Unwavering, this is how God gives
There is nothing unusual about a divine service being broadcast to several countries. What is unusual, however, is a divine service being broadcast from several countries. The topic was: perfect gifts of timeless value.
Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider conducted a service in Switzerland on 9 May 2021 in the conference centre of the New Apostolic Church International in Zurich. In attendance were active and retired members of the staff. District Apostle Peter Schulte (Western Pacific) co-officiated directly from Australia. And the musical items—both choir and orchestra—came directly from South Korea.
The congregations receiving the service were in South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan either in their congregations or at home in front of the screens. “And everything worked perfectly!” the Chief Apostle wrote in his circular to the Apostles.
Perfect in purpose and manner
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (James 1: 17–18). This was the Bible text the Chief Apostle based his sermon on. God gives us perfect gifts in a perfect way, the Chief Apostle explained, referring to the Greek basic text.
God gives in a perfect way: He gives out of love and unconditionally.
- “When He created man, He gave him fellowship with God, He gave him responsibility for the entire creation. Man was nothing and He was given everything for free, out of love.”
- “Israel had not deserved to be the elected people, but God gave them everything for free and out of love.”
- “Jesus Christ died for all human beings, without stipulating any conditions.”
- “God chose us before the foundation of the world. We could not earn it because we did not even exist yet.”
- “And when we were born, He called us and we could be reborn out of water and the Spirit. We could become a new creature in Christ. The only thing we were asked was: are you ready to believe?”
The perfect gifts are:
- “Jesus gave His life for us, and this sacrifice is definitely perfect. It is valid at all times and for all people.”
- “The doctrine of Christ is valid for all eternity. No matter the conditions you live in, if you believe in God’s word and do it you will be saved.”
- “The Church as an organisation, man as an Apostle—they are definitely not perfect. But God’s gift is perfect: we will get everything we need to become perfect.”
- “In our personal lives, God gives us His gifts, His blessings, and His help. In looking back we can say: He always gave us what we needed to overcome the situation and to remain faithful.”
- “As long as we are on this earth, we will not be perfect. But when He comes back, Jesus will give us the perfect gift of His grace.”
Unwavering in love and teaching
God gives us perfects gifts; this will never change, the Chief Apostle emphasised. God never ceased to love man, even after his fall into sin: “God does not change. He remains love and wants to save us.”
Nor does His teaching change. “Since we only know and understand God in part, the teaching about God is also influenced by human knowledge.” But, the Chief Apostle said, our salvation is not dependent on our knowledge and understanding of God. Our salvation is based and dependent on our love for God and our love for the neighbour.
“Let us therefore read the Bible, remember the teaching of our forefathers, and listen to the teaching today, the Chief Apostle said in conclusion.” And above all: “Let us continue to love God and our neighbour.”