Walt Lampi | The Voice of Zion August 2018 --
As escorts, let us take on the responsibility to seek that which makes peace with and confirms another in faith (Rom. 14:19). What does it mean? How does it take place?
God’s own are able to be peacemakers (Matt. 5:9) because they have the gospel which is “the power of God.” A peace broken by sin can only be made and maintained through the preaching of forgiveness in Jesus’ name and blood. Peace and love open the heart to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
We are also urged to edify one another (Rom. 14:19, 15:2), which means to teach, confirm or build up another in faith. It is really the work of the Holy Spirit. It can take place in quiet private conversations at home, with friends or publicly by discussion in God’s congregation.
Building up in faith is always based on the teachings, admonitions and instructions found in the Bible. The lessons are always “dipped in the blood of Christ.” The purpose is that one’s hope of salvation would be “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2:20).
Such building can only be done with brotherly love for the undying soul (Rom. 12:10) and mutual love for God’s kingdom. Such love is impartial and not the same as human love. It works in humility and truth. Love can be described by both what it is and what it is not (1 Cor. 13). It is longsuffering, kind, willing to think well of others and enduring. It is not self-serving, neither thinks evil nor envies. Love does not seek its own benefit nor glory.
Whereas love builds, knowledge can cause one to become proud (1 Cor. 8:1). Knowledge is not the same as faith and if not tempered with love can be harmful to its seeker and others. The preached Word is intended to build, exhort and comfort God’s people (Eph. 4:29, 1 Cor. 14:3) and God has given various gifts into His kingdom for the purpose of edifying the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12).
The opposite of building is to destroy. Paul warned to “destroy not the work of God” meaning another redeemed soul (Rom. 14:20) for the sake of one’s rights (freedom). Rather, God has given the power of His Word and Spirit to build His house and not to destroy it nor any one of its inhabitants (2 Cor. 10:8, 13:10).
Not everything is constructive, for the individual nor God’s congregation even though it might be permissible to partake of (1 Cor. 10:23). We have been called by the gospel unto freedom from sin, not freedom to sin (Gal. 5:13). This freedom must be used with care while taking others into account and in love serving them. It must never become the reason for causing another to stumble by violating his or her conscience (1 Cor. 8:9).
In peace let us confirm one another in faith. We are constrained to do so because love is fragile, easily broken by sin, and we are under constant attack by our adversary. Paradoxically, the weak can strengthen the weak. It asks of us love, humility and a forgiving heart. Let us not become weary in our calling as escorts.