From the Board of Elders
Dear Members in Christ,
Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith...
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" 2 Corinthians 13:5
It is said that there are 5 categories of Christian worshippers on every Lord's day.
Category 1: Attendance Marker
When the gospel messages are being read and preached, they fall on stony and thorny hearts. The Word of God is not able to germinate and grow or even if they grow, they are not healthy. They die easily or get blown away even with the slightest wind. The hearers did not comprehend or fully understand the teachings of the Bible. If they do, they will soon forget the Word preached. They do not grow spiritually. They lack faith or have little faith. They are contented and not worried. Their objective is to satisfy their conscience to worship once a week.
Category 2: Indifferent Christians
Some stopped hearing because the teachings of the Bible contradict their personal belief of Christian practices e.g. why is the Church so strict in the doctrine of separation, why does the Church defend the Verbal Plenary Preservation of the Bible every time, why does the Church warn against false teachings, false apostles, counterfeit churches ... they prefer not to know more about the Bible. They say “why so divisive?” or “live and let live”. They like milk and not solid meat of the Word. They are happy with their own belief and practices. They are contented in their own world.
Category 3: Self-pleasing Christians
They read and interpret the Bible according to their own understanding and prejudices. They filter the messages preached from the pulpit. They like to hear what they believe is the truth. They even avoid certain preachers who preach doctrines that are not agreeable or aligned with their views, values, practices and belief. Is this the way that a disciple of Christ should be? Hearing and accepting messages that only please them? If this is so, the Bible cautions such a one with regards to his salvation "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" 2 Corinthians 13:5.
Category 4: Stunted Christians
Some even, after attending church for many years, are still not able to differentiate and defend the faith of the Bible and even blissfully say “all denominations (the fundamental Churches, Roman Catholicism, Charismatic Movement and Neo-Evangelical Movement etc) are the same”. What a shame! They remain as babes in Christ. They are happy to remain so.
Category 5: Convicted Christians
Attend church services in order to know and learn God's Word. They faithfully meditate on the Word of God preached. They grow in maturity and manifest the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). They fellowship and serve in the various church ministries.
A disciple of Christ should follow Jesus on His term and NOT on the believer's own term!
Which category do you belong to? Or which category should all truly saved Christians belong to? The Bible teaches us that if we are truly saved, we are to be wise in the Lord. We are to progress from partaking the milk of the Word to meat of the Word. We are to be nourished and to grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. We need to be skilful in the Word of God and be spiritually discerned.
True Christianity must make a godly stand and impact, to fight the good fight of faith. True Christians must 1) know and understand the teachings of the Bible 2) serve the Lord 3) warn against false teachings and defend the faith 4) know the Jesus Christ of the Bible and NOT the Jesus Christ of false Christendom or of the world.
We need to serve and "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 1:3. We need to warn others about false teachings and prophets. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1. We need to win souls for Christ. The Apostle Paul says "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:" 2 Timothy 4:7.
Let us be profitable servants of the most High God. Wake up and rise. Be counted for Him! Let us fight the good fight of faith together. To God be the Glory.
Elder Choe TS
The Church - the Body of Christ (Rom 12:5)
Sometimes the word “body” is attached to the end of a word to refer to an individual. For example, when we say “somebody” or “anybody” we are referring to a nondescript person. On a stand alone basis, the word body refers to the human body. Whatever the usage, the hyphenated “-body” refers to a whole,
physical being of a person. We must have noted
that the Bible refers to the church as the body of Christ. In the Bible, we read, "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another (Romans 12:5).” There are some important reminders in this verse of our duty as members of the Church which is the Body of Christ.
Many Members United in One
Firstly, we read that the Body of Christ consists of many members, but we are one body. As a church we are to be mindful that in God’s view, we are not discrete, disconnected individuals. We are all interconnected by our common faith in Christ. We share a common bond in a covenant relationship with those whom God have elected and called to be His sons and daughters. The Apostle Paul puts it so eloquently when he wrote, "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12).”
This idea of being one body should be so clear in our minds. When we know of someone who has had an arm or a leg or some body part amputated, we express it by saying, “he has lost a leg.” Or an arm, or an eye, or whatever which has been excised. For a part to be separated from the body, it is a loss, it is not a normal condition to be in. This is how we must view the importance of being in the fellowship of the church. This idea of the unity is further explained by Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians:
"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:4-6)
While we live our respective lives as individuals, let us remember to come together often in fellowship. Let us seek to pray for one another as a body of Christ. Let us get to know one another better, appreciating each other's contribution and service. Let us strengthen and encourage each other in the body of Christ.
Each of Us is a Functional Member of the Body
In the epistle to the Ephesians, Paul makes it very clear that each of us are bestowed with different spiritual gifts, "But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ." (Ephesians 4:7). Some are equipped to teach, others to preach, yet others to serve. Whatever the gift may be, we are to be reminded that it is bestowed upon us, "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." (Ephesians 4:12).
The Apostle Paul is very explicit in this instruction to the Ephesian church. They must know and understand that each one of them are bestowed with gifts for the benefit of the church. We can learn from this too. Whatever our gifts, we must set our hearts to use it for the glory of God by employing it to edify (build up) other believers.
You might say, I am not a preacher or teacher, how can I edify others? How can we function as part of Christ's body to build up others? The answer is simple. We can edify and encourage others by taking the first step to equip ourselves. There are ample opportunities to sign up for online courses with FEBC. I know of some brothers and sisters who have already done so. Good for you, blessed are ye indeed! If and when you have learnt a good portion of scripture, share it to encourage someone. If you know any in need of help or a spiritual uplift, share with them a portion of God's word. Sometimes a simple text message or phone call can go a long way in encouraging a fellow Christian who is feeling down. May we all work together to fulfil the law of love, to work together as a church, the body of Christ! Amen.
Dn Lim Seh Beng