Highlawn Baptist Church

A Word From Pastor Mark

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Rev. Mark Stauffer and Lynn

Reaching Out

The early church in the book of Acts viewed itself as a witnessing community.  Jesus said in Acts 1:8: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Upon hearing this command from Jesus, I fear that for many in the church, witnessing has been more in name than in reality.  Jesus’ disiples would eventually learn that authentic witness comes from the authority of Jesus.  Witness, as Jesus defines it, must be about “reaching out” as God’s people in mission in the world.  The Apostle Paul goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 11:1: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

Genesis 12:1-3 says the purpose of God’s people was to be a source of blessing to all peoples of the earth.  Isaiah tells us that God’s people will be restored to serve as “an everlasting sign” of his saving intention (55:13).  These verses, and many more like them, drive home the point that Jesus must be proclaimed by His confessing community who live under Him.  As first fruits of the kingdom, the church can, and must, testify to the reality of God’s kingdom on earth as it in heaven.  And, buy living out Kingdom values, the church is a sign of the reality of God’s kingdom.

How can the church live out these commands if nothing has really changed since the coming of our Redeemer? The saving power of our Redeemer must convincingly shine forth in who we are and what we do.  This is what characterized the early church and this is what must characterize us today.  The church will serve the world best by taking with utter seriousness its call to be a “holy nation, God’s own people” in a broken and dark world (1 Peter 2:9-10). Church, we are called to “let the earth hear His voice.”

 

In His Name,

Pastor Mark


To know Christ, and to make Christ known
Highlawn Baptist Church  *  2304 Jefferson Avenue  *  St. Albans WV  25177
(304)727-7802