There is no greater way to say “I believe in you” than to exhibit trust.Trust is defined as “a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” I submit to you that the Lord Jesus Christ has made an emphatic statement of trust in His church. He has beyond question exhibited a sense of confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, and reliance in His church.
His mission to “reverse the curse” was accomplished on the cross. He then made it clear that He was counting on His church to fulfill and realize what He had made possible—the defeat of sin and the transformation of sinful man into the temple of the Holy Ghost. We have been trusted to preserve and propagate our identity =, our message and mission.
God’s people have always been called out to be distinctive, unique, and set apart from the world that surrounded them. We have a heritage of holiness with which we have been trusted. As the people of God, our lives will be separated, empowered and distinct. It is not my job to mandate or police this dynamic among the churches of Ohio. It is the solemn responsibility and expectation of the local pastors to lead the church they serve in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
The “old school” of my beloved father still works—draw lines of separation de ned by the time, culture, and local needs to protect and strengthen the saints to ful ll their God-given ministry.
Pastors, don’t be intimidated to preach, teach, expect, and practice our Apostolic identity. We’re not freaks, but we are not like the world. Members, submit to your God-given leadership. Don’t compare with other churches—follow your shepherd as he follows Christ. You must adhere to the leadership God has put in your life and not push against the elements they—under God—declare as needful to be saved in the challenges of the twenty- first century.
While every church is different, the idea and challenge of what we must ask of those who are born again remains. We are called to preserve and facilitate the ongoing transformation in the Holy Ghost. It is as timeless as the first century church.
Our message is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. The cornerstone of Acts 2:38 remains the epicenter of our message. Be assured this gospel rooted in the rst century was designed for the twenty- rst century. It worked on the Day of Pentecost in the rst century, and it works every day in the twenty- rst century. It was launched and practiced by the apostles with the express intent of its impact and power in the twenty- rst century. Jesus did not die just so people could apologize; He died for their transformation.
The cross in all its intense horror was to see death defeated and eternal life realized. Ours is a glorious message, once delivered
to the saints for all people for all time.Our message stands unique in the world of evangelicals because we are linked to the preaching, practice, and power of the apostles as recorded in the Book of Acts.
We preach what was preached in the Book of Acts, we baptize the way all were baptized in the Book of Acts, we see people receive the Spirit of God (the Holy Ghost) the same way they did in the Book of Acts. We have been trusted with our message.