Written by Rev. Zheng translated by Tania Ng
“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.”Jude 1:3
The greatest watershed point of church history was the 31 Oct 1517 Reformation that was birth in Wittenberg, Germany. The church was set free from the Roman Catholic’s yoke, out of the darkness that lasted over 1000 years. The privileges of reading the bible and prayer to Christ etc were then returned to the children of God.
Long before Martin Luther, there were already other forerunners of the Reformation, such as England’s Wycliffe and Bohemia’s John Hus, etc. Rather than the rules laid out by the Papacy or Pope, they firmly believed that Scripture is the ultimate authority and that God’s words are the foundation of a saint’s life.
The call of the forerunners influenced and kindled Martin Luther. He courageously pinned The Ninety-Five Theses on the doors of the church in Wittenberg to refute the Papacy’s erroneous doctrines and corrupt practices such as the sale of indulgences, doctrine of purgatory, and the offering of prayers to Mary. God used this great feat to stir up soldiers of truth in other territories, such as Calvin of Geneva, Zwingli of Switzerland and John Knox of Scotland etc.
Without the Reformation, our Sunday worship would have been similar to that of 500 years ago. The congregation would sit on the pews without the bible in their hands, being devoid of the right to recite the word of God; neither would they be allowed to sing songs of praise. Hymn singing, reading the Bible, and prayer would have been the special privilege of the minority called the clergy. This is why we have eschewed the practices of some churches such as the holding of “Sacred Music Sunday” whereby all hymns are rendered only by the choir, turning the congregation into an audience. This practice is a reversal to the times of the Roman Papacy. Although the COVID safe management measures prohibit us from singing hymns, we can still sing with our souls and render every word and every line to our Lord!
The church does not govern its believers by a set of dogma. Instead, we encourage every believer to cultivate personal devotional habits to build an intimate relationship with the Lord. At the same time, we have bible study for the respective fellowship groups to help you develop a holistic understanding of God’s salvation and the heart of God for you.
The Church’s history has been spotted with blood. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, the early churches, the Dark Ages of 1000 years, the Reformation movement, the Crusades in Europe till today. The tears and blood that have been shed by the Lord’s Church in order to protect the apostles’ teachings have been recorded in the books in heaven. Dear brothers and sisters, when we first named our church “Truth Baptist Church”, it was to remind ourselves to hold on to the spirit of the Reformers, to walk on the path of sola scriptura. From the beginning, we have been vigilant in every teaching by the church, “interpreting Scripture in light of Scripture” – this is the foundational principle of biblical exegesis. The substance of every teaching is grounded in the truth of Scripture as revealed by God, in accordance with His will. Brothers and sisters, how I yearn for everyone to love reading the Bible, to meditate upon His word, and to live according to His will!