Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. And that means folks will be on the road traveling. May we commit to be in prayer for one another during the busy summer. Pray for safe travels. But more importantly, pray for the Lord to build up and to grow his people. Pray for one another’s spiritual growth. Pray for the Lord to sustain his people and his church. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel as you travel this summer, go to the pool, spend time with your neighbors, etc. And pray for the Lord to be at work building up his body here at Cornerstone. The session is excited about how the Lord has been at work amongst us, is continuing to work, and will continue to work in the coming weeks, months, and years. Please let us know how we can be in prayer for you!
- TONIGHT we will meet at the VanTubergen’s home at 7:00 for our Wednesday Bible study in Galatians. Their address is 8803 Catawissa Drive, Houston, TX.
- Our next men’s breakfast is next Saturday, May 30th at 8:30 at the Egg and I (Hwy 6 and Little York). We will be discussing the book, “The Secret of Contentment.” Plan to join us!
- CONTINUE to be in prayer for the Lord to raise up his sheep for a new church plant in the South Houston area.
- Finally, this week’s devotion (attached) is a reflection from Galatians 6 on demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit. For previous devotions, see here: https://csopc.org/resources/aroundcornerston/.
God bless and I look forward to worshipping with all of you this Lord’s day!
From the Pastor’s Desk
Galatians 6:1, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
In the letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul expounds and defends the glorious doctrines of justification by grace through faith alone and the absolute sufficiency of Christ. And he does so over against the Judaizers, who were preaching a Christ-plus, faith-plus works, false gospel. As Paul states, “We know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ” (Gal 2:16). And again, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (3:13). In light of such a glorious salvation, Paul calls the church to pursue holiness and to guard the newfound freedom that is ours in Christ (5:1; also see Eph 4:1; Phil 1:27). We are to ‘walk by the Spirit … be led by the Spirit … and live in the Spirit … bearing the fruit of the Spirit’ (5:16-25). But what does such Spirit-led and Spirit-filled living look like? What does it look like to a watching world? In Galatians 6, Paul puts meat on the bones of 5:16-25. That is, in Galatians 6, Paul gives us several concrete examples of the Spirit-led life. And what is noteworthy in these examples is the central place of the church. That is to say, one of the primary ways we demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit is in our relationships within the church. There are four specific examples to note.
First, the Spirit-filled Christian is concerned with the sin of his brothers and sisters (6:1). Simply put, we are to be concerned about the spiritual well-being of our fellow believers. And when appropriate – and always with wisdom and ‘a spirit of gentleness’ – we are to seek to restore them (of course this must be balanced with Peter’s teaching that ‘love covers a multitude of sins’). While we are not called to be the ‘sin-police’ to those within the church, we are called to a genuine, humble concern for the spiritual well-being of our brothers and sisters in Christ. But we must always cultivate and maintain a humble spirit, being aware of our own indwelling sin (6:1b). We should want our spiritual family to know more of the joy and peace of a growing and maturing walk with Christ.
Second, the Spirit-filled Christian bears the burdens of his brothers and sisters in the faith (6:2-5). While we will all stand before the judgment seat as individuals (v. 5), we are called to participate in the corporate body of Christ. We are called to rejoice with one another, to suffer with one another, and to pray for one another (cf. Rom 12:15). The humble – the one who is not consumed with ‘self’ – is the one able to bear the burdens of others (v. 3).
Third, the Spirit-filled Christian is the one who tangibly supports the work of the church and the kingdom (6:6). As mentioned above, Paul is putting solid meat on the doctrinal bones of 5:16-25. And it does not get more ‘meaty’ and tangible than how we spend our time and money. We focus on what we treasure – we devote time to what we treasure – we devote our finances to what we treasure. As our Lord Jesus Christ put it, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 5:21). The believer – the one filled with the Spirit – the one striving to live for the glory of Christ – treasures the things of the Lord – and such devotion is evidenced in the support of the church and the ministry.
Finally, the Spirit-filled Christian perseveres in doing good, especially in doing good to the people of God (vv. 9-10). All too many a professing believer starts well, but then fades away (cf. Heb 2:1). But Paul exhorts us to stay the course – not to grow weary. Brothers and sisters, may we pray for the Spirit to fill us and to lead us on in the way of Christ. May we not grow weary in doing good! May we not grow weary in our love for and service to our brothers and sisters. And may Christ be glorified!!
Rev. Robert Arendale, Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (OPC), www.csopc.org