Several changes in the Valley Bible Church staff will be taking place over the coming months. VBC is committed to equipping men and women for future ministry leadership roles in the church and in the expansion of God’s kingdom. As time passes and our church grows, it’s necessary for some of our leadership roles to change and reflect what God is doing in our lives individually, what best suits the needs of our church family, and gives God the greatest glory.
In the first 14 verses of Ephesians, Paul lays out 6 benefits that God (the Father) has given to us through our immersion into Christ (the Son) (Romans 6:3-4). These benefits are “spiritual blessings”, enabling us to succeed in the new life we have been born into through the Holy Spirit (John 3:5-8):
Often in our culture, we are encouraged to think outside the box. In the arena of creativity, this means to attempt what has never been done. In business, it means to lay aside convention for the prospect of growth. In a postmodern society, we are encouraged to define our own truth and to allow that “truth” to be dynamic–constantly shifting to meet the times. Progress, it seems, is all about revolutionary ideas that don’t submit to an established norm.
Though Colossians 3:1-4 serves as the major transitional passage in the book, Paul already used 2:6-7 as a “mini” transition. Here Paul exhorted us to live our lives with the same “Christ Jesus the Lord” that we initially put our faith in. That is, this One, Jesus, who is Creator & Sustainer of the universe (1:16-17), who has priority & preeminence over all creation (1:15, 17), who reconciled sinful mankind to Himself & resides as Head of the church (1:22, 18) and in whom all God’s fullness dwells & all wisdom & knowledge hides (1:19; 2:3) – this One must consume our lives; we must live in Him!
Following this brief transitional command to “walk in” Jesus, Paul delays in explaining what this means & how this is done. Instead, in 2:8-23 he warns about the false teachers who seek to mislead them (see 2:8, 16-19, 20-23), while at the same time he elevates what Jesus has done and accomplished for and in us (see 2:9-15, 19). Only then does Paul describe for us how to walk in Jesus; this he does in 3:1-2.
America’s moral, cultural and societal trajectory is disturbing to many Christians. These changes are particularly worrying when they impact our children. Among other things, parents are forced to have conversations about sexuality, pornography, and identity in a manner and on a timetable we likely would not have chosen. News headlines once reflecting realities “out there” are now openly discussed in elementary school classrooms. In the midst of anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed, its good to reflect on what is true. When we treasure Gods’ Word—the definitive proclamation about reality—we can be at peace in the storm and give our children the gift of an unshakable and certain hope.