STRIVE TO WORK TOGETHER IN BROTHERLY LOVE

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BE KINDLY AFFECTIONATE

In the New Testament of the Bible, in the book of Romans chapter 12, the Apostle Paul speaks on the diligent use of Spiritual Gifts among the brethren. Right at this time, he makes the following statement: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another” (Romans 12:9 & 10).

  • IN THESE WORDS, OUR HOPE REIGNS!

The Apostle Paul goes on to give us a glimpse of what brotherly love looks like.

“Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’” (Romans 12:11-21).

THE CALLING OF PETER, JAMES AND JOHN

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THE APOSTLESHIP OF CHRIST IN THE CHURCH

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BE EXAMPLES OF ME

In the Apostle Paul’s ministry to the Corinthian Church he makes the following statement:
“For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me” (1 Corinthians 4: 15 & 16, NKJV).

This is a hard requirement for any man, yet in its entirety it remains a key statement for the apostolic ministry within the local church - for it is Christ’s ministry that He continues to work in the lives of men, yet it is not a burden that man bears alone. The people to which Paul made this address, are the very people who came to believe in Christ through Paul’s ministry. Yet Paul instructs them, imitate me!!

As wise stewards of the Gospel, every man, woman and child are to conduct themselves in such a way, that those who are saved through their ministry - which is really Christ’s ministry being out-worked through us - will continue to walk out their faith after the same pattern as Christ

  • AS THEIR EXAMPLE AND FATHER IN THE FAITH, PAUL HAD WALKED THE WALK BEFORE THEM!
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KEEP YOURSELF FROM MIXTURE

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BE SEPARATED TO THE GOSPEL OF GOD

In the first book of Romans in the New Testament of the Bible, the Apostle Paul introduces himself: “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1).

The word ‘apostle’ used here is translated in the Greek as ‘apostolos’, meaning: ‘a delegate; specially, an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ ("apostle") (with miraculous powers): —apostle, messenger, he that is sent.’ This same word is taken from the root word ‘apostellō’ in the Greek, meaning: ‘set apart, i.e. (by implication) to send out (properly, on a mission) literally or figuratively: —put in, send (away, forth, out), set (at liberty).’ (Strong’s Concordance).

The word for ‘separated’ that Paul uses in this same verse, is translated in the Greek as ‘aphorizō’, meaning: ‘to set off by boundary, i.e. (figuratively) limit, exclude, appoint, etc.: —divide, separate, sever.’ (Strong’s Concordance). In introducing himself in this way, Paul is in essence declaring: that he is called by God; commissioned and sent out by Christ; set apart; set off by a boundary; limited; exclusively appointed or divided off to be a special delegate; messenger; or ambassador of the Gospel of God - with miraculous powers!

In the same way, the CHURCH as the body of Christ, has been given an APOSTOLIC CALL to go into all the world to preach the GOSPEL to every creature.

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A FRESH REVELATION OF CHRIST

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JESUS IS THE LIVING WORD

In the gospel of John, the Apostle John, by an eye witness account, reveals that Jesus Christ is both God, and the living Word.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (John 1:1-3).

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

John further declares that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

Though JESUS, THE LIVING WORD, was both the LIGHT and the LIFE of men, and THOUGH HE SHONE IN THE DARKNESS, THE DARKNESS DID NOT COMPREHEND IT!

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4&5).

  • WITHOUT CHRIST THERE IS NO LIFE!
  • WITHOUT CHRIST THERE IS NO LIGHT!

How is it then, that the darkness did not comprehend it?

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LET TIMES OF REFRESHING COME FROM THE LORD

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A HEART-FELT APPEAL FROM THE WORD


One of the shortest books in the New Testament of the Bible representing the message of the Gospel of Christ is the Book of Philemon. It contains a letter in the most personal of terms from the Apostle Paul, to a brother in Christ named Philemon. In it, Paul gently expresses his desire to bring about reconciliation and healing for one in the Lord. Paul makes his address in the simplest of terms, not just to Philemon, but to the body of Christ. His letter begins:

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WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE OF YOUR FAITH?

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THE SOVEREIGN WORD OF THE LORD

Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). Recorded in the Gospels of the New Testament, Jesus repeated the words: “Oh you of little faith.” He spoke these words after the example of the patriarchs who lived by faith, and repeated them after His sermon on the mount. At these times, Jesus did not say “Oh you of little faith” to unbelievers, but to His disciples - to Peter and to John. To Jewish believers who walked with Him, talked with Him, ate and travelled with Him; to the very disciples, who with their own eyes had seen the things that Jesus did and took note of the things that He said. Yet Christ made room for their faith to grow.

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CLEANSING THE GENERATIONAL THINGS OF THE PAST

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KING DAVID’S HEART AFTER THE LORD

There have been many times in my life when the Lord God has shown me, that I have been living under a generational curse. Very recently He showed me, that many generational curses are not simply due to the actions of others, but that they have been spoken over households as well. Many curses He told me are gender specific; sometimes following the male family line, not always the female, according to the way in which they have been spoken. There are times in my own life when because of these things, I can no longer progress in the things of the Lord. These areas need to be revealed to me by His Holy Spirit, so that they can be dealt with by appropriating the blood of Jesus Christ on my behalf. There is always a combination of my own sin, as well as the generational things of the past.

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THE PASSOVER LAMB HAS COME

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GIVE ATTENTION TO THE VOICE OF THE LORD

The Lord says: “Greater love hath no man than this, than He lay down His life for His friends.* Herein is the entrance to praise! There is a way that seems right to a man, but the way of love you would not follow. For I have set thee apart this day as a land of renown. For I would reveal Myself unto thee this day says the Lord of hosts, that no man may be ashamed on that day when I take up My own. Herein is the entrance to praise!” (* from John 15:13)

NO LIE COMES FROM GOD

The Lord had promised the land of Israel by right of covenant with Him, that He would give them the Promised Land they were about to possess. But when Balak was afraid because of the people of Israel, he sought to send a curse against them.

“Then the children of Israel moved, and camped in the plains of Moab on the side of the Jordan across from Jericho. Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, and Moab was sick with dread because of the children of Israel. So Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this company will lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.” And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. Then he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying: “Look, a people has come from Egypt. See, they cover the face of the earth, and are settling next to me! Therefore please come at once, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed” (Numbers 22: 1-6).

Although Balaam, against the will of God, eventually went to see Balak at his request and twice sought to use sorcery against Israel (See Numbers 24:1) - HE COULD NOT CURSE WHAT GOD HAD BLESSED!!

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HE IS RISEN

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WE SERVE A RISEN SAVIOUR

In 1933 a man named Alfred Henry Ackley wrote these words in a hymn:

“I serve a risen Saviour, He’s in the world today. I know that He is living, whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy; I hear His voice of cheer; and just the time I need Him He’s always near.
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart”.

This is a SITUATIONAL POSITION IN CHRIST that He wants all to understand. We serve a RISEN SAVIOUR; a RESURRECTED CHRIST; not a dead man in a tomb.

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THE REDEEMING POWER OF PRAISE

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WE MUST LIVE A LIFE OF HOLINESS

In chapter twelve of the book of Hebrews in the Bible, the writer addresses our need to pursue peace with all people and to walk in HOLINESS before the Lord.

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (Hebrews 12: 14&15).

This word for “bitterness” in the Greek is translated “pikria” meaning “acridity (especially poison), literally or figuratively: —bitterness.” The word “trouble” is translated “Enochleō” meaning “to crowd in, i.e. (figuratively) to annoy: —trouble.” The word “defile” is translated “miainō” meaning “to sully or taint, i.e. contaminate (ceremonially or morally): —defile.” – Strong’s concordance.

The writer is warning us, DON’T LET ANY BITTER OR POISONOUS ROOT COME INTO YOUR MIDST. Don’t let it SPRING UP, CROWD IN and begin to BRING TROUBLE. Don’t let it SULLY, TAINT, CONTAMINATE or DEFILE the HOLINESS of Christ. He specifically warns against fornicators and profane people.

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