Month: March 2014

Reflecting on the divine: 5/ 6 March 2014

Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” — John 6: 26–27

Message

We receive divine food in our fellowship with the Lord.

Our Bible text is preceded by the feeding of the five thousand. Many people followed Jesus because of His miraculous deeds, but there may also have been other significant motivating factors such as curiosity or the desire to get something to eat. Jesus decries this in our Bible text, especially the fact that the people did not recognise the symbolic aspects of the events. By way of this miracle, he had intended to demonstrate that God is present in Him, and that all people can enjoy fellowship with God through Him (John 14: 9).

Core Points

We receive divine food in fellowship with the Lord, which reveals itself in:

  • the word of the sermon and
  • in Holy Communion.

For our part, we seek the fellowship with the Lord in prayer and gratitude, and by accepting His comfort.

Seeing your life through spiritual eyes

For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life. — Romans 5:10

This was the text used by Apostle Page when he conducted the divine service for the departed at Midrand Congregation in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 2 March 2014. The overall message of the divine service was to not be an enemy of God, but to be a friend, but also to move beyond friendship where we use our faith to cultivate eternal life. It is also important to see life with our spiritual eyes, and not our natural eyes, as seeing things with our spiritual eyesight is the stepping stone to our eternal future. (A more in-depth account of the service will follow shortly)

Within the New Apostolic Church (NAC), divine services for the departed take place three times a year, on the first Sunday of March, July, and November respectively. With this in mind, New Apostolic Christians also pray that souls who have died in an unredeemed state may find salvation in Jesus Christ.

God’s will to redeem encompasses all human beings. One can read in Romans 14: 9, Jesus Christ is Lord over both the dead and the living; and in 1 Corinthians 15: 29 that already in the congregation of Corinth, the living were baptised on behalf of the dead.

This practice is continued in divine services for the departed conducted by the Chief Apostle and the District Apostles: in them, two ministers receive Holy Baptism with water, Holy Sealing, and Holy Communion on behalf of the dead. The sacraments are performed in the same manner as usual. In the other congregations, the departed are commemorated in a special prayer after the celebration of Holy Communion.

Divine services for the departed have an important place in the New Apostolic calendar. On the preceding Sunday, the congregations prepare themselves for this in a special divine service. Compassion and sympathy are to move their hearts to intercede for those who have died in an unredeemed state.

Below are some of the images taken before, during and after the service held at Midrand Congregation.

Music School Development project in Kimberley: Phase 2

CollageThe project of establishing a Music School in the Kimberley diocese has reference.

On 23 February 2014, following many hours of planning, negotiations, considerations and prayers, a variety of classical instruments were handed to the school.

Phase 2 of the Kimberley music school project forms part of the greater NAC-SEA Music School initiative. The district initiative is aimed at creating more opportunities for its members throughout the working area to further their music development via the church’s internal resources.

When handing over the instruments, District Evangelist Eugene Baise encouraged parents and congregation members to ensure the learners attend all lessons, adding that rectors must ensure transport is provided for learners to attend lessons. He told learners that they must not only attend all lessons, but they must be committed whole-heartedly and ensure that they also take care of their instruments.

* Article from New Apostolic Church – South East Africa

Faith and Life: 2 March 2014

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. — John 6: 47

Message

Even in the beyond, faith is necessary in order to attain everlasting life. When one hears this Bible text one might ask: “So all we have to do is believe in Jesus in order to have everlasting life, that is, eternal fellowship with God?” On the one hand, my answer to this is: “Yes.” But on the other hand, it is not so easy to believe. What does it mean to believe anyway?

Core Points

  • Faith is more than a matter of supposing that something is true. It also includes hearing the call of God, saying yes to Him, trusting Him, obeying Him, and remaining loyal to Him.
  • Even in the beyond it is necessary to believe in this manner, and to come to the altar of God.
  • Supported by our prayers, many will be able to attain grace and redemption today.

March 2014: Faith and hope – inseparable!

Faith and hope belong together, and both of them are part of being a Christian. A Christian can­not be without hope! Where there is faith, hope will also come into being. For me—in very concise terms—faith means knowing that God is almighty and that God is love. Both of these allow us to hope for God’s help. And because God is almighty and because He loves me, He will also help me. Never give up hope in God’s help! God wants to help and He will help!

Beyond that, we believe in God in Jesus Christ. From this belief stems a wonderful hope. We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth in order to make forgiveness of sins and eternal life accessible to man­kind. And because we believe in Jesus Christ, we hope for eternal life! Being a Christian means having the hope of eternal life!

Jesus Christ is also the foundation of our hope. This is because He has promised: “I will come again” and has told us that He wants us to be with Him where He is (John 14: 3). He is not only the reason for our hope, but rather He Himself is our hope. He is the object of our hope. We hope in Him. We hope for eternal life, and thus for eternal fellowship with the triune God. We have come to recognise God through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has shown us the Father. We have come to know God through Jesus Christ. This is why we love God, namely because Jesus has shown Him—the true and living God—to us: the God of love, the God of grace, the God of nearness. This awakens within us the longing to be together forever with this God, whom we have come to know through Jesus Christ. It is in this respect that Jesus Christ is our hope.

This is the God with whom we desire to have eternal fellowship. That is our hope. Let us continue to pray for people to find their way to Jesus Christ—because we have this faith and this hope!

(From a divine service by the Chief Apostle)