Lebanon Road in 2017

Paul spoke of a mystery in Ephesians 5. He said, “Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish” (5.25-27). The mystery, as we so often mention, was not about marriage. The mystery was about the church (5.32).

Paul’s dream for the church was for it to be a beautiful thing, without corruption. He was afraid for the church. Paul knew that the world could corrupt the wonderful bride of Christ and he desperately wanted to keep it holy. Paul said, “I fear, lest by any mean, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive

another spirit which you have not received, or another gospel which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him” (2 Corinthians 11.3-4). Paul was afraid that the church at Corinth wouldn’t be able to resist someone who preached things that weren’t found in the teachings of Jesus. He wanted the Corinth congregation to be strong and to know the difference between the gospel and false teaching.
Our prayer for Lebanon Road is the same as Paul’s. We want to be the holy, pure bride of Christ. We want to be able to separate fact from fiction in a world that is so successful at blurring those lines. We want to look back at our existence at 2307 Lebanon Pike and say, “We did not go astray. We were not deceived by the world.” We want to be presented to Christ, when he comes again, as a glorious church without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing. May we continue to be a strong part of the Lord’s body in 2017. Let us always be grounded by the same goals today that Paul had for the church in the long ago. Be the light!

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