I gladly and joyfully recommit to this noble ambition. If we truly understand what the church of Jesus Christ really is, we will not shy away from this commitment, but fully and gloriously embrace this Covenant. The first part of the paragraph is crucial. It is only by the indwelling Holy Spirit that we are able to be faithful to Christ and each other. Also, the Spirit leads us to do something. He leads us to walk in Christian love. The Covenant we share with one another is grounded in love. The Bible says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love,” (1 John 4: 7-8).
What does love in the church look like? Love results in our striving for the church to be more like Christ. We want each other to grow in knowledge and holiness and comfort in the Lord. In His word, God has shown us that this maturity in Christ comes as we encourage and support and edify one another in Christ. That is why it is vitally important that each and every one of us actively sustains all that the church is.
How do you think of your role at Oak Crest? Is it merely the church you happen to attend to hear preaching and sing songs? Or is it your covenant family that God has joined you to for your good and growth? As we each are conformed to the image of Christ, the church becomes healthier. That means we support the gospel work with our presence and our gifts and talents, as well as our financial support. As we contribute to the budget and various other special offerings such as Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon, we are doing kingdom work both here and all over the world.
I hope you will join me in diligently praying for the health and well-being of Oak Crest Baptist Church. When the church God has called us to is healthy and vibrant, we all grow closer to God and each other in the process. We are part of the Bride of Christ. Let us daily die to self, “so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish,” (Ephesians 5: 27).