His life is our life
Fighting against evil, seeking God’s nearness in prayer, and loving our neighbour … Those who align their lives with that of Jesus have a lot to do. But they are not alone! God is there to help and support, Chief Apostle Schneider says.
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children” Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider read at the beginning of the divine service in Karlsruhe (Germany) on Sunday, 8 April 2018. He based his sermon on Ephesians 5: 1.
We are children of God …
God loves all humans: His love is perfect, unconditional, and immutable. “He is the Father who helps. He is the Father who supports us. He is the Father who cares about us,” the Chief Apostle said. It was this care that prompted God to give the commandments: “If you follow the law, you will be exposed to fewer dangers.”
… because we believe in Jesus Christ
Believers, children of God, respond to this divine love with faith. “God is our Father because He has given us His life. Through the rebirth out of water and Spirit, we have attained the life of God and have become a new creation.” Ultimately, God wants to give us an inheritance. The Chief Apostle said that God’s love for us is so great that He says: “Come! I will let you enter into my kingdom. There will be no more suffering there. There people can live together in peace and joy!”
Living as children of God …
“In order for us to experience the love of God we must live as children of God. The Father loves His children. But children can only experience His love if they behave like children of God.” The Chief Apostle explained what this means: “The Son of God came on earth and showed us: this is how a child of God must be! If you are a child of God, you must behave like this. This is how you should think and act!”
… by following Jesus Christ
Let us seek personal contact with God in prayer. “You don’t need to pray night and day, but please seek a connection with God often. Don’t only pray in divine service. Please make time for personal prayers.” That also means making time to always thank Him: “So many people are forever dissatisfied. If they were a little bit more grateful towards God, they would experience more joy and peace.” Requests and wishes are also possible, the Chief Apostle said, but added: “Let us trust God as Jesus Christ did. He had His ideas and wishes, and He spoke to His Father about these things very openly: ‘I would like this and I would like that, but You know things better! You know what is best!”
Be close to God in obedience. “God wants my salvation! And everything else is the path that leads to salvation. If I look at things this way, it becomes much easier to do the will of God. ‘I want to enter His kingdom. I want to have fellowship with Him forever.’” With such a perspective it is easier to do the will of God.
Avoid evil. Fighting against evil together and dedicating ourselves to doing good is the foundation of our unity in Jesus Christ.
Love your neighbour. Emulating Christ also presupposes that we have a special relationship with our neighbour, based on the idea: “I have found the Lord! I know that God is love. It is important to me that you too know and can experience that God is love and that God loves you.”
In conclusion, the Chief Apostle said: “We have decided to have a personal relationship with God, with Jesus Christ. Many things may happen: people may disappoint us, the Church may even disappoint us. However, that should not affect our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Those who know Jesus Christ will never leave Him!”