The fivefold yes to Jesus

How Jesus works, what He wants, and where He is leading us is shown by the Guide He Himself left us. And it unfolds in the fellowship He Himself established. Here is a divine service on the topic of decisions.

On 7 February 2021 the Chief Apostle held a divine service for the members in the Netherlands which was transmitted by video from Saarbrücken in Germany. He based his sermon on Ephesians 1: 18–20: “…the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”

It says here that Holy Spirit is to enlighten the eyes of our understanding. “What does that mean?” Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider asked and answered the question in the same breath: “In the Bible, the heart is the seat of man’s decisions.” In a nutshell this means that we are to make our decisions in the light of the Holy Spirit. The Chief Apostle went on to explain what this means in concrete terms, using five terms from the Bible text.

From hope to preparation

“God wants to lead us into His kingdom, where we can live in fellowship with Him, where we will have been delivered from evil, where we can enjoy perfect fellowship with our fellow humankind.” While this concerns the future, he said, it is more than a vague promise. “This promise is absolutely certain, as certain as the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is the guarantee that this future will come. And it is because we recognise this that we make our decisions. We look to the future and prepare ourselves for it.”

From glory to faithfulness

“The Holy Spirit guides us so that we recognise Jesus Christ. He shows us how great Jesus’ love is for us and explains how holy He is.” And from this, he said, comes our desire to be with Jesus Christ. “Because we have recognised the riches of His glory, we are determined to remain faithful to the end.”

From power to trust

“This is the effect that God’s omnipotence had on Jesus Christ: He overcame death and was able to go to heaven to be with His Father. And it is with this power that God works on you! Aware of this we again make a decision: we have absolute and unconditional trust; we trust in the power of God.”

From faith to active love

“This power is effective only in those who believe. That is why we decide that we truly want to believe. True faith, which pleases Jesus Christ, is faith that works through love. I want to act out of love so that the omnipotence of God can act on me.”

The working of His mighty power

“The power of Jesus Christ is at work in His church. In the same way that the omnipotence of God worked in Jesus Christ the power of Christ works in the congregation.” And this means three things, the Chief Apostle went on to explain.

  • There are times when things do not look good and there is not the slightest sign of success. But this does not change the fact that Christ continues to be active in His work, and nothing can stop Him. That is why we make our decision: we will continue to serve in His work.
  • In the church of Christ we find everything we need to attain salvation. Here too we make a decision: I want to receive the fullness of blessing; not ten per cent, not thirty per cent, I want one hundred per cent.
  • The power of Christ, which urges us to unity and puts it into practice, is at work. This power is so great that it can overcome anything that divides. Here too we make a decision: I want to continue to commit myself to the unity in the congregation.

“These are decisions we have to make,” Chief Apostle Schneider said. “And Christ helps us to implement them.”

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Andreas Rother
Chief Apostle, Divine service