Dear Liberty Church,
This upcoming Sunday we begin our new morning sermon series in the Book of Acts, and I cannot think of a better book for us to study during this time of COVID. The entire world has been confronted with questions about the nature and legitimacy of church, and Acts documents both of these for us in great detail. In terms of the nature of church, the very word ekklesia (the Greek word translated as ‘church’) means a ‘gathered assembly,’ and yet, for the past 6 months, we have not gathered the way the church has gathered for 2,000 years. This is unprecedented.
In terms of the legitimacy of the church, government has decreed what it deems to be essential and non-essential business, and for much of this pandemic, church has been categorized under the latter. Even now, restrictions are placed upon houses of worship (a fitting term, since the early church, as depicted in Acts, only met in homes) that confine and distort the true ekkelsia of the people of God. That government is interfering in the affairs of the church is, unfortunately, not unprecedented. However, not even the gates of Hades, let alone the gates of the State House, will prevail against the church.
The recipient of Luke’s magnum opus, Acts, was a benefactor by the name of Theophilus, ‘loved by God.’ Though I believe Theophilus to be a real, historical person, he can also serve as stand-in for all of us. You and I are loved by God as well. We are members of His Church. And yet, Luke wrote to Theophilus to reassure him of the faith passed down to him, to strengthen his belief in Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps you are in need of some reassurance as well. Acts is for you. As we shall see, God is truly the sovereign over all nations, and over all affairs upon this earth. He truly did step into history as a man, bore our sins upon the cross, died and was buried, and rose again, to sit at the right hand of the Father. His Holy Spirit is truly active upon the earth today, opening blind eyes and filling us to do His work. And God truly, unequivocally, called you out from darkness to be His child. You belong to the church of God, and standing with the church, “no weapon forged against you will prevail” (Isaiah 54:17), neither a weapon of Hades nor a weapon of the state, until the day we gather together, not just under these heavens nor upon this earth, but under the new heavens and new earth, forever worshipping at the throne of our God. That, my fellow ekklesia, will truly be unprecedented!
Yours in Christ,
A few months ago, the PCA Ad Interim Committee on Human Sexuality released their report on the myriad of issues revolving around sexual identity and orientation. It is a lengthy read, but in a nutshell, they affirm the orthodox position of sex and marriage, while not adequately (in my opinion) addressing the issue of ordination of homosexual men (or men who ‘identify’ as same-sex attracted), which was the impetus for the report in the first place. Here is the link to the report to read for your own.
For those who are watching the Sunday sermon via livestream, I would like to draw your attention to the chat feature of the Youtube channel. This chat is monitored during the service, so if the livestream does not seem to be working for whatever reason, feel free to write a note in the chat box and we will do our best to address the issue.