Our Church upholds the doctrines of the Holy Bible. We believe the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms contain the system of Bible doctrines taught in the Holy Bible. In other words, we uphold and teach the historic Reformed Faith in our teaching and practices.
In today’s context, the Reformed Faith means different things to different people. For us here at The Shepherd’s Tabernacle, we take seriously the historic Reformed Faith in its teaching and practice, especially as stated in the Westminster Standards.
Our Church seeks to teach the whole Bible systematically in all its ministries such as, Catechumen Classes, Bible Study Classes, Sunday Worship Service, Church Prayer Meeting, etc. We follow the Bible teaching principle of Matthew Henry, which is to teach the Holy Bible from Genesis to Revelation once in ten years so that those who stay in the church for that period of time would have the “whole Bible” taught to them so that they may know “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
Due to this Bible teaching principle, we believe in a broad approach to the study of the Holy Bible. We believe it is far more important for Christians to have an overall idea of the whole Bible so that they can live a full and fruitful Christian life personally and corporately. The “in-depth Bible Study” may be pursued on an individual and personal basis so that the Church ministries could build on the broader approach.
We believe God is to be worshipped according to His revealed will. We may not worship God according to how we wish to worship God or else we will be in danger of the sin committed by Cain (Genesis 4:1 15). God has instructed in His holy Word how He is to be worshipped. In other words, we believe the Holy Bible teaches the Regulative Principles of Worship. This basically means that we may not worship God except in the way, manner, elements and methods that He Himself has instructed in the Holy Bible.
All that we do and practice must be governed by the Holy Bible alone. This is the reason why we believe in a simple, spiritual, solemn, serious and pious worship service where the worshippers could spend a period of quiet meditation and prayer before God. We believe the elements of holy worship are prayer, offering, congregational singing, Bible reading, Bible preaching and benediction. We believe a church worship hall is a solemn place for the worship of God and it should not become a concert hall or theatre which typifies many modern churches.
Our Lord taught us to pray that God’s “will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). We seek to do this in all our services to God, In short, we aim to be a picture of heaven on earth, which is the calling of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth.
The Protestant Reformers cried, “Tota Scriptura, Sola Scriptura” or “All the Holy Bible and Only the Holy Bible”. Man changes. Man’s opinion changes. Man’s taste and style change. But the Word of God stands forever the same. It is the Word of God that gives life and salvation to all (John 8:32).
We believe it is the Church’s duty, with the parents’ cooperation, to teach our children that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Based on this conviction, we actively teach the Word of God systematically to all our children by using the Catechism method of instruction from the time a child is able to read.
A child who goes through this training would complete the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation three times progressively by the time the child finishes Primary 6 (12 years of age). The child would then proceed to study the Bible Doctrines and the Reformed Faith in detail after the child has built a strong Bible knowledge.
All these lessons and studies have been systematically planned for all our children. Again, we believe that our children must be taught the seriousness of Bible study. We have an important message for our children and we believe we must have the right attitude and approach when we teach them. 2 Timothy 3:15 gives the example of Timothy, “from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”.
Church Prayer Meeting
We believe that all true Christians are prayerful people. As J C Ryle noted, “A prayerful Master cannot have prayerless followers. To be prayerless is to be Christless.” A Christian may not read the Holy Bible because of illiteracy but a Christian cannot be prayerless because only a dead person cannot speak.
When we examine the pages of the Holy Bible, we find God’s people praying. In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, we find the early Christians gathering regularly in public prayer meetings. We believe the effectiveness and usefulness of a local church is to be judged by the unity and zealousness which the church members exhibit in the church prayer meeting. God uses and hears the cry and supplication of a united church in prayer.
Oh, let each one of us pray that God’s Word will be “a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” always (Psalm 119:105). Amen.