New Apostolic Church USA

Wake Up!

"The importance of development" in the Community issue 2016/03

Whether at the creation or at the time of Jesus’ birth, the miraculous escape of Peter from prison, or the conversion of Paul: “Wherever God is present and active, there is light and clarity. Wherever God is present, there is truth, security, and life,” the Chief Apostle said. “We can find this image time and again in the Bible.”

This image of night turning to day is to illustrate that the return of the Lord is unstoppable: “However dark and long the night there will definitely be a new day! Darkness cannot prevent the new day from dawning. This is an absolute certainty.”

A wake-up call

Associated with this is an urgent call: “It is high time to wake up.” Paul already refers to this in verse 11. The Chief Apostle went on to highlight two aspects.

A person who is asleep shows no reaction. But “every time we hear that the Lord is coming soon, there must be a reaction. Something must stir in us. Let us be filled with zeal: ‘I must get ready! What else do I still have to do?’”

Someone who is asleep is unaware of any dangers around him. “If we believe that it is enough to be baptized and sealed, to remain faithful and come to every divine service, we are in danger. Our faith is not a tradition,” the Chief Apostle said. “It is not a matter of repeating the same things over and over again. We must develop and change and become a new creation.”

Casting off works of darkness

Verse 12 of Romans mentions two more points where we need to act: we are to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.

“The works of darkness are everything we do in secret, everything we do when no one sees us,” the Chief Apostle explained. “Let us not only cleanse our deeds, let us also cleanse our thoughts. Let us also overcome our secret sins, the sins that no one knows and no one sees. They are just as important to the Lord Jesus as all our other sins.”

The armour of light can also be used as a weapon.

Our faith helps us to resist the thought that God may have forgotten us. “When the night around us is very dark then let us draw this weapon and say, “I believe that God loves me!”

“Love is the only weapon that always wins but never causes injury.” It helps to defend us when we are attacked by the weaknesses and imperfections of our neighbour. And: “This is the weapon we use to fight for our neighbour’s salvation.”

Hope is the weapon we use to fight against discouragement. “We think about the glory we will have in the future and fight for our salvation. We fight for the Lord because we know that this fight is worth it.”

“We defend ourselves and fight against evil with faith, love, and hope,” the Chief Apostle said in conclusion. “Our victory is assured. Those who fight with Christ on their side are victorious.”

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