. The impact of Covid-19 on the church

THE IMPACT OF COVID19 ON THE CHURCH


The COVID-19 challenge is unprecedented. It has caused enormous trauma, disrupted economies, social life, mass transportation, work and employment, supply chains, leisure, sport, international relations, academic programmes; literally everything. Churches and religious communities have not been spared; they have been severely affected and, in all likelihood, permanently transformed by the pandemic. Churches alongside other gatherings have been placed under lockdown or have been limited in the amount of people than can gather. This caused major challenges and tore into the heart of God’s people. The pre-COVID-19 world is gone, replaced by a ‘new normal’. The new landscape calls for both resilience and adaptation, embracing new ways of doing things and of being church. Churches must adapt; they must ask themselves questions about the implications for being church in this ‘new normal’ context.


Many churches turned to electronic platforms to reach their members and this has given a faster and inevitable rise to the digital church. This has had a good effect that more people were exposed to good teaching, but sadly many have embraced bad teaching while lacking discernment. At Logos we started daily devotions, the true impact still to be seen. It calls for 15 minutes a day and life tells us that many struggle to put that time aside. Those who have been able to do that, have been greatly blessed and talk of growth. So, we had to adjust to digital worship, digital sacraments, digital sermons, digital giving, and digital mission.

 

Despite all I have just said, there are at least two things that remain. The one is seen in  Matthew 16:18 (ESV) 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.


Christ has not been caught off guard and remains the author and the finisher of our faith, and He will build His church, and will walk amongst His Golden Lamp stands. Corona can cause harm, but it can also purify the church, and those in the faith will keep going on while others might fall away.

The other thing is that the nature of the church will never change. While we must adapt or die, we will always be true to the nature of the church. This we see in part in 1 Timothy 3:14-15 (ESV) 14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”


This I want to unpack for the rest of this sermon.

Firstly, we are the household of God.

“15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God,…”

Paul is writing to Timothy, who was the pastor of Ephesus, so this church is in mind. They did not have the Corona virus, but had their own fair share of political challenges, as well as rampant idolatry in the worship of Diana. Ephesus was a church that was close to Paul’s heart to the point that he spent three years with them, teaching from house to house, and training leaders for them. We are the household of God, and not a Cyber family.


While he was with them, he taught them things they should know. Now that he is gone, he is still concerned about what they should know. This knowledge by the way is not just a simple ethereal (unearthly) knowing, it is not just cognitive knowing, it is a knowing in the sense that you have the skill to do what you know, "that you may know how to behave." The Greek word eido {i-do'} or oida {oy'-da} carries a meaning of being able to “ascertain what must be done about, that which we know.” So, it is not simply good enough to be a church who knows things, but we must be a church who knows what to do with what we know, and how to do it properly. All the knowledge without the appropriate deeds means nothing at the end of the day.


Now even though my challenge is towards our lives in general, Paul has something more specific in mind. He is talking about behaviour in the household of God, or the house of God. The word for household comes from oikos {oy'-kos} which can mean house or all the persons forming a family. Now we all know that according to Peter we are living stones being built up into a holy temple, which makes us the house of God. But in this section the latter is in mind here, namely how we conduct ourselves in the family of God as a household and not just a house.


Today, I have good news for you, and I have bad news for you. The good news is that we are a family; the bad news is that we are a family.  The bad news is that family members often hurt one another, disappoint one another, neglect one another and that happens in the family of God as well. As born-again people we are birthed by the Holy Spirit into the same family and we belong together until death us do part. And in the same way as the family has rules and there is an accepted conduct, so in the family of God there is an accepted conduct. All we know about being family of God must be applied. We are not distant relatives of one another as God is the source of our belonging, He is the Father of the house, we are all children, and we obey Him. Covid can keep family members separate for a while, but they will always come back together again.


Church family, do you realise that you belong to the divine family?  The metaphor of family is so close to the bone that Paul even says earlier in Timothy that you do not appoint a man as an elder if he cannot rule his own family well. Being family places a tremendous responsibility for conduct when you look at yourself as belonging to God.  So, the whole epistle then is instruction on how to behave as the family of God. Order starts with the leadership, that is why he specifically identifies Timothy.  Now that puts Christian conduct and Christian behaviour at a high level, doesn't it?  We are called to this kind of behaviour to be consistent with who we are.  You are in the family, which means that your responsibility towards the family is of critical importance. The family is never made up of one member or two, it is all of us, and all of us must take ownership of the household. Let me say this. The church was the family of God, the household of God, before Corona virus and it is still the family of God during and after Coronavirus, and that responsibility and right we must fight for. I say again, we are not a cyber family despite the benefits it gives us.


Remember Ephesians 5:1 says, "Walk in love as dear children of God." We are dear children of God and so we are to walk as Christ who is God walked and He walked in love.  We are to behave in a way consistent with our family identification.


Secondly, We are the church of the living God.


15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God,

Another way to translate this, which draws the meaning home is to remind us as the family of God that we are not idol worshippers, we are not man worshippers, we are not denominational worshippers, we are ‘the Living God’s Church.’ So, we are not just the household of God, but we are the Living God’s Church, we are His assembly, we are His People, we are His ecclesia, which means we are His called-out ones.


There is much talk about a Great Reset, a New World order, where government and Big Tech thinks for you, speaks for you, decides for you. Just look at what is happening in the USA now. The government aided by Big Tech is trying to eliminate free speech, they have changed the way you refer to sexes, it is no longer man or woman, but people, some want to talk about birthparent and coparent, you no longer breastfeed but chest feed depending on the make-up of partners, abortion is now called reproductive care. The goal is to take God, and God’s order out of things, to silence the church.


No matter what, God is alive, He is on the throne, He will vindicate the death of His Son who died on the cross, You see this back in the Old Testament in Joshua 3:10 (ESV)10 And Joshua said, “Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites.”


Even when David stood up against Goliath and the Philistines it was because they defied the armies of the Living God. This is central in the Old Testament. Psalm 42:2 (ESV)2 My soul thirsts for God (not just any God), for the living God. Psalm 84:2 (ESV) “2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. Jeremiah 10:10 (ESV) “10 But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.” Daniel 6:26 (ESV) 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end.”


So, the Old Testament then makes much, and those are only some samples, of God as the living God, as opposed to dead idols.  How wonderful in this city of Ephesus, this little assembly of believers existing, as it were, as an island in a sea of paganism and cultic worship of dead idols was the assembly of the living God.  All around them were those who worshiped dead idols. The main idol of Ephesus was Diana, her female name, Artemis, his male name, the god of Ephesus.  Those people belonged to that pagan cult and worship a dead idol, they are the assembly of a dead idol, but you and I are the assembly of the living God.


And so, Paul makes much of Timothy's and the other believers identification.  And, people, at the bottom line of our behaviour, at the bottom line of our conduct is that we represent the living God, that we are in the household of the living God.  And therefore, we are to conduct ourselves in a way that is consistent with the one whose name and image we bear.  When people look at us in and around Polokwane, do they see idol worshippers or do they see the household of the Living God, people who are committed, faithful, disciplined, punctual, worshipful and God exalting in all we do?


Thirdly, We are the pillar and buttress (support) of truth.


15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.

Some translations say that we are the pillar and foundation of truth.


If you want to know what the church is, that is it.  We are the pillar and buttress or foundation of the truth.  This is a wonderful designation and would have vivid imagery to the Ephesians and to Timothy, for in the heart of the city of Ephesus was the Temple of Diana, or the Temple of Artemis as I mentioned under my previous point.  Let me tell you a little about it. It was an incredible piece of architecture, huge, massive, buttress, bulwarking foundations laid on the bottom of it.  And rising to support the roof were 127 pillars, supporting the tremendously heavy structure of the roof.  The pillars were made of solid marble, studded with jewels, and overlaid with gold.  Each of those pillars was a gift from a king and represented the nobility of the one who gave the pillar.  It was a tribute to the one it represented. Now capturing some of that vivid imagery in the minds of those people, Paul transitions to the church which as far as architecture goes in actual physical buildings did not probably have much to speak of, if anything, in Ephesus but in fact was the foundation and the pillar that held up the truth.  As that foundation in the Temple of Diana and those pillars were a testimony to error and lies and paganism and cultic false religion, the church is to be the living support of the truth.


If you want to know why the church exists, you can sum it up very simply, ‘it is to hold up the truth of God.’ That is what we are all about.  That is it. Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp might silence you, You-tube might silence you or fact check you. We are not the pillar of government, we are not the pillar of denominationalism, we are not the pillar of tradition, we are not the pillar of preconceived ideas, we are not the pillar of brainwashed information, we are the pillar of truth. It is not the church who makes the truth, we just support it.  We just hold it up.  It is God who reveals it, we have it, but it is not our own, it is come from above, we cannot alter it, we cannot modify it, our job is to safeguard it.  It is a sacred treasure given to us for the glory of God, and the good of men, we must hold it as our most precious treasure.


And so, we are as a church very simply placed in the world to hold up the truth.  Isn't that wonderful?  You see, that is what is so terrible about churches that abandon the truth.  That is what is so terrible about churches that deny the inerrancy, the authenticity, the authority of the Word of God, what existence do they have?  What justification?  We are to hold up the truth.  The function, responsibility, mission of every Christian, every congregation is to support, safeguard, uphold the truth of God's revealed Word which is His saving truth.


Truth is not our manmade ideas. Even if you call yourself a prophet of God and claimed to hear from God, God’s sure word is what stands. I am amazed at the great prophets in America. All of them prophesied a Donald Trump victory, and they all were wrong. Either God lied, or they lied. We all know who did not lie, right?


So how can we as a body uphold the truth in a practical manner? What conduct on our behalf will aid us in conducting ourselves properly regarding the truth in the household of God? Let me give you eight little practical things to set it in your minds.  I am not going to take time to substantiate all of it with Scripture, but it is important to know this.


Firstly, by hearing it.

Secondly, by memorizing it.  It is not enough to just hear it; you've got to have it in your memory.

Thirdly, by meditating on it.

Fourthly, by studying it.  We all know 2 Timothy 2:15 in this regard. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

Fifthly, holding up the truth means obeying it.  Luke 11:28 (ESV) 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Sixthly, we are upholding the truth in the church by defending it. The truth is always attacked.  Jude says we must contend for the faith. People are always coming against the truth and we need to be able to defend that.

Seventhly, by living it. Colossians 3:16 (ESV) 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

The Eighth and last one is to proclaim it. Philippians 2:15-16 (ESV) 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labour in vain.”


We are in this world the foundation and the pillar that holds up the truth.  What a great mission we have.  Isn't it?  What a wonderful calling we have.

Coronavirus does not define the church, God does. No matter what trial, what pandemic, what war, what catastrophe can be thrown at us. Brother and sister realise this. The church of God is alive and well. We are the living God's family, the living God's assembly, and our primary task on behalf of the living God whom we serve is to hold up His truth, to hold it up faithfully.  And that means by diligently pursuing it, by living it and by proclaiming it, to sum up those eight things that I gave you.


The greatest issue facing the church today and always is not the Coronavirus, but the battle for the authority of the Scripture. It is always that.  It comes in different forms.  There are all different ways the Bible is attacked, but it is always under attack.  Some even attack its authority under the guise of protecting its authority, but it is more their own traditions they are concerned about. This has been the battle in the Garden of Eden, ‘did God really say?’, let me fact check the truth for you, and so today, Satan has one goal in this world and that is to silence God. May we not play into Hid hands. As Logos, we exist in this world to hold forth the Word of life as lights shining in a dark world.  That is our calling and let us remain faithful to that.


Let us as a family therefore join hands as the household of God, as the church of the living God and let us demonstrate our commitment to the truth.

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church:- 28 February 2021

 

THE IMPACT OF COVID19 ON THE CHURCH

The COVID-19 challenge is unprecedented. It has caused enormous trauma, disrupted economies, social life, mass transportation, work and employment, supply chains, leisure, sport, international relations, academic programmes; literally everything. Churches and religious communities have not been spared; they have been severely affected and, in all likelihood, permanently transformed by the pandemic. Churches alongside other gatherings have been placed under lockdown or have been limited in the amount of people than can gather. This caused major challenges and tore into the heart of God’s people. The pre-COVID-19 world is gone, replaced by a ‘new normal’. The new landscape calls for both resilience and adaptation, embracing new ways of doing things and of being church. Churches must adapt; they must ask themselves questions about the implications for being church in this ‘new normal’ context.

Many churches turned to electronic platforms to reach their members and this has given a faster and inevitable rise to the digital church. This has had a good effect that more people were exposed to good teaching, but sadly many have embraced bad teaching while lacking discernment. At Logos we started daily devotions, the true impact still to be seen. It calls for 15 minutes a day and life tells us that many struggle to put that time aside. Those who have been able to do that, have been greatly blessed and talk of growth. So, we had to adjust to digital worship, digital sacraments, digital sermons, digital giving, and digital mission.

Despite all I have just said, there are at least two things that remain. The one is seen in Matthew 16:18 (ESV) 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Christ has not been caught off guard and remains the author and the finisher of our faith, and He will build His church, and will walk amongst His Golden Lamp stands. Corona can cause harm, but it can also purify the church, and those in the faith will keep going on while others might fall away.

The other thing is that the nature of the church will never change. While we must adapt or die, we will always be true to the nature of the church. This we see in part in 1 Timothy 3:14-15 (ESV) 14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”

This I want to unpack for the rest of this sermon.

Firstly, we are the household of God.

“15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God,…”

Paul is writing to Timothy, who was the pastor of Ephesus, so this church is in mind. They did not have the Corona virus, but had their own fair share of political challenges, as well as rampant idolatry in the worship of Diana. Ephesus was a church that was close to Paul’s heart to the point that he spent three years with them, teaching from house to house, and training leaders for them. We are the the household of God, and not a Cyber family.

While he was with them, he taught them things they should know. Now that he is gone, he is still concerned about what they should know. This knowledge by the way is not just a simple ethereal (unearthly) knowing, it is not just cognitive knowing, it is a knowing in the sense that you have the skill to do what you know, "that you may know how to behave." The Greek word eido {i-do'} or oida {oy'-da} carries a meaning of being able to “ascertain what must be done about, that which we know.” So, it is not simply good enough to be a church who knows things, but we must be a church who knows what to do with what we know, and how to do it properly. All the knowledge without the appropriate deeds means nothing at the end of the day.

Now even though my challenge is towards our lives in general, Paul has something more specific in mind. He is talking about behaviour in the household of God, or the house of God. The word for household comes from oikos {oy'-kos} which can mean house or all the persons forming a family. Now we all know that according to Peter we are living stones being built up into a holy temple, which makes us the house of God. But in this section the latter is in mind here, namely how we conduct ourselves in the family of God as a household and not just a house.

Today, I have good news for you, and I have bad news for you. The good news is that we are a family; the bad news is that we are a family.  The bad news is that family members often hurt one another, disappoint one another, neglect one another and that happens in the family of God as well. As born-again people we are birthed by the Holy Spirit into the same family and we belong together until death us do part. And in the same way as the family has rules and there is an accepted conduct, so in the family of God there is an accepted conduct. All we know about being family of God must be applied. We are not distant relatives of one another as God is the source of our belonging, He is the Father of the house, we are all children, and we obey Him. Covid can keep family members separate for a while, but they will always come back together again.

Church family, do you realise that you belong to the divine family?  The metaphor of family is so close to the bone that Paul even says earlier in Timothy that you do not appoint a man as an elder if he cannot rule his own family well. Being family places a tremendous responsibility for conduct when you look at yourself as belonging to God.  So, the whole epistle then is instruction on how to behave as the family of God. Order starts with the leadership, that is why he specifically identifies Timothy.  Now that puts Christian conduct and Christian behaviour at a high level, doesn't it?  We are called to this kind of behaviour to be consistent with who we are.  You are in the family, which means that your responsibility towards the family is of critical importance. The family is never made up of one member or two, it is all of us, and all of us must take ownership of the household. Let me say this. The church was the family of God, the household of God, before Corona virus and it is still the family of God during and after Coronavirus, and that responsibility and right we must fight for. I say again, we are not a cyber family despite the benefits it gives us.

Remember Ephesians 5:1 says, "Walk in love as dear children of God." We are dear children of God and so we are to walk as Christ who is God walked and He walked in love.  We are to behave in a way consistent with our family identification.

Secondly, We are the church of the living God.

15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God,

Another way to translate this, which draws the meaning home is to remind us as the family of God that we are not idol worshippers, we are not man worshippers, we are not denominational worshippers, we are ‘the Living God’s Church.’ So, we are not just the household of God, but we are the Living God’s Church, we are His assembly, we are His People, we are His ecclesia, which means we are His called-out ones.

There is much talk about a Great Reset, a New World order, where government and Big Tech thinks for you, speaks for you, decides for you. Just look at what is happening in the USA now. The government aided by Big Tech is trying to eliminate free speech, they have changed the way you refer to sexes, it is no longer man or woman, but people, some want to talk about birthparent and coparent, you no longer breastfeed but chest feed depending on the make-up of partners, abortion is now called reproductive care. The goal is to take God, and God’s order out of things, to silence the church.

No matter what, God is alive, He is on the throne, He will vindicate the death of His Son who died on the cross, You see this back in the Old Testament in Joshua 3:10 (ESV)10 And Joshua said, “Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites.”

Even when David stood up against Goliath and the Philistines it was because they defied the armies of the Living God. This is central in the Old Testament. Psalm 42:2 (ESV)2 My soul thirsts for God (not just any God), for the living God. Psalm 84:2 (ESV) “2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. Jeremiah 10:10 (ESV) “10 But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.” Daniel 6:26 (ESV) 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end.”

So, the Old Testament then makes much, and those are only some samples, of God as the living God, as opposed to dead idols.  How wonderful in this city of Ephesus, this little assembly of believers existing, as it were, as an island in a sea of paganism and cultic worship of dead idols was the assembly of the living God.  All around them were those who worshiped dead idols. The main idol of Ephesus was Diana, her female name, Artemis, his male name, the god of Ephesus.  Those people belonged to that pagan cult and worship a dead idol, they are the assembly of a dead idol, but you and I are the assembly of the living God.

And so, Paul makes much of Timothy's and the other believers identification.  And, people, at the bottom line of our behaviour, at the bottom line of our conduct is that we represent the living God, that we are in the household of the living God.  And therefore, we are to conduct ourselves in a way that is consistent with the one whose name and image we bear.  When people look at us in and around Polokwane, do they see idol worshippers or do they see the household of the Living God, people who are committed, faithful, disciplined, punctual, worshipful and God exalting in all we do?

Thirdly, We are the pillar and buttress (support) of truth.

15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.

Some translations say that we are the pillar and foundation of truth.

If you want to know what the church is, that is it.  We are the pillar and buttress or foundation of the truth.  This is a wonderful designation and would have vivid imagery to the Ephesians and to Timothy, for in the heart of the city of Ephesus was the Temple of Diana, or the Temple of Artemis as I mentioned under my previous point.  Let me tell you a little about it. It was an incredible piece of architecture, huge, massive, buttress, bulwarking foundations laid on the bottom of it.  And rising to support the roof were 127 pillars, supporting the tremendously heavy structure of the roof.  The pillars were made of solid marble, studded with jewels, and overlaid with gold.  Each of those pillars was a gift from a king and represented the nobility of the one who gave the pillar.  It was a tribute to the one it represented. Now capturing some of that vivid imagery in the minds of those people, Paul transitions to the church which as far as architecture goes in actual physical buildings did not probably have much to speak of, if anything, in Ephesus but in fact was the foundation and the pillar that held up the truth.  As that foundation in the Temple of Diana and those pillars were a testimony to error and lies and paganism and cultic false religion, the church is to be the living support of the truth.

If you want to know why the church exists, you can sum it up very simply, ‘it is to hold up the truth of God.’ That is what we are all about.  That is it. Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp might silence you, You-tube might silence you or fact check you. We are not the pillar of government, we are not the pillar of denominationalism, we are not the pillar of tradition, we are not the pillar of preconceived ideas, we are not the pillar of brainwashed information, we are the pillar of truth. It is not the church who makes the truth, we just support it.  We just hold it up.  It is God who reveals it, we have it, but it is not our own, it is come from above, we cannot alter it, we cannot modify it, our job is to safeguard it.  It is a sacred treasure given to us for the glory of God, and the good of men, we must hold it as our most precious treasure.

And so, we are as a church very simply placed in the world to hold up the truth.  Isn't that wonderful?  You see, that is what is so terrible about churches that abandon the truth.  That is what is so terrible about churches that deny the inerrancy, the authenticity, the authority of the Word of God, what existence do they have?  What justification?  We are to hold up the truth.  The function, responsibility, mission of every Christian, every congregation is to support, safeguard, uphold the truth of God's revealed Word which is His saving truth.

Truth is not our manmade ideas. Even if you call yourself a prophet of God and claimed to hear from God, God’s sure word is what stands. I am amazed at the great prophets in America. All of them prophesied a Donald Trump victory, and they all were wrong. Either God lied, or they lied. We all know who did not lie, right?

So how can we as a body uphold the truth in a practical manner? What conduct on our behalf will aid us in conducting ourselves properly regarding the truth in the household of God? Let me give you eight little practical things to set it in your minds.  I am not going to take time to substantiate all of it with Scripture, but it is important to know this.

Firstly, by hearing it.

Secondly, by memorizing it.  It is not enough to just hear it; you've got to have it in your memory.

Thirdly, by meditating on it.

Fourthly, by studying it.  We all know 2 Timothy 2:15 in this regard. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

Fifthly, holding up the truth means obeying it.  Luke 11:28 (ESV) 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Sixthly, we are upholding the truth in the church by defending it. The truth is always attacked.  Jude says we must contend for the faith. People are always coming against the truth and we need to be able to defend that.

Seventhly, by living it. Colossians 3:16 (ESV) 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

The Eighth and last one is to proclaim it. Philippians 2:15-16 (ESV) 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labour in vain.”

We are in this world the foundation and the pillar that holds up the truth.  What a great mission we have.  Isn't it?  What a wonderful calling we have.

Coronavirus does not define the church, God does. No matter what trial, what pandemic, what war, what catastrophe can be thrown at us. Brother and sister realise this. The church of God is alive and well. We are the living God's family, the living God's assembly, and our primary task on behalf of the living God whom we serve is to hold up His truth, to hold it up faithfully.  And that means by diligently pursuing it, by living it and by proclaiming it, to sum up those eight things that I gave you.

The greatest issue facing the church today and always is not the Coronavirus, but the battle for the authority of the Scripture. It is always that.  It comes in different forms.  There are all different ways the Bible is attacked, but it is always under attack.  Some even attack its authority under the guise of protecting its authority, but it is more their own traditions they are concerned about. This has been the battle in the Garden of Eden, ‘did God really say?’, let me fact check the truth for you, and so today, Satan has one goal in this world and that is to silence God. May we not play into Hid hands. As Logos, we exist in this world to hold forth the Word of life as lights shining in a dark world.  That is our calling and let us remain faithful to that.

Let us as a family therefore join hands as the household of God, as the church of the living God and let us demonstrate our commitment to the truth.

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church:- 28 February 2021