Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Mission of God

— Chad Pollard is a Church of God (Holiness) minister and is principal of Overland Christian School in Overland Park, Kansas.

It is important for us to understand that central to the Missio Dei, “the sending of God,” is the fact God sent His only Son to this earth. John told us, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Much has been made about following the pattern of the early New Testament church in recent church planting efforts. However, we must remember that “Jesus rather than the early church is the source of inspiration for church planters… . Church planting that fails to engage with the mission agenda of Jesus can easily become church centered rather than kingdom-oriented.”

We also must remember the church is the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22, 23). Just as Jesus, through His Incarnation, came both to bring the good news and to be the Good News to the world, so the planted church as the body of Christ should both bring and be the good news to the community of which it is a part.

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Christian Perfection

— I. C. Holland is a Church of God (Holiness) minister who lives in Fulton, Missouri.

Christian perfection is the signature doctrine of the holiness churches. It was particularly expounded by John Wesley and his associates. William Law, an older contemporary of Wesley, had written on Christian perfection, but Wesley in his preaching and writing clarified its essential meanings throughout a long lifetime.

The term perfection is a scarecrow to modernist thinking. Often when this truth is presented it is dismissed by saying, ” Oh, that’s not possible! Nobody’s perfect!” We readily agree that no mortal is absolutely perfect. Absolute perfection belongs to God alone. Yet by the grace of God a justified Christian can “go on to perfection” (Heb. 6:1) and be perfected in a finite state even as God is perfect in an infinite and absolute state. This is well expressed by our Brother Richard Taylor: “He did not intend for us to be equal in stature, but like Him in nature,” or to state it otherwise, it is of the same quality, but not the same quantity.

Christian perfection is the perfection of love, and love is the strongest bonding force in the world. Jesus gave the clearest of all answers regarding love in His response to the inquiring lawyer in Matthew 22:37, 39: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” and “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Wesley brothers used the term perfect love to define and describe the experience of holiness. St. Paul in Colossians 3:4 tells us that charity, or love, is the bond of heart purity. When the apostle Peter was testifying before James and the Jerusalem Council he recounted his experience when preaching to the Gentiles. He said God bore them witness, gave them the Holy Ghost, and purified their hearts by faith.

This is entire sanctification, spiritual wholeness, and Christian perfection.

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Alert!

— Mark Avery is the Editor and General Manager of the Herald and Banner Press, Inc.

He has never been the subject of an AMBER Alert, but my neighbor is lost. No one kidnaped him. He grew up in a dysfunctional home, yet his parents are not threats; neither is likely to snatch him from his home and whisk him away to another state. Instead, this neighbor is lost in sin. Captured at an early age and growing up with little or no instruction in the Word and righteousness, his heart and mind have been twisted by the world’s way of thinking and living.

Perhaps the Church needs an AMBER Alert system. The system could be used “to instantly galvanize the entire [Church] community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of” the lost child, parent, friend, or neighbor. How easy it is to get involved in praying for physical needs, financial needs, and emotional needs and to neglect the urgency of praying for people who are lost, wandering through the maze of sinfulness with no hope beyond the present.

We ought to pray for those needs. God is concerned about them and about anything else that concerns us, yet people whom you and I could influence are lost. They do not know Jesus. They are destined for hell unless someone does something to interrupt their journey.

What if the Church recognized every unbeliever as a soul abducted from its rightful owner (God) and implored the Father to reach that soul. What if the Church were motivated not only to pray, but to build relationships with lost people in hopes of pointing them to Christ?

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A Light of Hope

— Jim Purtle is Youth Pastor at the El Dorado Springs, Missouri Church of God (Holiness) and serves on the Harmony Hill Youth Council.

When we give in to despair, most of the time no one else knows. On the outside, we continue to do ministry as usual, but the life and effectiveness of our ministry is gone.

Through this fog the words of God shine a light of hope.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Is. 41:10).

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Is. 26:3, 4).

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5, 6).

God is still sovereign. His arm is not too short to save. He is not running out of miracles. Keep praying, caring, serving, loving. Never give up.

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The Light of the Eyes

— Dr. Delbert Scott is the President of Kansas City College and Bible School.

For a number of years we had the privilege of attending a Christian conference specifically held for state and federal legislators in the north woods of Michigan. It was a great opportunity to get away from the regular grind and to focus on studying the principles of God’s Word as it relates to leadership, legislating, and current issues.

Normally we stayed at the conference center which housed only leaders and their spouses. One year, however, we decided to make a family vacation out of the trip and took our children with us. We stayed at a facility a few miles away. In order for our children to participate at the conference, Mr. Gothard wanted to meet them personally and look them in the eye. He used for his principle Proverbs 15:30, “The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart.”

He was very careful about the type of young people who would influence the spirit of the conference and knew if they had peace with God it would show through their eyes. They passed the test!

It is the responsibility of all Christian parents to instill in their children the Word of God and to do everything possible to lead their children in the right direction. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:11).

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