From the Pastor’s Desk
You’ve probably heard me refer to the most recent topic of our adult Sunday School class – the church. It’s certainly been a long study we have undertaken since we started it last May; however, we’re wrapping up soon! The class hour has been filled with digging deep into the Bible and has been carried along by fruitful and challenging conversation. As we’ve gone through it, we have had to enter that realm of soul-searching our own views on what “church” actually is due to what God has revealed to us. As a result, we’ve had to make some positive changes in our thinking so that we have a better and truer understanding.
Wonderfully, we’ve adopted a sort of “Berean Church” mindset. In the book of Acts, it’s pointed out that this church was open to receive the truth of God, and in their desire they had for it, they “examined the Scriptures” when Paul and Silas came to them with the gospel about Jesus. In turn, their pursuit of the truth before an open Bible led many of them to faith in Jesus and their salvation (see Acts 17.10-12). I’m sure that their examination of the Bible didn’t end there.
Like the Berean church, we’ve examined the Bible together, and we’ve been praying through it all. We now know more clearly the teaching it presents: what Jesus says about the church (which is His church) and what He says for us to be doing; how the church is described by the Bible writers – most particularly in the New Testament; the recorded history of the church with a focus on the book of Acts; the prayers by and for the church; its leadership, membership, characteristics, and practices. In addition, we tried our best to discern the kinds of things of today that might look like the church to some, but actually aren’t when compared to the witness of the Bible.
After all we’ve covered to now, the last topic we are exploring, as you might have heard from me as well, is the mission of the church. Our class’ final task to put it into a short phrase that is biblically sound and also simple in design. On this point, we are going to give some attention to this church in Peru which we call home. I make note of this for a good reason: while we are wanting to embrace the teachings of the Bible in what it reveals about the universal church, we realize that there is value in addressing how defining our mission applies to our specific church body.
So, why are we not simply going by our own thoughts, ideas and perceptions about what we think the church is and what we’re to be all about? The answer? Because sometimes our own thoughts, ideas and perceptions are not always right nor good and we can end up being, well, wrong! And – because it matters what the God of the Bible says to us and because we need to know what He has to say; and since He gives us His Spirit of truth, we know that we can learn and come to live by His Word. And because we want to unite with one another and we need to be “on the same page” in something so vital to our Lord and to our fellowship. All these “becauses” are before us if we’re to fully be the church God says we are to be.
I’ve been excited as we’ve gone through these months together, and I am praying with great and confident hope that we all are going to benefit from this study that this class has been engaged in. I ask each one of you, in the class or not, to be praying alongside me as we come to a close on this very important subject, one central to all of us in the body. Pray also for all of our Sunday classes – for what God has for us to grow our faith. I also ask those of you who have not been part of the adult class to look at joining it for the next study, and for those of you who have children to bring them to those classes your church offers for them… for your sake, the children’s, and the church Jesus founded. We all can learn so much together, thank God!
With you in Christ,