Have you ever asked yourself what God wants most in His church? Paul gives us the answer: “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy,” 1 Peter 1: 14-16.
God wants His church to be holy and pure. To be ‘holy’ means to be set apart for God’s purpose, and that starts with our moral character. There must be some basic obedience to not conform to our old evil desires. Christians today are still being beguiled, (deceived) by Satan in seeking everything concerning our human nature—giving little thought to the condition of our soul, living a life outside of Jesus Christ. The root cause of this condition is self-centeredness and greed, which produce unethical behavior. Paul was warning the church to be totally different. Purity comes when we deny ourselves. We should take up our cross and follow Jesus. God wants His church to display unity, and Jesus prays for all believers (John 17:20-21, 23). This is the only time in Jesus’ life that we have His perspective on the church.
The one thing he prays for is for the church to be in unity. He tells us to be in the same kind of relationship with Him, and with one another, in the same way that He and His heavenly Father had. The basic of this relationship between Jesus and the heavenly Father is obedience. God wants His church to love one another (John 13:35; 1 John 3:11,18, 23).
The Greek word for ‘love’ means for us to love one another unconditionally. This kind of love for one another demonstrates we are God’s disciples. A lack of love in the church at Ephesus was what God held against it in His letter in Revelations. His warning is that He would remove their testimony from the community (i.e., remove their lamp stand) if they did not return to their first love. Today there is no modern church in the Ephesus region. Did they not heed the letter from God? God is love, and God is spirit. When we fail to love someone, we never think about the harm it may have on his or her soul or their spiritual thinking.
My weekly prayer is that the reader of this commentary becomes spiritually inspired of God.
Contact EOF at P.O. Box 330127, Nashville, Tenn. 37203; or e-mail .