"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us…" -Ephesians 5:1-2
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. " - 1 Corinthians 1:18

Why Jesus eats with publicans and sinners

Elder Tim McCool then presented a sermon using Ephesians 4:17-32 for a primary text, with supporting texts from John 15:1, Matthew 6 and 5:14-16, and a number of other scriptures. Elder McCool began by encouraging us to stay the course in the way we are operating the church in accordance with scripture and know that God will take care of providing growth and increase in due time. He also reiterated that it was far better to add just one person that believes the truth in a life changing way, than to add a hundred that are just nominally affected by the truth. Elder McCool stated that it is always best for us to personally conduct our affairs in the same manner as God has laid out for us in scriptures, even though we are giving up something which is naturally and physically pleasurable. The end result is that we receive a hundred fold more spiritual joy than we ever give up physically. The things we cannot do without are the very things that need to be reduced or removed from us all together. As an example, Elder McCool reflected on how the more we scrape out of a pumpkin we are carving, the more the light will shine through. In essence we need to remove more of us so that more of Jesus is visible. Elder McCool further proclaimed that fornication is the bait in the trap of idolatry and we need to have such things scraped out. Elder McCool also emphasized that all that are born of His spirit have an on-going battle between our two natures – – the flesh and the spirit – – and the less that remains of our natural fleshly self, the more room for growth remains for the Holy Spirit of God within us to manifest Himself. In like manner, Jesus prunes us back with the Word of God so that we will better produce fruit, thus it is important to be in the church to hear, and in our Bibles to read, the Word of God. He further taught that every type of sacrifice (alms, prayers, fasting) requires the killing of something that is no longer available to us. It is something we give up and thus it is dead to us, and it is good for us to deny ourselves some of these type things and discipline ourselves – – and especially the things of this world that we think we cannot live without. Finally he proclaimed that there is no better place for the light of the Lord to start to shine than in our homes.

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