THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSIONS-PART SEVEN. “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20). (more…)
THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSION-PART 4 Please, permit me to use the unusual approach as we look at part three of our main theme, ‘The Local Church and Global Mission’. I am sharing with you a meditation by Mary Schotte that I received from a friend couple of weeks ago, on ‘finding rest in God’. It is taken from a blog site called tendingscatteredwool.com (more…)
THE LOCAL CHURCH AND GLOBAL MISSION PART-THREE. You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure. We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition (1 Thessalonians 2:1-2).
Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians believers is one of the letters that reveals the constant struggles and sufferings that Paul and his team went through at the cause of preaching the gospel. Paul reminded the Thessalonians of how much they suffered in Macedonia, especially in Thessalonica and Philippi before the gospel could thrive in that region. This shows that, it is not abnormal that, apart from prayer and hard labour, missionaries often go through some sufferings before achieving the desired and remarkable breakthrough among the unreached people to whom they preach the gospel to. (more…)
SHINNING THE LIGHT IN DARK PLACES THROUGH MISSION-PART 5. “…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him” (Acts 10:38).
A missionary entered a community where there was no potable water for the people. He made efforts with members of his team to provide potable water not just for the Mission Base but also for the people in the community who were in dire need. As evangelism work progressed in that community, it came to a stage that they needed to organise a church for the disciples. Initially, there was a resistance by the community because their ancestors had already said that there would never be a church in that community, so every effort by different people in the past to organise a church had failed. Simply because of the act of good work by this Mission group in providing water for them, the people in the community not only became open to the gospel, but they also accepted for the Mission group to organise a church for the believers. That is what an act of good work can do among nations. (more…)
GOD’S PURPOSE FOR HIS CHURCH-PART 13. “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ….
You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. (more…)
GOD’S PURPOSE FOR HIS CHURCH-PART 5. I would like to start with this statement that there was no man recorded in the Bible whose input in the New Testament church was as great as Apostle Paul. Paul did not only plant more churches than other Apostles of his time but the way he administered the churches he planted and his letters to them serve as fundamental principles for the New Testament church. Let us learn from his second letter to the Corinthian church as we continue to discuss the feature of the church. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). Paul made it clear here that the church is God’s army that consistently engage in warfare against the kingdom of (more…)
GOD’ S PURPOSE FOR HIS CHURCH-PART 4. In the last three articles, we have tried to establish a clear understanding of the biblical meaning and foundation of the church. We shall now continue with some features and functions of a New Testament church. Let me mention that in the cause of time we will discover that the features and functions of the church are sometimes interwoven, which means that there are cases where its features describe its functions and vice versa. This portion of one of Paul’s letters to Timothy his son in the Lord and his dear fellow worker described the church in three major ways. “If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15-16 ). This describes the church as: 1. God’s house hold; 2.The pillar of the truth; 3. The foundation of the truth (more…)
GOD’S PURPOSE FOR HIS CHURCH-PART 2. I remember the short period I worked with a construction company that built the fence of a Military barrack 27 years ago in Kaduna one of the major cities in Nigeria, so much time and energy were put into laying the foundation of the building. This shows how importance a foundation is, to a building. The Bible explained the quality of stones that Solomon the wisest king of his time used when he was building the first temple in the Bible. “The foundation Solomon laid for building the temple of God was sixty cubits long and twenty cubits wide using the cubit of the old standard” (2 Chronicles 3:3) . 2 Chronicles 3:3. The Lord Jesus Christ talked about a wise man who built his house on a solid foundation and when there was a heavy stream and a strong wind the house stood. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock” (Matt 7:24-26). If the foundation is so important to a physical building, how much more it is to a spiritual one. Having tried to (more…)
GOD’S PURPOSE FOR HIS CHURCH-PART 1. Understanding the true meaning of the church and God’s purpose for her is the major pathway for fulfilling God’s mandate as believers in Christ. What is church? The Greek word for church is ‘Ecclesia’ which originally means an assembly called out by the magistrate, or by legitimate authority (Smith’s Bible Dictionary). This word was used in the New Testament to define the church as the group of people that God has called out from the world to His kingdom. The Hebrew equivalent ‘qahal’ in a religious sense referred to Israel as a religious body. The early church with this understanding considered itself to be part of the true Israel of God. The church is a group of people that have been called out from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light; the church is a holy nation, the people who belong to the kingdom where Christ reigns as King. It is a community of believers in Christ whose sins have been washed by the blood of the Lamb. (more…)