Leaders in the Lord’s Church Appointed
On February 19, two proven men of God were ordained as elders in the Lord’s kingdom. NATE SOLIDAY, son of our Mike and Maryann Soliday, became one of the elders of the Charlestown Road church of Christ, New Albany, IN. BRIAN PERRY, son-in-law of Mike and Maryann, and one who preaches here at Orleans on “fifth Sundays became an elder of the Eastview church of Christ, Salem, IN.
How marvelous to know there are men of God desirous of such an important office in the Lord’s kingdom! (1 Timothy 3: 1 – 7; Titus 1: 5 – 9) We commend both Nate and Brian in their work of oversight of the flock over which the Spirit has made them overseers. While we at Orleans are not under their watch care (Acts 20:28), we nonetheless know these men and their families, and heartily concur with the decision to ordain them as elders in their respective locations! We also commend Mike and Maryann – Parents (and in-laws) have a great deal of influence upon their children and thus their steadfastness in the faith! May God richly bless you all!
Adults Need to Obey the “Golden Rule”
“Let brotherly love continue.” (Hebrews 13:1) “Giving all diligence, add to your faith … brotherly love …” (2 Peter 1:5 – 7) “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12) “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)
These passages have a common thread: BROTHERLY LOVE. In the midst of these passages (and many others could be added) is the one we teach children to obey, but adults tend to ignore: “Treat the other person as you wish to be treated,” to paraphrase its meaning. Why? Is it because adults think they’ve outgrown the necessity of Matthew 7:12, or do they think the blood of the flesh is more precious than the blood of Christ, or do they simply ignore the requirement of loving our brethren? Regardless of the reason, (none of which is agreeable with God’s word!) why do so many brethren “pick and choose” who receive their brotherly love when the New Testament commands us to love one another with a pure heart fervently (1 Peter 1:22)?
Notice the Lord’s understanding of “family ties.” From Matthew 12: 46 – 50 we read, “While He yet talked to the people, behold, His mother and His brethren stood without, desiring to speak with Him. Then one said unto Him, Behold, Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with Thee. But He answered and said unto him that told Him, Who is My mother? and who are My brethren? And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold My mother and My brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother.” Does not this show the family of Christ Jesus is greater in importance than any family of the flesh?
Think further: Which is more redemptive – the blood of Jesus Christ, or the blood of some earthly family, including yours? When we read 1 Peter 1:18 -21, which earthly family is mentioned? Is it not the case that only the blood of Christ Jesus was shed to redeem us, and via that blood, unite us as “children of God?” If that is so, then “brotherly love” takes on a much greater meaning, does it not?
Again, from Matthew 25: 31 – 46 we see this critical relationship of brotherly love. To those on His right-hand side, Jesus says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” To those on His left-hand side (i.e., to those eternally lost) He says, “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.” Can we not see the distinctive difference between brotherly love being exacted as God directs us, and when brotherly love is refused?
Brotherly love is not optional if you desire to live as a faithful child of God. The blood of Christ requires of us an understanding of priorities. Colossians 1:18 establishes Christ as being preeminent in all things. Does it not follow that all belonging to Christ Jesus would take priority over all other items in the life of a Christian? After all, we are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20) and that price was the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18 – 19). Therefore, by what authority would God’s children withhold their love from their brethren?
No one likes to be ignored, so, using the “golden rule”, why would Christians ignore their brethren? If you base your acceptance of brethren on their earthly culture (environment/upbringing, etc.) or their wealth, or their appearance, or their education, or anything else, have you not ignored the priceless value of Christ’s blood? Did not His blood cleanse their sins through their obedience as it did yours through your obedience? What makes one Christian less valuable than another in the Lord’s eyes? Would you wish to be treated with less dignity, respect, and acknowledgment than others who are your brethren because of the blood of Christ? Even those who are in error merit your love in order to correct them (Galatians 6:1). Maybe we adults need the lessons about the “golden rule” more than the children we’re teaching!