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Archive for February, 2010

Love One Another (3)

February 28th, 2010
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Scripture of the Day: John13:34

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.(NIV)

What I want to do today is to look at part of Jesus’ Haustafel; his instruction to us to “Love one another.” We find this in John 13. This is the basic building block of the church, and the foundational instruction for a new humanity.

 Eugene Peterson said this is Jesus’ best-known command and the least obeyed. In fact it’s the most difficult thing Jesus asked us to do.

Perhaps this one command is best understood by breaking it down into smaller components which we know as the mutuality commands or the “one another” commands. Depending on which translation of the Bible you use, you can come up with dozens of these commands.

I came across a list the One Another’s and Each Other’s in the Bible: there are 56 entries! These commands don’t come in a neat package; they are scattered through the NT.

I want to look at why these commands are so important – important to the building of the church and to the survival of the church. But they are vital to protecting the church from being torn apart by diversity, disagreements, and distrust.

The building of the church is an ongoing process, not something that occurred once and was finished. It continues today and these commands are just as valid today as they were in NT time.

Message for the Day

Love One Another (2)

February 27th, 2010
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Scripture of the Day: Philippians 2:1-5

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:(NIV)

During the Reformation, Martin Luther nailed his list of church reforms to the door of the Wittenburg Castle church. But something else Martin Luther did was to go through the NT and write up a list of all the instructions given to Christians that pertained to their new way of life in Christ. And he coined the word “Haustafel” for this list. Haustafel literally means “house tables”. It is generally used as a theological term for proper domestic or household order in the Christian home.

Luther wanted people to understand that these rules were not abstract, they were highly practical; they were duties that were expected to be carried out.

All these rules had to do with relationships. And the Gospel is, after all, about living in good relationship with God and therefore with others.

So when Jesus told his disciples that he was building his church, this new community, it was actually the household of God he was developing on earth. And he gave the disciples his Haustafel. Instructions they must actively carry out, as their role, and our role today, in the creation of the true humanity.

Message for the Day

Joe Tkach’s Weekly Update

February 26th, 2010
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It is a pleasure to finally announce our new Italian Website:

www.ccdg.it (www.chiesacristianadellagrazia.org) While some items still need to be fleshed out, our Italian brothers and sisters are already very excited about it.


Africa

Most Recent Church Plant:

Emmanuel Okai, the chairman of our ecclesiastical council in Ghana, sent a note about their new church plant. He wrote: Following initial contacts made from a group located at the Buduburam Refugee Camp, a church has started for the mainly Liberian refugees and other residents of the Buduburam community near Kasoa. A church hall has been leased for the next three years for the group, and plans are far advanced to purchase the property and its associated land for the church. Donations of chairs, food and clothing are being received from the various church areas for the use of the refugees, who now are faced with a serious dilemma. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) is currently pulling out its activities there and has made a number of efforts to repatriate the refugees back home to their countries. Those who opt to stay will receive no more funding and will be on their own. They will therefore need a lot of support to integrate them into mainstream Ghanaian society. The group is very vibrant, energetic and fired up with the love of Christ. At the December Youth Camp, four of their youths who attended requested for and received baptism. Twenty-three of their adult group are also undergoing counseling for baptism. Another development that occurred is the adoption of the group by Mr. William Akoto and Mrs. Ernestina Akoto, who now regularly worship with them and take turns to bring sermons to them. They have also been instrumental in seeing the group established and have been donating various gifts, clothing and food to the group.

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Colombia

From Hector Barrero:

Hector and Paulina Barrero conducted a seminar on February 13-16 for our Barranquilla congregation on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Our congregation is pastored by Sonia Orozco and it was great to see that 70 people attended and there were three baptisms. We are happy to see that congregation growing. Attached are a few pictures including two of the seminar, and members of the same family baptized: grandmother, daughter and grandchild, as well as the Orozco family.

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You’re Included

Michael Feazell, Tony Murphy, Nathan Smith, and I traveled to Scotland for the Thomas F. Torrance Conference at St. Andrews University, and to interview some of the Trinitarian theologians. James Henderson, John and Phil Halford met us to assist in the interview set-up and taping. So far, we have interviews with Alan Torrance and Trevor Hart. We hope to complete 12 -15 interviews.


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