The Spirit and The Church

“What the soul is in our body, the Holy Spirit is in the body of Christ, which is the church.” (Augustine)


What is success?

Earlier this year I heard several messages delivered by Jason Reed. One comment that he made was this: “You are not called to be successful, but to be faithful.”

I think he does well to emphasize the importance of faithfulness. We certainly must be faithful in accomplishing the work that God has laid out for us.

Reed’s quote has led me to realize that the only way to be truly successful is to be faithful. We cannot completely control the results of our work. For example, a dedicated preacher or missionary may see very few people turn to Christ. Does that make him unsuccessful? I suggest that it does not necessarily mean that he was unsuccessful. If he was faithful in preaching the Gospel, then he was a success. Faithfulness is the ultimate measure of success.

The Ascension

Concerning the content of a recent post, a friend of mine once commented, “I never thought of Jesus’ Ascension as part of the gospel message. Is it?”

In response to that question, I want to emphasize that I do think that the Ascension of Christ is an important part of the Gospel message.  It is through Jesus’ Ascension that he returned to the Father, which was necessary for the Holy Spirit to come (John 16:7). It is the Holy Spirit who convicts of sin (John 16:8).

The ascended Jesus now serves as our great high priest who knows what it is like to be tempted, and it is through him that we have access to the throne of grace in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).  The Gospel message would truly be different without the Ascension.

The Gospel in 30 Seconds

Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.  He accomplished that through his birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension.  In his birth, God became man.  In his life, Jesus taught us how to live.  In his death, he was the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  In his resurrection, he defeated the power of sin and Satan.  In his ascension, he sat down at God’s right hand where he makes intercession for us.  Through the work of Jesus everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.