11 Jun 2017

Church in unity

On June 11 at the Sunday service of “Philadelphia” church, Izhevsk senior pastor Pavel Zhelnovakov preached on the church as a united community, established by God and bearing His light. The church is an organism and as in any other organism no organ could stand aside and claim: “I am the part of the organism but I have my own opinion”. This simply does not happen – the organism always acts in unity, being indivisible, having one aim and knowing how to reach it without any democratic votes. The church is established by God and, as it is written in the Bible, Christ is the head of the church. Aims and means, times and dates, causes and consequences – everything in the church is determined by God’s action and design.

In Joshua’s times when Hebrews waged a war against foreign lands there was a call from God: “But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.” (Joshua 6:18-19). In one of the battles up to 36 Hebrews died though the Israelites hoped that they would not have any toll. When Joshua asked God why it had happened, He answered that one of the people had sinned – he took a part of the devoted things and hid it. After an investigation it turned out that a certain Achan “saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels”, “coveted them and took them” and then hid them in the ground inside his tent (Joshua 7). This simple human slyness, greed, “the lust of the eyes” led to a toll of 36 human lives for the Israelites! Nowadays we get our lessons by less damaging ways. Nevertheless the Lord taught His people obedience, faithfulness and unity – the things that His people often forgot to take along with them, waking up and leaving their homes in the morning.

The pastor reminded the church that the history of the Israelites presents images for us; it teaches us laws established by the Lord. Now we are His church and we are called to be a united organism, avoiding divisions, caring about church members and taking part in their joy and grief. “The church must be the embodiment of peaceful relationships,” – the pastor concluded.

At the Sunday service pastors Vladimir Batalov and Valery Pikulev were congratulated on their birthdays. May God’s peace be in their hearts and give them even more hope and faith for sacrificial serving in the church.

Egor Gvozdikov


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