EbcosaPE

"Christ died  for our sins  according to the Scriptures,"

 

Leading in Ebcosa Today

The Churches We Must Become

No. 11: November 24, 2015

By Rev. Anthony G. Hartze Ebcosa National Chairman for 2015

Ph. +2711 472 8250 or +2778 246 9972 Email: florida@ebcosa.org.za

 

This monthly communique is four days late due to my losing all my email addresses. I praise God that I have retrieved most of them. This communique is a plea to all Ebcosa churches, especially their leaders. This plea is an edited elaboration of a plea I made to Ebcosa Florida in our 15 November 2015, bulletin entitled “The Church We Must Become.”  In order to become the churches that we must be I offer you three weekly kinds of events every one of our churches must have in order to become the churches we ought to be.

 

1.     Firstly, our local churches’ must become churches that celebrate the Lord’s Day in truth. This is possible when their members become faithful, loyal and zealous celebrants of our churches’ Sunday Lord’s Day corporate gatherings (dare I say with Roman Catholic zeal—they hardly miss the celebration of their weekly mass). Our celebration of the Lord’s Day ought to be our greatest event of the week. What do we celebrate at this event? It is primarily a celebration of Christ’s resurrection—He arose on the first day of the week. Christ’s resurrection harks back to God who gave Christ for our salvation and who raised Him from the dead. Thus we celebrate who God is in all of His indescribable being, what He has done for us in Christ, what He does for us daily, and so forth. It is a celebration of praise, thanksgiving and gratitude to God for our “great salvation.” And we do so with deep inner emotion (an emotion that exceeds any other thrill in life) through the singing, praying, Bible teaching and so forth. When we leave the celebration we must have had a Holy Spirit-filling encounter with God—our hearts must “burn within us.” In cases where we “neglect the assembling of ourselves as the manner of some is” (Heb. 10:25) for untenable reasons (especially the new classical reason—“I was at church with the TV preacher today”) we do not fully understand nor appreciate the nature of the Church and Almighty God. We are ungrateful for the privilege of knowing Him and being in spiritual social union with other believers. Every Ebcosa local church must become a worshipping church.

2.     Secondly, the members of our local churches must love to study the Bible because God has “magnified His Word above His name” (Psa. 138:2b). Also, it is a time for us to “speak the truth in love” so that we will grow up into Christ (Eph. 4:11-16). On Sunday mornings we listen to expository preaching and teaching as we come to audio grips with the message of the Bible. At Bible study we actively talk about different topics in the Bible. Without knowing what the message of the Bible is we cannot explore its many topics. Through topical Bible studies we strive to deepen our understanding of God, our salvific relationship with Christ and all that God expects of us as Christians. In this way we receive the mind of God and Christ which prevents us and our local churches from resorting to human thinking in everything we say or do, both as individuals and as local churches. Every Ebcosa local church must become a Bible-learning church.

3.     Thirdly, we must become local churches that gather together for corporate prayer. Prayer is essentially our response to God’s Word. At corporate prayer we should readily respond in prayer to God’s Word which we learn from the Sunday pulpit and the Bible studies. Whatever we hear and learn from the pulpit and Bible study we pray about it so “God’s will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.” And if ever there is a time in history when there is a need for God’s heavenly will to be done on earth, it is now. Another dimension of prayer is that it is humble dependence upon God. The more we depend upon God the more we develop in our relationship with Him. We depend upon Him to show us what He willed in heaven for us in eternity past, through His answer to our prayers. And we depend upon Him for our daily earthly living as well as that of our entire world. Every Ebcosa local church must become a praying church.

When we are fanatical about these three events and participate in them with faithful and loyal spiritual fanaticism we will experience Christ-like formation in which people will see we are the Gospel. The ones who must model commitment to these three “must becomes” for our local churches are our leaders, beginning with the main leadership teams of our churches, right down to every designated leader. If our leaders fail to lead in this by example Ebcosa is in big trouble, now, and in the days to come.  

Talk to you again next month, God-willing.


Leading in EBCOSA today no:1              Leading in EBCOSA today no:2

Leading in EBCOSA today no.7             Leading in EBCOSA today no.8

Leading in EBCOSA today no.9             Leading in EBCOSA today no.10