I spoke a little bit during today's "Cleaning Day at the Church" about what it looks like to live out a deep faith in God. We know that our relationship with God is more than just "salvation" - that is key to our relationship, to be sure, but as we live out our days on earth, our trust in Christ truly empowers us to live. the first letter of Peter, Chapter 5, verses 1-6, " 1To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 5In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
Peter tells us two things in this teaching, first, he teaches that there is indeed an order to things. There is authority in our lives and authority in the church to which we should, if it is authentic, be willing to submit to and learn from - and that this authority is modeled by the authority of Jesus Christ in our own lives. As always, the apostle comes around to the fundamental question that The Holy Spirit asks each of us regularly, "DO YOU TRUST ME WITH YOUR LIFE?" Of course, it also speaks to me as an "elder" of the church and of the responsibilities that are inherent in the position.
30And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." These teaching of The Holy Spirit was given through Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 4, verses 30&31 (NLT). He is discussing, as we have been on Sundays, what it looks like, sounds like and feels like to live a life submitted to The Holy Spirit. Notice how Paul teaches that the power to "get rid of" all of those things comes only from the example of God through Christ - our Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life - NO ONE comes to the Father except through Him!
Pastor Brian is the senior pastor of Churchtown Church of God and regularly shares his thoughts & insight here - he invites you to join in the discussion of life & faith!