On Sundays at 3pm. Please contact Bro Jose Lagapa: 81853623 anytime.
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!
Today, we celebrate the 16th Anniversary of True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church. We must be thankful to the Lord our God for giving our late founding Pastor, the Rev Dr Timothy Tow the charge to plant this church. We must also be equally thankful to God for our present pastor, the Rev Dr Jeffrey Khoo, whom God has charged to water and feed the church. Above all, we give glory to Him who sustains this church and gives the increase from year to year. So the Apostle Paul wrote, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6–7).
It is important to remember our leaders, the Bible exhorts us to “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation” (Hebrews 13:7). The Lord mightily used them for our good and edification. We should continue to pray for our pastor, elders, deacons and other leaders of our church. We owe them the spiritual feeding and administration so that we will mature in Christ and be a useful vessel for His glory and honour.
However, the Apostle did not end his words that way. He continued writing and giving directions not only to leaders but also towards the members of the church. We cannot deny that we are part and parcel of this increase. He continued “Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” (1 Corinthians 3:8–9). After pointing to the roles of those who labour for the church, he now refocuses on the members of the church, “every man.”
When the Apostle wrote, “we are labourers together with God,” he exhorts the believers to labour hard and well. It is a blessed privilege from God to allow us to serve Him even if we are unworthy and unprofitable servants. The word “labourers together with” describes working together with someone else. As Christians, we are made partners, co-labourers or fellow workers with God. In other words, we are employing ourselves to the work God is doing. We should not be doing what is convenient and beneficial to us. We should seek to know what God is doing in our midst so that we can help. If we do not know, instead of contributing something, we make a mess out of it. As “labourers together with God,” we are His companions in the ministry. We work wherever He works. We do not look for suitable and comfortable places when God wants us to toil with Him under the hot sun or on a rainy day. We are not His companions if we are not found close to Him in our service. Partners must be close beside to offer their hands to assist in the work. Moreover, as “labourers together with God,” we are doing the work until it is done. We are ready to extend our willing hand to toil with Him. So, being co-labourers, we do what God is doing in the place where God is working and be working until God finishes the task He wants us to help with.
Another word that the Apostle uses is “God’s husbandry.” Husbandry means “cultivated land.” It refers to a place or venue where God is working. Not only that we labour together with God but we are the very people that God is working on. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:11–16). We are the field that God is cultivating so that the increase is seen and He is glorified!
This term involves us to submit to the will of the tiller. No field has the right to question the husbandman about what crops are to be planted and when should it be planted. The cultivated land ought to accept whatever is the farmer’s decision. What the field has to contribute are the nutrients and water supplies required to achieve a bountiful harvest. The husbandry must be active in imparting the endowed natural contents which he acquired from God.
Metaphorically, it describes the believers whom God is perfecting to be more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)
Lastly, the Apostle Paul uses the word “building.” This word describes a structure or edifice. This further describes the togetherness of the believers. They may have different purposes and functions as parts of the building but their presence is necessary to make up one edifice. There is not point if all are walls and no doors, likewise, it is not beneficial if there are beautiful rooms and furniture in them but there are no roofs. The necessity of the part that each believer plays is significant and therefore describes togetherness in spite of the varying gifts appropriated by the Spirit. All these different parts are structured over one foundation, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11)….himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together… (Ephesians 2:20–21).
We must, therefore, be working together with our leaders. As part of the whole body, we cannot just do anything without considering that we are “fitly-joined together.” To be absent ourselves out of a joint will result in the weakening of the whole structure. We must not be mindful only of our personal things but of the things of others who will suffer and be affected if we do foolishly on our own and for our own. Positively, the act of one who promotes the growth in another Christian such as wisdom, holiness and happiness, and other virtues. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6–7).
The primary purpose of a building is to house people or to serve as a dwelling place. The church is where God should manifest to be present with His people. It follows that being part of this building, we must be people who should manifest the presence of God in our lives. We should not be Christians only in name and pretending to fit into the frame of the church structure. The Apostle Peter tells us “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.… But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1 Peter 2:5, 9).
Being thankful for the people whom God ordained to start and sustain True Life BPC, we have to remember that we have to do our roles too. This anniversary should remind us if we are among the many believers who labour together with the leaders and God in His field and of His church. As part of God’s increase, we should also be counted as co-labourers, cultivated field, and building in the next years of God’s working in True Life BPC. Should the Lord tarries, we pray that in the next anniversary, the Lord will be pleased to see us as useful fellow workers, a fruitful vineyard and a strong fortress bearing His name as the only banner flying up high honouring our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. – Bro Jose
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