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August 2008

 
 

pastor's page

August 2008


People invented words only for the things they considered real, for the things they wanted to express. When the Son of God, Jesus Christ, came on earth as a Savior, He wanted to communicate to people about the things of God, the spiritual, heavenly things, but there were no words defining these realities. This sad reality unveils the real priorities and values of a community’s life. For this reason, the Bible abounds in using figures of speech, and some of the most common are the parable and the comparison. The parables used by Lord Jesus in His sermons are imaginary happenings with one central truth, stories that are presented in the context of that time’s customs and culture, according to the thinking patterns of that generation. The parable is putting a known things next to an unknown thing in order to understand the latter better by comparing the two.

One of men’s greatest difficulties is understanding what the Church is as a divine-human institution established by the Savior. In the Romanian culture, the Church is often mistaken for the building where the Orthodox priest holds religious services. This sad reality emphasizes the religious trait that characterizes the Romanian nation. The Bible says that when two or three people gather in the name of Jesus Christ, they for a Church. The Savior’s purpose was not to build religious edifices, for He came into the world for man, while man offers Him buildings. The Church is a divine-human institution because it is the place where God meets man. The Church is both divine and human, both holy and unholy. It is divine and holy because of God’s presence in it, and it is human and unholy because of man’s presence in it.

The spiritual relationship between man and God is compared, for a better understanding, with the relationship between a husband and his wife. Just as there is interest, respect, communication, profound love, forgiveness, and unity between a husband and his wife, so there should be between man and God. And just as in the absence of the things mentioned above we cannot speak of a family relationship, rather only about cheap adventures, similarly, if these things are absent, we cannot talk about a spiritual relationship between man and God.

One of the components in a family relationship is unity – the partners complete each other, they do not compete with each other. If one of the partners is in opposition, in an intentional manner, what kind of family would that be? The human democracy which abolished the divine theocracy, the sick competition spirit which destroyed a healthy partnership have initiated and promoted the idea of opposition inside a family or a team. This theology does not belong to God, but to the devil. The role model of a team for us is the Holy Trinity – what kind of opposition is there between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit? That’s exactly how much opposition there should be in a family or in a team. The sick secularized theology not only ruined the family and brotherly unity in the local church, but it also wants to make it official by accepting this philosophy of opposition. Unity does not exclude freedom of opinion, but it does exclude the fleshly intention of being against all things all the time. Dear brothers, complete each other, do not compete with each other!

August 31, 2008

The communication between people reflects their priorities, values, wishes, and experiences. This is why the human vocabulary developed according to the realities of life. Nothing can express more clearly the lifestyle of a man, a family, a society than… vocabulary. If there are many religious words in a people’s language, this demonstrates the priority of religion in its daily life; if, on the contrary, tits vocabulary abounds in curses and bad jokes, this demonstrates the presence of paganism.

Approximately two thousand years ago, John the Baptist appeared on the scene of history, announcing the coming into the world of the Savior sent by God. John was announcing that the Savior would bring good news to men, freedom, peace and blessing from God. This was a reference point for the history of the Hebrew people and for all other nations, as all of them were looking forward to seeing what the future would bring.

When He started His mission, the Savior taught the people that they must repent for the kingdom of God would come. Those who accepted the message of repentance by faith, were born again, were filled with the Holy Spirit and became the Church of God. Generation after generation of believers was added to this Church, until today. The Church is like a bride, and Savior Jesus Christ is like a bride groom. The church is established, promoted, protected, and blessed by Jesus Christ for he is the head of the Church. This divine-human institution was founded on the belief that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of men (Matthew 16:16,18). No man can become part of Jesus` spiritual body, which is the Church, without accepting Jesus Christ`s position as God and Savior. This means that these men accept the existence of the Devil as God`s and men`s enemy. Also, they accept the fact that they are sinners and that they would have to bear the consequences of sin in the eternal hell. They believe that by repentance they regret the sin, confess it and abandon it by the power of God. They believe that they receive a spiritual regeneration by being born again, an act that takes place through the power of the divine Word and the Holy Spirit. These people believe that they are placed and renewed in Christ, who is the head of His Church.

In conclusion, the Church is formed of all the people of all times who were regenerated and lived holy lives by faith in God and repentance of sin. These people dwell in the dimension of God`s Spirit, they hate sin and always seek righteousness. They love Christ, their Lord, follow Him, and obey Him in all things.

In His Universal Church, formed of local communities scattered all over th e earth, Christ has called, empowered, and delegated certain people who serve the brotherly community. Their method of service is to use, in love, the gifts, the ministries, and the things of the Spirit. Their purpose is calling, edifying, guiding, consolidating, and comforting the Body of Christ. These servants can produce deep wounds in the spiritual body of Christ when, instead of serving with love and meekness, they try to lead and master over the Church, exaggerating in the authority given to them. At the same time, by negligence and carelessness, they can forget their responsibilities towards the Lord`s Bride. Thus, they do not provide her with protection, nourishment, and holy care. The Church is the place where heaven meets the earth in a hymn of reconciliation, of outpouring of divine love upon guilty and undeserving people. In this Church, there will always be present both God`s holiness, due to His presence, and man`s weakness, caused by man`s presence. The divine ideal is not weakness but rather power, righteousness, and glory. This is the godly goal each regenerated person is called to. The human nature is dominated by sin, which makes the regeneration process a must, because it brings a new nature and it crucifies the old nature. The new man in Christ must grow, mature, and become useful in God`s Kingdom.