"Blessed are the pure of heart, they shall see God." Matthew5,8
"He who loves his brother abides in light and there is no cause stumbling in him." 1John2,10 KJ
"And he looked around in a circle as those who sat about him, and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother, and my sisters and mother." Mark3,34-35 KJ
"We love because he first loved us. If anyone says 'I love God, yet hates his brother he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother who he has seen cannot love God who he has not seen. And he has given us the command: whoever loves God must also love his brother." 1John4,19-21 NIV 1995
Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?
If so- rejoice! Not only have you been born again (cf John3,5) but by the Holy Spirit of God- living in you and all the faithful. You have also gained a myriad of brothers and sisters in the faith, here and now, near and far, in the future kingdom too, from all around God's earth. (And as the Word says "the just will inherit the earth!") Praise the Lord!
Since our fellowship with each other is within one body, through one Spirit, aimed toward one eternal hope via our One Lord, one faith, one baptism and one father (Ephesians4,4-6), we don't believe that one person is more important than another among God's people.
We believe this from the Word of God and from the experience of supernatural fellowship- solidarity, which is part of worshipping Jesus in Spirit and truth. We believe this and aim to live it regardless of anyone's social standing or Holy Spirit gifts or offices in Jesus' church (as to offices they are service oriented and neither hierarchical nor territorial (Ephesians4,11, Revelation2,6 and 15).
We are all God's one new gospel people (both Jew and gentile), called and chosen, His royal and universal priesthood, all called to proclaim Jesus and the miraculous good news of our salvation (1Peter2,8-9) through our one Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
So if we are supernatural brothers and sisters by our faith in Jesus, and now serve in his called out community- His qahal- by what biblical principles should we interact with each other and do Zion Pentecost Mission?
Using the beautitudes as our guide- and other New Testament scriptures- our threshold principles of how we are to treat each other would look something like this:
1. We want the best for all our brothers and sisters and act accordingly;
2. we encourage each other to greater faith and confidence in God and pray for each other;
3. 'be ye separate'- ie be ye holy as Jesus is holy- seven days a week.
This means we do not bow to, ie worship, any idol or idols in our lives.
(An idol is anything, anyone, any present or past "teacher", any entity, any false cult, any representation, any notion, any non biblical ideology or spirituality, any object or non biblical attachment, anything material or immaterial, anything real or imagined, that by design or effect- or by our ignorance of the whole scriptures and the whole gospel- replaces our Word based worship and Word based faith allegiance and Word based covenantal service that is reserved to Jesus alone.)
In practical terms this means we actually leave behind (and or step aside from) the ways and means of the fallen world, the devil and the flesh, and any former vain conversation including the baneful hyper materialism and hyper egotism that always props oneself up at the expense of others. In doing so, we reject, wherever we see it, all that is worldly, false and corrupt, all that tears down our common humanity and the blessed Holy Ghost fellowship and freedom that Jesus' saving death on Calvary purchased for us all;
4. refrain from the spiritual uglies- judging, gossip, breaking confidences, calumny, character assasination, rumor mongering, cursing, accusing, hating, flirting with married people, bullying etc;
5. love each other as we love ourselves and take comfort and joy as God builds us all up in further likeness to Him;
6. go out of our way to welcome folks who might not immediately fit in;
7. set a standard of faith and practice whereby God's faithfulness and Spirit molds us and teaches us individually and also as a group learning scripture as one;
8. be open to the call of the Lord to adult water baptism by immersion as our public confession of faith and covenantal committment to Jesus, his Word, His gospel service, His Way, Life and Truth, and to the proclamation of salvation in His Name.
Blessed Be His Brothers And Sisters!
This Jesus first and Jesus way of treating our brothers and sisters is certainly a standard of excellence in faithing and living that will not be easy. But the Word tells us we are made in His Spiritual image and likeness, and that each of us has particular gift(s), that each of us is a new creation, and that each of us is filled with His hope and the Holy Spirit.
And the fact is Jesus shows us His excellent standards and His all around excellence when we approach him and others with a pure heart. He shows us His excellence every time He answers our prayer and the prayers of others (answers that are just right every time), and every time he furthers our knowledge according to the revelation of His Word, and every time he shows us His ongoing forgiveness and His ongoing love and forberance and ever firm gentleness.
Because we are inspired by Jesus' excellence, his excelling goodness, and particularly the all surpassing excellence of His love for us and all people, proved on Calvary's cross, we are compelled by his love and Spirit to give our whole heart to him and to the gospel, and thereby compelled also to aim for excellence in how we treat our brothers and sisters in the faith. Oh Jesus we pray in your mighty Name that your excellence of Spirit and your compelling love and your great and miraculous faith, our like precious faith, your standard of faith, would so overflow in us that we would raise our standards to your standard as to how you would have us treat our brothers and sisters in the faith, and all others too!
We turn in closing to another great promise of blessedness to those who with a whole heart seek and live his standards, his testimonies:
"Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, all that seek him with a whole heart." Psalm119,2 KJ
Oh glory Jesus! Our overfowing salvation cup, our shared and precious faith makes all things possible, even unto treating our brothers and sisters, and all folks, with actions and kindness that are something akin to your standard of excellence.
WHOLE HEART- WHOLE GOSPEL- TO THE WHOLE WORLD
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...