Dear members and friends of Valley Park,
We have worked through I Corinthians 12 the last month and noted that there are three primary ministries of the Holy Spirit:
Helping us understand who Jesus is so that we can embrace Him as Lord of our lives.
Immersing us (symbolized by baptism) into the Body of Christ so that we are members of the family of God with Jesus as the head.
Manifesting Himself in us and through our lives so that we might contribute to the health and growth of the family of God.
The Apostle Paul highlights the value of the family of God in his letter to the Ephesians. He makes the following assertions about the church.
· The church is created by Jesus Christ as a “new man” consisting of Jews and Gentiles. (2:15)
· The church is made up of people who are fellow –citizens with the saints. (2:19)
· Every member of the church is a member of God’s household. (2:19)
· The church is a building which is growing into a holy temple in Christ. (2:21)
· The church is being built up as a dwelling of God. (2:22)
It is obvious from I Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 2 that the church should be considered the most important work of God in the world. What Paul describes in theological terms is a community of people united by faith in Jesus Christ. The church is a living organism in which God has invested His Son and is continuing to invest through the Spirit. The church is special, a treasure and the closest body of people in the world to the heart of God. Every Christian is intimately connected to this body because of what Jesus Christ has done and because the Holy Spirit has been involved to make it a reality
I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy
of the calling with which you have been called, Eph. 4:1
As members of this living organism called the church, we have a “calling” from God to live consistent with who we are as His children. Paul implores us to live consistent with our new identity as related to Him. We represent something that is other-worldly. Paul goes on to explain what this “calling” involves.
1. We need a personal attitude adjustment in order to sincerely love “one another.”
”with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love” Eph. 4:2
So Paul references humility so that we will not consider ourselves better than anyone else. He encourages us to be gentle and patient and tolerant. Love requires the right attitude toward people so that love is unconditional and edifying.
2. We have a shared goal to preserve “unity” in the church so that it is at peace.
“being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Eph. 4:3
3. He gives us “7 reasons” why these two commitments are part of our “calling.”
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all”. Eph. 4:4-6
As we enter the Fall with children in school and new programs and studies starting at the church, I believe one of the most important things we need to do is evaluate our priorities. We want to make sure that with everything we need to do, we do not neglect what God has “called” us to do. As highlighted by the teachings of the Bible, investing in the Family of God is one of the most important things we do in this life that honors God the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son.
Sincerely in Christ,
“Since we have confidence … and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near …and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:19-25