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  • Grace B-P Contributor

Know How One Ought to Behave in the Household of God

By Rev Tan Eng Boo

“I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:14, 15)

It may sound surprising to some that there is a pattern of conduct that is considered acceptable in the church. The church is God’s house. There are two things to consider here:

Firstly, the church is the Household of God where saints in Christ are gathered together for worship. “On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread (worship)…” (Acts 20:7). We are told that God’s people come together for a time of worship on Sunday. And when they do so, there must be certain conduct that must be observed.

Let me go straight to the point – it means when we come together for worship in God’s house, we come as brothers and sisters in Christ. It means there should not be any ill-feelings between the brethren. It means that there should be brotherly love (Hebrews 13:1). This is expected of us as fellow believers in Christ. Nothing short of it as we come together before our Holy God.

I hear people say that worship is a personal affair. It is between “me and God”. Sure, it is! But as the Psalmist also says in Psalm 24:3, 4, it matters to God how our heart and conduct is when we come to him:

“Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.”

A pure heart means that it is free from all forms of deceitfulness.

Our worship will be adversely affected if we don’t come before God with a right conduct We worship God as a people forgiven and saved by the grace of God. Paul says, we have to

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

No matter how difficult this process is, it is to be done by the grace and help of the Lord. On my own strength, I will struggle. Moses, the servant of the Lord always reminded Israel:

“Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them” (Deuteronomy 5:1).

Let me take this opportunity to encourage you to get right with the Lord (1 John 1:9), and with one another, if need be.

Secondly, we need to conduct ourselves in a most reverential manner as we come before God in church on a Sunday morning. Let us consider the following ways:

· When we are in the church sanctuary, keep silence. Take time to pray. Prepare your heart for worship. The church is not a marketplace to fellowship and talk with one another before worship. We can always talk and fellowship with each other outside the Sanctuary.

“But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Habakkuk 2:20).

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10).

· We must try to participate in worship. Sing out to the Lord. I know there are some new songs which may be difficult to sing but we can still take note of the lyrics. I too have difficulties with new songs. But I try to learn them or take note of the lyrics. We are told to:

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:4).

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).

· Make effort to come early to church on Sunday morning. We are meeting the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords on a Sunday morning. Are you not excited about it? When I was in the USA for my theological studies, I attended a Presbyterian Church and I noticed that the worshippers were all excited to be in church. All were attired appropriately for the occasion. And there were very few latecomers. So let us be reminded to be early for worship service too. If we can all be in church to sing the first song of worship together, it would be a blessed time.

“I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”” (Psalm 122:1).

Jesus told the church in Ephesus:

“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks” (Revelation 2:1 KJV).

Who walked in the midst of the candlesticks? Jesus! The candlesticks represent the “Church.” Let us remember that when we come together to worship God, He is in our midst. May our conduct honour the Lord!

“. . . those who honour me I will honour” (1 Samuel 2:30).
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