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August 2018



August 2018

August 5

        Holy Communion is one of the ordinances of the Church. The Orthodox church calls them “sacred mysteries” and the Catholic church calls them “sacraments”. Because of their symbolism and the connotations that have evolved in time, but also to avoid a confusion in terms, we use the word ordinance (in Romanian, this is “act de cult”, directly translated to “acts of worship”). The ordinances are exterior forms through which we express our adoration, worship, or consecration to ministry before God. The ordinances, according to the Holy Scriptures are not sacramental means through which special grace is received. They are symbolic of a real spiritual work performed by the Holy Spirit of God in the life of His Church. In the New Testament we find a few ordinances that are fulfilled and commanded by the Lord Jesus: the Holy Communion, water baptism, washing of the feet, anointing with oil, and ordination of servants into ministry. In the Old Testament, several ordinances are seen that are not negated in the New Testament: marriage, child dedication, and the consecration of Houses of Prayer. The Holy Communion is presented in the New Testament as being a constant reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made, a proclamation of our trust that He will return, a communion with His body and His blood, a time for self-reflection and rededication, and not lastly, a way to strengthen the unity of the local church. What is the Holy Communion and why is it important?

     1. Communion is celebration. In the Old Testament, God instituted the celebration of Passover for the Hebrews, marking their exit from the Egyptian prison. This ceremony has lasted throughout history, but in the time of the celebration of Passover, the Lord Jesus changes the direction of the ceremony, instituting a new celebration that bears the Biblical name “The Lord’s Supper”, “Breaking of the Bread” … In this new celebration, the bread and the wine play an important role, but the bitter herbs and the lamb are not present.

       2. The Holy Communion is an examination. It is odd that of the twelve apostles, one of them betrayed Jesus for money. During the Communion, the Lord offers a sufficient time for self-examination, warning them that one of them would sell and betray Him. They all examined themselves, asking “Could it be me?” The only one who did not examine himself was Judas – his plan was already in place. In the moment he rejected the chance for repentance, the Bible says that Satan entered his heart.

      3. The Communion is a covenant. God, throughout history, made many covenants with men – with Noah, Abraham, Moses, with all those “born again through water and Spirit”. Jesus said to them, “this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you”. This is the covenant of salvation, made by Jesus between the Holy God and the sinful man. Just as the Passover was a covenant of liberation of the Jews from the Egyptian slavery, so is the Holy Communion the covenant of man’s freedom from the slavery of sin, through the body and blood of the Savior, symbolized by the bread and the wine. Holy Communion always has in its center the salvation act of Jesus Christ, who through His death gave us life.

     4. Communion is hope. The Hebrew Passover looked to the promised Canaan and to God, who after a long and complication journey, brought them to the promised land. Because of the Savior’s promise that He would celebrate Holy Communion with us in the Kingdom of God, this celebration becomes an expression of the hope of believers. The Lord, just as in the Old Testament, after a long and difficult journey, will bring the Church to the Promised Land.

August 12

        The majority of Christians often ask themselves the following question: What do I need to do after I am saved? Each one’s answer determines what kind of Christian they will be for the rest of their lives. Some of the people who attend church believe that God’s purpose is to rescue them from hell through the replacement death of Jesus Christ, but this is a humanist understanding of the divine purpose. God’s purpose in restoring humanity was based on the hope that these people would allow Him to create the likeness of Christ in them. “I have been crucified with Christ and yet I live…, but I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Many Christians do not have the courage to bring their old nature (worldly beings) to the judgment of Christ’s cross, reason for which they remain led by their sinful nature, even though they’ve been baptized and regularly attend church. The best examples are the two listed by Paul in Galatians 5:19-23. The first list described in verses 19-21 refers to the acts of the earthly being. These deeds represent the unsaved people, but after their conversion, and according to how they grow spiritually, born-again Christians need to eliminate them from their lives. The second list refers to the works of the Spirit – verses 22-23. Spiritual growth is defined by the presence and work of the Holy Spirit that bears the fruit of the Spirit in the life of the Christian:

1) According to the flesh, the old sinful nature (Romans 8:5a).

2) According to the call of the Lord, of the new nature in Christ (Romans 8:5b). There are many wrong concepts in regards to spiritual growth in Christ.

1) Spiritual maturity comes from within oneself.

2) It is only for Christians who serve in ministry.

3) It happens instantaneously in the moment of conversion.

4) It is directly proportional with their knowledge of the Bible. The Savior said: “You will know them by their fruit” (Matthew 7:16)

5) Maturity is a personal problem. Each born-again Christian is part of the Body of Christ, since Christianity is the religion of unity, of fellowship, of a spiritual relationship.

6) Spiritual maturity is realized only by studying the Bible. The truth is that spiritual maturity is a personal undertaking, it is a continuous process and it does not take place overnight, it develops the character and sanctifies the believing man. What resources do people have to grow spiritually? 1) The Holy Spirit was sent to help them.

2) God gave ministry workers to His Church: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up….” (Ephesians 4:11-15) 3) They need to use the spiritual armor:

A) Truth is like a weave.

B) Righteousness is like a platoon.

C) Footwear is like the passion for the Gospel.

D) Faith is like a shield.

E) Salvation is like a helmet.

F) The Spirit is like a sword.

     The evidence that we are his is given by the fact that we are like Him: “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’ “ (1 Peter 1:15-16). The hope that we will be with Him depends on our likeness to Him. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). The passing of time does not mature us spiritually, it just ages us. Spiritual maturity is the fruit of drawing near to God, of remaining filled and guided by the Holy Spirit, of self-denial and renouncement of the world.

August 19


       The Savior loved children, and showed His love for them and testified about their importance – in the family, society, and Church. No tribe or nation can survive for long without imparting their spiritual values, morals and culture to their children and grandchildren. 

Today society spends a lot of energy and resources for children and youth, but the true investment in their lives needs to be love, manifested through communication, affection, and the assurance of a solid and complex education, solidified for their bodies and souls. They need tenderness, understanding, teaching – something only adults can offer them. Oftentimes, the family goes through the Valley of Tears with a disobedient child, because the mutilations and scars caused by sin are much more tragic than those caused by illness or accidents.
       A child’s disobedience can come in many forms – from the simple neglect of parental wisdom, to “running away from home”. The simple fact that a young person goes to school, church and is intelligent and good-looking, is not enough of a guarantee that he will not be taken away by the waves of the world and struck by the boulders of life, by which he can be destroyed forever. The excess or complete lack of authority, the lack of understanding and communication, the lack of permanent education, the neglect or even domination of another person, are all reasons that drive young people to failure in their relationship with their families, the Church, God.
       A young person’s disobedience and rebellion are the message through which he tries to communicate his own desperation and drifting away. Through their attitude of disobedience, they punish their parents, trying to manipulate them with the suffering they are provoking. On the other hand, a young person’s disobedience is the painful manifestation of the true atmosphere in the family, a public declaration of what is happening in private.
        All of this hurt can be avoided by placing the child permanently under biblical education, under the divine presence of the Savior Jesus Christ. We are not doing our children any favors when we allow them to exit from the effect of biblical education, simply for the reasons that it is too difficult or because “today” the rules in education are different. God said that these laws are “for you, your children and your children’s children.”. We cannot achieve performance in our lives lived with the Lord without a difficult and arduous process of following the Gospel and trusting in the One who submitted himself completely to the divine will, making His entire human life an expression of obedience and dedication.  
      The children that the Lord has entrusted to us are our great responsibility, as well as our great love.