We are experiencing an exciting day at Singing River church of Christ. This new congregation embarks into the unknown future with the great hope of glorifying God, teaching His gospel, and loving/caring for one another. This new congregation is built upon the ONE foundation given in the New Testament for doctrine and practice (1 Corinthians 3:11). We will be immoveable in the faith that was once handed down to all the saints. Our worship will be according to the divine plan authorized in the New Testament. The success of this new work is dependent upon each individual being devoted to the Lord and His work in the Shoals (Ephesians 4:16). May everything we accomplish as the Singing River church of Christ bring glory to our heavenly Father!
The relationship shared between brothers and sisters in Christ is amazing. We do not come together this morning as new students on the first day of class/school, but rather as family members who have not been together in a little while. We may have never met one another before, but we are united together in fellowship by our common bond in Christ Jesus. The bond between Christian brothers and sisters is described in a variety of ways in the New Testament.
On Jesus’ final evening, He prayed for Himself, His disciples, and all who would believe in Him through their word (John 17). When Jesus prayed for those future disciples, He was praying for you and me! He prayed - “21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (17:21). The point of Jesus’ prayer is not that we continue to live independently of one another, but rather that we live as ONE! The early church is described multiple times as having “one mind” or “one heart and soul” (Acts 2:46, 4:32). What is the goal for the congregation at Singing River? If we say anything less than what Jesus prayed for, then we will fail in this new work.
The apostle Paul wrote to multiple congregations and used similar language to describe the relationship that was to be shared among brothers/sisters in Christ. The church in Corinth was riddled with problems, but Paul addressed them as “saints” and admonished them – “…be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgement” (1 Corinthians 1:10b). In this same epistle, Paul reminded the Corinthians – “13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit” (12:13). In his second epistle to Corinth, Paul wrote concerning their familial relationship with one another – “18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty” (6:18). The apostle Paul called for the Corinthians to be ONE body and family in Christ.
The apostle Paul stressed UNITY in his letter to the Ephesians (4:1-6). In the same epistle, Paul wrote about the COMMUNITY and MEMBERSHIP these brothers/sisters shared in Christ (2:13-18; 3:6). The manifestation of their fellowship was never to be hidden, but rather was one of the greatest tools the Lord gave to His church for evangelism. On Jesus’ final evening, He instructed His disciples on how they would impact the world through their LOVE and UNITY (John 13:34-35; 17:21). This recipe for influence has not changed since the first century.
We are experiencing an exciting day at Singing River. This excitement should not be lost in the coming days or months, but rather it should unite us together in this new work. If we will maintain our love for one another and be united, then God will bless our new work and our success will be entirely to His glory!