Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
by Erik Momsen
Some time ago I returned from a visit to Transkei and Port St. Johns. It was a short drive into the heart of Africa. I knew it was Africa because of the goats, cattle, chickens, bananas and mini bus taxis. Huts on nearly every hill for over four hundred kilometers of road. I knew it was South Africa because of the plastic litter everywhere.
We drove over the hills along the coast where, right to the cliff edge, small houses and shacks are built. Then, to our great surprise, among all the disorder stood two simple buildings. Well painted, gardens tended, with vegetables to be seen. One was a Catholic and the other a "Full Gospel" church. Not feeling in a particularly religious mood, they still seemed to be symbols of hope and progress in a directionless situation.
Similarly in our own situation here in P.E. I have a sense of expectation and warning that our church has entered into a period of growth and blessing. The Lord has put many things into place for this church to make an impact on our community and even the city. For no physical and logical reason I again have a strong growing conviction that the church is, and will be shown to be, the answer to so many ills in our society.
This church can and must make a remarkable difference in ever widening circles of influence. We must "preach good news to the poor ... proclaim liberty to the captives ... recovery of sight to the blind ... release the oppressed and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour" (Luke 4:18).
But why is the church such a powerful catalyst for healing, change, freedom? Why has the church grown in strength over two thousand years? Why can the church use you in it’s silent peaceful revolution?
THE BIBLICAL MANDATE FOR THE CHURCH
"His intent was than now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." (Ephesians 3:10-12).
1) The church is the agent for Godly wisdom.
2) The first targets for the manifold wisdom are the "Heavenly realms".
3) "According" - the wisdom is revealed according to the eternal purpose being revealed by the church.
4) The "eternal purpose accomplished in Christ" is seen in Ephesians 3:6: "This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ".
5) We all may approach God with freedom and confidence.
LET’S LOOK AT YOU, THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD
A 'Church Father' said, "Humanity cannot tolerate too much reality". We do not want to look at the world too closely because the pain, suffering and sin is too great. The hopelessness is too much. Most of us, most of the time, just want to escape. This is one reason people emigrate to far off lands where things are squeaky clean.
Looking at Ephesians 3:10-12 again: We all start from verse 12 and work towards verse 10. You must know and believe that you can come to God with freedom and confidence. Nothing can keep you from God loving you except your own pride and unbelief.
When you know you are loved, forgiven and have a future with the eternal God you can face the world - all of the world.
The next thing we realise is that if God can take me back - reconcile me to himself - then He can also reconcile others to himself and all of us to each other. There are only two "unifying principles" in the world. Firstly, we all sin and die from it. Secondly the Greeks spoke about "The Unifying Principle" - the LOGOS. We know that "the Word (logos) became flesh and lived with us, we have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only." (John 1:14)
The Logos - Jesus Christ - makes humanity one and demands that we see humanity as one. "This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ." (Ephesians 3:6)
Finally, there is no other institution that can consistently bring that message of one humanity under one Saviour.
Date Added: 2009-09-02
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