worship is the proclamation of God’s Word, and praise is not to soothe or to comfort worshippers, but to give glory to God. The former is important but it is not the primary purpose of either worship or praise. God must be considered first always. The more we think about it, the more we will realize that praise is not a light matter in worship. Then, we need to know what is included in praises. We tend to think that praise is basically singing psalms and hymns. How does the Bible describe praise?
One, let me give you a few references showings us praise as an element of God-worship. 2 Chronicles 7:3 says, “And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.” The one who received praise was God alone. The praise of Him was a result of worship. At the same time, praise reveals and declares who God is, too. Thus, the worshippers praised God of His goodness and mercy. The ones who were deeply touched by God praised Him. Likewise, praise is not a means to attract people to come to church. It is a means to declare God’s goodness and His mercy. 2 Chronicles 29:28 says, “And all the
congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished” [Cf. vv. 29-30]. Worship was accompanied with singing and instrumental music, which was to praise the Lord. Psalm 66:4, also says, “All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.” Psalm 138:2, “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name”. This verse gives us a few of remarkable lessons about worship and praises: (1) worship and praise go together side by side; (2) praising God is the same as praising His name; (3) one of the reasons to praise Him is because of His lovingkindness, which is one of His attributes. I am going to deal with it more extensively later; (4) another reason for praising God is for His truth. If He is not a truthful God, what praises can we give Him?; and (5) God cherishes and honors His own words, in such a way that He has magnified His word above His name. It is a difficult lesson to understand. Whatever it means, one thing is sure: His word must be honored and believed in by all who praise Him. It gives us a solid ground upon which our worship and praises must be built. There is no praise that does not magnify the Word. It also means that the focus of praise must be God alone. We should never think that God does not care about His name because He cares about His Word. In fact, praise is given to His name according to 1 Chronicles 16:35, “And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.” It is also teaching from 1 Chronicles 29:13, “Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”
Two, biblical praise consists of more than hymn and psalm singing. In fact, Hebrew and Greeks words for praise has more than one meaning such as “to promise, to consent, to acknowledge, to confess, or to give voice to (praise and thanksgiving)”. Confession in praise includes the confession of sins. My word studies will be limited within English Bibles for this study series on worship. I hope that someday I’ll be able to expand to Hebrew and Greek word studies. I’ll continue on this topic in Part 10.
Pastor Ki (Senior Pastor, now serving as Pastor of New Life B-P Church, London)

More Lively Hope



*Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Sis Yvone Kam. Next Lord’s Day: Team Leader: Bro Colin Gan.
*Helpers needed for VBS. Please see Sis Josephine Wong if able to help. Please invite your friends
*New Church Photocopier delivered & installed last Wed.
*Men’s Fellowship Meeting postponed to Sat, 19 June.
*Sparks4Christ Fund Raising Project for Photocopier - Sparks selling cakes, cookies & cream puffs during lunch.
*Venue for AFG Retreat: Mt Lofty Railway Station.
*Invites for our 24th Anniversary Thanksgiving available on literature table in foyer. Please invite your family, relatives & friends.
Looking Ahead
*Combined Ladies’ & Men’s Fellowships Meeting, Sat 19 June at 3:00 pm. Speaker: Elder KH Koh.
*Combined Neighborhood Bible Study Groups Meeting, Sat 19 June at 7:30 pm. Speaker: Elder KH Koh.
*24th Anniversary Thanksgiving on 20 June.
*Vacation Bible School, 12-16 July.
Praise & Thanksgiving
1. Journey mercies: Rev George van Buuren (Holland); Bros Raymond Chia, Joseph Seow (Adl) & Wai Kin Wong (USA); Sisters Irena Kurek-Braden (Syd) & Sarah Lo (Adl/Keith); & others who have travelled.
2. Church activities - over the past week.
3. New Photocopier for church.
4. Daily mercies, protection & guidance
Prayer Items
1. Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Dr SH Tow; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi (JPN), Elton Law, Jonathan Liao, Len & Richard Pearson, Moses Tan (S’pore), & Fred Volvricht; 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 (UK), Choon Fong Lee (KL); Fiona & Lehia Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; & others in affliction.
2. God’s comfort: Sis Yvone Kam & family, Mrs Angela Nguyen & family & others still in grief.
3. Healing & health - Bro Winston Selvanayagam
4. Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & ministry, Life University (Sihanoukville); Bro John Saray & ministry (Kampot)..
5. Laos Missions - Bro Surish & ministry (Vientiane).
6. iSketch&Tell Studio - Pr H S Lim & his ministry in S’pore/Malaysia/Indonesia (June) & Adelaide (July).
7. IBPFM (USA) - Board, missionaries & funds.
8. Ps & Sis Ki & ministry in New Life BPC (Lond).
9. Ps & Sis Weng - ministry in Hope BPC.
10. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.
11. Journey mercies: Pr Hai Seng Lim (S’pore/Mal/Indonesia); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser (Bris); Bros Joseph Seow (S’pore) & Wai Kin Wong (Adl); Sis Sarah Lo (Keith/Adl); & others travelling.
12. New organ (keyboard) for Sunday School - For God’s provision.
13. ACM & 6th Session Election on Sat, 28 August.
14. Job - Sisters Xandrea Cai, Marion Chan, Judy Li, Corinne Teng & Mag Yu (S’pore).
15. Good health in pregnancy - Sis Demelza Ting. 
16. 24th Anniversary Thanksgiving Speaker: Elder KH Koh of Sydney BPC.
17. Final Stage of pregnancy: Sis Josephine Wong
18. AFG Retreat next weekend - Speaker: Rev Tim Meyer (Qld), organisers & participants.
19. Sis Irena Kurek-Braden: new life in Sydney.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041