Our vision, "Learning Christ Together"
What do you say to a church in lockdown? God spoke to his people in exile in the last part of the Old Testament and to an apostle in exile at the end of the New Testament. I believe God speaks to us today in our situation as we face an uncertain future living in Greater Sydney. Let’s continue to hear from our Father through our theme, “Life in the Name of Jesus” in July. Let’s be reminded that this theme is based on Apostle John’s purpose in writing the book of John as stated in John 21:30-31, “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
So, how do we disciple each other when we cannot even meet together face-to-face? Half the New Testament is in the form of letters addressed to churches who are spread out all over the known world at that time. We have proven time and again that the church is people, not buildings. This is more evident during this time of lockdown where we are not allowed to meet in our church building/auditorium. Our worship services have been forced to do livestream in the past couple of Sundays and those leading our worship services have to resort to Zoom or livestream through Facebook group, PBC Connect.
Jesus’ first miracle in John 2 of turning water into wine begins the idea of “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”. Chapters 2-4 of John present the replacement of the old ways of being cleansed with Jesus as the way to the kingdom of God, “the old temple by the new in the risen Lord, an exposition of new birth for new creation, a contrast between the water of Jacob’s well and the living water from Christ, and the worship of Jerusalem and Gerizim with worship ‘in Spirit and in truth,’” (Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel). This short theme for July culminates with the message of “True Worshippers” in John 4, as we celebrate our church anniversary.
In the past few months, our theme was “Maturing as Human Beings”, based on the Sermon on the Mount. This was followed by the theme -“All Power is Given in Earth and In Heaven”, based on John 14 and Revelation 21 passage about the Holy Spirit and the coming “spring of the water of life”. Pentecost marked the coming of the Holy Spirit being poured on God’s people, the church. Again, the Holy Spirit gives us the power for obeying from the heart all the teachings of the Lord and having “Life in the Name of Jesus.” Please keep in mind this augmented summary from all the previous themes:
Jesus fulfilled/completed or consummated the Law and the Prophets; and therefore, the sign that one belongs to the kingdom of Christ is a righteousness that exceeds the Pharisees. This whole-being righteousness and behavior includes heart obedience that conforms to God’s nature, will, and coming kingdom, secured by our New Covenant relationship through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. The power of God is the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. The Holy Spirit enables us to obey and remain faithful to the end while living in the newness of the Spirit’s life in the name of Jesus.
God Bless Pastor Dodie (Preferred communication: +61 421 436 848)