B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #130
I Cor. 16:9 ‘For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.’
October 14, 2008
Highlights on our Sister Church in Congo
During a recent visitation we saw that the translation work continued with six pamphlets translated into either French or Swahili. An even more ambitious agenda is planned for this next year. By putting our teachings into the languages of Congo these pamphlets help our pastors to explain what we believe.
Reaching all the stations in the church on a regular basis continues to be a problem. The Mission Board is helping with a budgeted amount to cover transportation. Of course money is not the only difficulty. Roads are bad if one wants to travel that way. Recently, the railroad system around Lubumbashi shut down, though it is hoped it will open again soon.
Recently, five men who had finished the Sunday afternoon Bible studies were consecrated in a Sunday service by Pastor Muzakuza, who is head of the church. The church has the office of ‘catechist’ which is entrusted with the task of teaching the children in particular the truths in the catechism. Twenty individuals serve in this capacity.
Some preachers from other churches approach our church to join, but when they find out we do not pay salaries, they leave. The people of the country are poor, but this not paying salaries by us is wise. It is a practice that will help the church to be strong on its own. To help the pastors who are with us, we are beginning a loan program as we do with other sister churches. The pastors are loaned an amount to be repaid to the fund kept in the country from which new loans are made from repaid amounts. This is in line with the ‘tentmaking’ of the apostle Paul when he worked with his hands for instance in Corinth, Ephesus, and Thessalonica. Keep our brothers and sisters in Congo in your prayers for they have a tough roe to hoe.
Parables (5th part)
A Pastor Stubenvoll wrote some modern examples of the parable and Jotham’s fable which we will look at. Consider also how you could use these methods in preaching and teaching.
THE HARE AND THE MAN
A compassionate man once visited a hard. “I feel sorry for
you,” said the man to the hard, “for you have many enemies. The
weasel thirsts for your blood. The dog, the fox, and the other animals want to
eat you, and the hunter seeks after your fur.”
“That is true,” replied the hare, “But your enemies are
more dangerous than mine, and therefore you are more to be pitied than I. The devil goes about as a roaring lion and seeks to devour your soul. The world corrupts your body with every kind of sin and fleshly lust, and your own flesh plunges you into every kind of misery and disgrace. You have enemies who attempt to corrupt not only the body but also the soul. They can only rob meof my bare life. But you are in danger of losing your immortal soul.
Therefore, your danger is more serious than mine.”
The world resembles a prison in which men lie and languish. The devil
misled mankind d to sin, corrupted it, cast the world into chains, and into this
cheerless prison. The devil tortures the world with every kind of imaginable
affliction. And the devil’s jailer, injustice, lets it suffer hunger, dire
need and misery. People would have had to perish in this prison unless help
had come. Thanks and praise be to God that help did come! God in heaven could no longer look upon this misery and grief.
He sent His only-begotten Son into the flesh who labored for the
liberation of the wretched prisoners and paid for all their transgressions and
sins with His innocent bleeding, suffering and dying. Thus He became the
Advocate for mankind and, through faith in Him, opened the prison gates. He bound the hellish king of the prison and reconciled God to man.
While It Is Day (part 2)
In Jn. 9:4 it is recorded that our Lord said,” We must work the works of Him who sent Me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work.” This is a good motto for us also in reaching out wherever we are. In 1926 a book was written by Pastor/Professor P. E. Kretzmann entitled “While It Is Day” (A Manual For Soul-Winners). Kretzmann was an orthodox teaching Lutheran. He has many Scripture references in this book and gives us clearly what should be the outward thrust of the church to the unbelieving.
While we don’t generally use the expression ‘soul winner’ among us, there is nothing wrong with it. In 1 Cor. 9:19-21 Paul repeatedly uses the term kerdaino in the Greek which can mean ‘win’ or ‘gain.’ And in v. 22 he uses the word sozo which means ‘save.’ It is such a thing that we are so personally and totally involved in, this outreach, that it is as if ‘we’ must win, save or gain for His kingdom. Of course we know it is by the power of the Spirit that this change occurs. That doesn’t diminish our total involvement. His Spirit works with our spirit.
There will be a series of excerpts from Kretzmann’s book to encourage us in this most blessed task of reaching out to win souls for Christ. This 2nd one is on page 18-20
I. Delight to Do Thy Will! Is. 40:8
The Obligation of Love.
The divine commission is not an arbitrary command; it is not a legal precept issued by God by virtue of His majesty and power. It is, as a matter of fact, addressed to Christians and would have no meaning for anybody else. Only he can understand this commission and properly act upon it in whose heart the Holy Ghost has already wrought a knowledge of the salvation brought by Christ and revealed in His Word. It is a heart of this kind that is actuated by the obligation of love resting upon it.
And how can it be otherwise, since the Christian continually has before his eyes the wonderful picture of Christ and the manner in which He carried out and satisfied the obligation of love resting upon Him by virtue of His own choice?
For what was the guiding principle of His life and work?
“THEN SAID I, LO, I COME; IN THE VOLUME OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME. I DELIGHT TO DO THY WILL, O MY GOD.” Ps.40:8
These are words of the Messiah,as the writer to the Hebrews, chap. 10,5–7, shows. The Son of God had from eternity taken part in the counsel of God pertaining to fallen mankind, and He had declared His willingness to work the redemption, which none but He could accomplish. This attitude is evident throughout our Savior’s life.
“Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” was the half-reproachful question which He addressed to His parents when He was taken to the festival of the Passover at the age of twelve years. Luke 2:49.
“I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also, for therefore am I sent,” was His declaration to those who sought Him for His miracles only. Luke 4:43.
” I must walk to-day and to-morrow and the day following.” Luke 13:33.
“I must work the works of Him that sent Me while it is day; the night cometh when no man can work.” John 9:4.
“From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” Matt. 16:21.
“For I say unto you that this that is written must yet be accomplished in Me, And He was reckoned among the transgressors.” Luke 22:37.
“Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be fulfilled that thus it must be?” Matt. 26:53,54.
“Remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and the third day rise again.” Luke 24:7
“Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter in His glory?” Luke 24:26
“And He said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day.” Luke 24:46
Thus we find it all the way through the life of Christ,—the “must” of the divine obligation resting upon Him. He had placed Himself at the disposal of God, and in line with His own eternal will, which is at all times in perfect agreement with that of the Father, John 5:19. He carried out the plan of redemption.
What the German hymn-writer Paul Gerhardt has the Savior say is true:—
Yes, Father, yea, most willingly
I’ll bear what Thou commandest:
My will conforms to Thy decree,
I do what Thou demandest.—
O wondrous Love, what hast Thou done!
The Father offers up His Son,
The Son, content, descendeth!
O Love, O Love, how strong art Thou!
In shroud and grave Thou lay’st Him low
Whose word the mountains rendeth!