The Unity of the Church written by Ruth Dickson

The Unity of the Church

The Church, as a whole, is a front office. It is the window or inter-face for the world.  Can you imagine a nation “peeping” through the window of the Global Church and sighting a human body walking around without its head? Then they look through another window only to see another frightening scene: a hand moving without an arm. A foot walking on its own, an arm moving without its hand, a heart floating in the air, a leg with a missing foot walking sporadically… The observer of such a disturbing show would run for his or her dear life?

Sorrowfully, this is what the watching world sees when it picks up the courage to look into the window of a Global Church that is not connected to its Head.

One Head of the Body

A Church without a Head cannot function.  Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church. The Body of Christ has different parts, with different functions. The different parts of the Body operate in connection to the Head. There are many Churches within the Body of Christ and its message is central: Salvation through Jesus Christ.

Confusion within the Body

 There is confusion on different aspects of the Christian Doctrine. Churches disagree on whether women are allowed to preach. Others argue about how music should be presented in the Church. Some fight over the meaning of the Sabbath… the arguments go on and on.

 Take for example, the Work of the Holy Spirit. Some believe the outward work of Holy Spirit (the Gifts of the Spirit) is the evidence of Salvation.  They confuse it with the inward work of the Holy Spirit, which is a work of grace.  The Bible makes a clear distinction between the two.

Imagine boarding a plane without reaching its destination.

 In the Books of Acts, people from all nations witnessed the mighty works of God. “They all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’Acts 2:12 – But others mocking said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’” – Acts 2:13

Speaking in other tongues brought glory to God, even though not everyone was convinced by it. Some of them began to ask questions.

This miracle opened the door for Peter’s sermon in Acts 2:14-41.

He preached the gospel. It was the Spirit of God who worked on the inside of those who “received” the Word.  Indeed, the Spirit of God is the Spirit of Truth.

 “So those who received the word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” – Acts 2:41.

V. 42 If you read further, it says those who received the Word devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship with other believers.  

Imagine if the crowds walked away after the miracle without the inward work of the Spirit! 

The outward work of the Holy Spirit should not be confused with the inward work of the Holy Spirit.

Unity of the Spirit: Unity of the Church

There may be different denominations within the Body of Christ with different understandings of Scripture, however, they are still “connected” through the central message and teaching of Jesus Christ.

The Church is United because it is United by God’s Spirit. To be disunited, is to be disconnected from God’s Spirit.

“There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all and through all and in all” – Ephesians 4:4-6

© Ruth Dickson

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Choosing to obey God written by Ruth Dickson

CHOOSING TO OBEY GOD

Choosing to obey God, rather than obey man, is one of the greatest things a person can do.

In the face of opposition to your faith, will you make a stand for Jesus?

We are living in seasons where circumstances will bring your faith into question. Situations will shine a bright light on your faith. Will you follow God or follow man?

Peter and the Apostles found themselves in such a situation. Everywhere they went, signs and wonders followed. Multitudes gathered. Some of the sick were healed, just by coming into contact with Paul’s shadow, it was sensational – Acts 5:12-16

The Apostles ended up in prison as the news of all they did in Jesus Christ’s name spread like wild fire.
The angel of the Lord visited them at night and miraculously opened the prison doors:
“Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” – Acts 5:20

At the crack of dawn, the Apostles were about their Father’s business, as instructed, preaching the Gospel.

Think about the opposition the Apostles faced. When the captain of the temple heard they were preaching at the temple, they were arrested.

“Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name?
And behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”- Acts 5:28

How did  the Apostles respond to this?

We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29

Faith and Obedience:
It was truly a test of their Faith and Obedience. They believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and preached what He preached. The Apostles were obedient to the Lord’s commands.

Be encouraged this hour to walk in Faith and Obedience towards God. Do not let the persecution, trials and temptations of this world shake you. Your obedience towards God is a demonstration of your Faith. Faith and obedience walk hand in hand, they cannot be separated.

As you abide in Christ, remember, He will abide with you (John15:4). As you draw near to God, be confident He will draw near to you (James 4:8). Walk hand in hand with the Holy Spirit: He will “instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” Psalm 32:8. The Spirit of God will advise you and watch over you. Have no fear!
© Ruth Dickson
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The Principles of Mission 5 written by Ruth Dickson

Preach the Gospel to Everyone, “God Shows no Partiality”- Acts 10:34

The average Christian cannot stand next to the religious man and woman.  If God were to view righteousness based on religious observances, I don’t know a single Christian who would meet the mark. 

There are people today who truly want to know God. They desperately want to obey Him and do what He says, however, they approach God legally. Their desire to know God pushes them into adopting certain principles, to which they adhere, without fail, like the giving of alms, being kind and doing everything they possibly can to please God. Cornelius, a deeply religious man, was such a person (Acts 10). 

“He was well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation.”

Devout in all His ways, Cornelius feared the Lord and was constantly praying. However, his understanding of God was obscured. You may ask, “To whom was he praying if He did not know God?” 

In God’s mercy, Cornelius had a divine visitation. An angel of the Lord appeared right before his eyes and Cornelius’ response was amazing:

“What is it Lord?”

Cornelius response showed his pliable heart and willingness to obey God. 

And the angel said to Cornelius, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter…” Acts 10:4-8

Peter travelled over thirty miles to meet with Cornelius, however, God first of all revealed the legalism within Peter’s heart. Through a vision, God showed Peter his failure to understand that there were no divisions between God’s people. (Acts 10:9-16). The animals in his dream were unclean in his past life. The ceremonial law was deeply imbedded in his heart. Peter never physically ate anything unclean. His beliefs also extended to his relationship with others; never eating or having fellowship with non-Jewish people. Acts 10:27-28

It was Jesus desire for him to preach the Gospel to the nations. Through this vision, the limitation in his mind was broken. Indeed, Peter was converted. He preached the gospel freely to Cornelius and all present: his friends and family.

 Before Peter could finish preaching, the Holy Spirit filled the room and fell on everyone in the room, thus the Lord proving His Word, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Salvation was for both the Jews and Gentiles, “God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” – Acts 10:34-35

Both Cornelius and Peter touched by God:

There were two conversions: Cornelius eyes were opened to see God in the fullness of His glory and Peter was also converted. He was no longer discriminatory in his preaching of the Gospel.

Are you hungry for souls?

If you are a Christian reading this, you have a commission to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ without discrimination. The Lord knows those who are His, just preach Christ. John 3; 16

Are you seeking God?

If you are seeking God, not all roads lead to Him. Salvation is through Christ alone. Jesus took the sins of the whole world upon His shoulders, indeed He paid the price that no one else can pay. Being good and observing religious duties cannot save a soul.  Salvation is a work of divine grace, as it cannot by any means be earned. Repentance leads to Life – Acts 11:18

© Ruth Dickson

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The Principles of Mission 4 written by Ruth Dickson

The Principles of Mission 4

“Jesus, He is Lord of All”

The concept of a place called “Hell”, a place of justice, where bad people go, is a reality in every religion and faith. In today’s Christianity, there is the trend of the pushing an Ecumenical concept, where multi-faith working is taught, attempting introduce a new world religion, a new kind of faith. However, there is only one faith that teaches Salvation through Christ alone.

It is a concept that world religions kick against because it takes the power of Salvation out of human hands and places it upon the finished work of Christ.  The grace aspect is hard to receive. Salvation is a reality because of Christ. There is no other way or means a person can be saved.

The Centurion’s eyes opened:

  There was a devout man called Cornelius in the Bible. He was a Centurion, a Roman and Gentile, described as God fearing, generous and prayerful (Acts 10). However, he had limited understanding of Jesus and Salvation by grace alone. He saw the Christian Faith through the eyes of tradition, Law and Works, despite the yearning for God in His heart.

Peter Preached the Good News: “Jesus, He is Lord of All”

Through Peter, Cornelius’ obscured view was broken and the limitation in his understanding removed. The Good News was released, not just to Cornelius, but to a multitude of Gentiles. While Peter was speaking to Cornelius, “the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the Word.” The Gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out in abundance.

Let us not fear, or fail to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people. God’s arms are open.  In time of grace, tell the world about the saving power of Jesus Christ.  Salvation is through Christ alone. 

© Ruth Dickson

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Saints, Pray for Your Brethren Globally. Written by Ruth Dickson

Saints Pray for Your Brethren Globally.

This is a Clarion call for Christians, where ever you are, to pray without ceasing for the Persecuted Church. There is a spiritual shift on this earth.

Christians reside all over the world, including places where  early Christian communities have dwelt safely for centuries. Ancient  Christian communities are being displaced and its people killed. Men and women are languishing in jail for their faith. Others are beaten, shot, slaughtered and burnt alive for their faith. Many are kidnapped, trafficked and sold. Jesus Christ said we should not be surprised at the hatred. 


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Though you  may not see what is happening or hear the voices of the Martyrs, your brethren in Christ suffer daily. Many of these brothers and sisters, like you, once lived in peaceful communities, now shattered by war, the wicked, bandits and  mercenaries. Millions of people have been affected.

Like Queen Esther, you may think the anguish of these Christians do not concern or affect you. You may say it does not affect your community, you are in a safe country, you are high and mighty, so why should you care etc…

“Do not think to yourself that in the king’s Palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews.” – Mordecai (Esther 4)

As a  Christian, whether you realise it or not, you are already in the mix of a great battle. The carnal mindset, immorality and the  idolatry of this world fights you everyday. Remember, you are a sojourner passing through dangerous territory, controlled by  ruling powers of this world. Do not think for one second this matter does not concern  you.

The devil knows his time is short.

Prayers:

As we remember our brothers and sisters in Christ, let us remember Christ’s compassion and passion, as He lay broken and bruised, He bled to death on the cross. Our precious Lord and Saviour experienced betrayal, persecution, hatred and murder first hand. He understands the pain of the oppressed.


Pray for the young, especially nursing babies, whose parents have been  killed. They have no one to defend or help them, but Almighty God. Pray for Divine help, protection and deliverance for the weak. (Psalm 82:4).


Pray that  God will pour out His persevering and enduring Spirit on His people , as the day approaches. Pray you will not bow to temptation. (Hebrews 12:1-3).


Pray God will protect His people from the evil one. Pray the Saints will not give up as they  go through worsening trials and temptations on this evil earth. Jesus prayed that His people be protected from the evil one John 17:15.


Pray for God’s hand of justice against injustice on this earth. Pray the persecution of God’s people be met with  swift justice (Psalm 82:3; 89:14).


Pray for the sponsors of these wars and killings to be stopped in their tracks by the power of Almighty  God.


PRAY FOR THE LORD’S  RETURN!!!

MAY THE LORD HEAR THE CRIES OF HIS PEOPLE AND COME QUICKLY. AMEN – Ruth Dickson

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The Principles of Mission 3 writtten by Ruth Dickson

To have your personal needs met without actually coming to Faith in Jesus Christ is a tragedy and travesty.

The Principles of Mission 3

FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST

Luke 17: 11-19, presents the story of ten lepers who lifted up their voices to Jesus saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”  Jesus met the Lepers at their point of need, however only one of them turned back to praise God.  The Leper, who turned back, fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, demonstrating not only his gratitude for being healed, but also faith in the one who healed him. The other lepers got what they wanted, but did not come to Faith in Jesus Christ.v.19.  Only one of them returned and received much more than Physical healing. Christ the Great Physician healed His Soul.

The Need of Salvation

The primary reason for preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ is for sinners to recognise their need of Salvation. Their sinful condition remains without the penalty for  sin being paid. The requirement for Justice must be met.  Without Christ, the sinner remains unjustified,  the sinful condition remains, the penalty for  sin remains, the alienation from God remains.   The sin of Adam is deeply embedded in the conscience of every human being. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse a guilty concience.  It is important for a person to come to Faith in Jesus Christ to be reconciled to God.

The Physician of the Soul.

Jesus Christ, is the only  One who can treat the soul, nothing and no one else can fix it. There are  no philosophical ideas that can replace the salvation of the Soul .  Only Christ can  impute righteousness. The saving power is through  the shedding of His  blood… Salvation through Christ is absolutely non-negotiable. It is by grace, and by grace  alone. 

© Ruth Dickson

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The Principles of Mission 2 written by Ruth Dickson

EVANGELISM

When the  Gospel is preached, people will realise their sinful condition and their  dire and desperate need of a Saviour.

God changes people by changing their minds. Salvation is by grace and  grace  leads to discipleship.  The person who  abides   in Christ will undoubtedly become more like Him.

The Truth of God’s Word is vital in directing hearers towards Heaven. The Truth keeps disciples focused on eternity.
© RUTH DICKSON
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The Principles of Mission written by Ruth Dickson

The Principles of Mission:

“Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the Church that you seek to excel…

13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful… 1 Corinthians 14:12-13

Spiritual gifts are bestowed for the edification of the Church.  The glory of God should be the over-ruling purpose for anyone who desires spiritual gifts.  These gifts become a mere distraction when they are used for the wrong purpose.

Total reliance on the Holy Spirit:

Anyone who excels in Mission Outreach does so by the Spirit of God. Without the power of God there will be no unction or zeal. Ultimately, God brings souls to himself for His glory and He will use His methods to do so…

You can pray today that God will pour out His Spirit today, without limit, for His glory.

© Ruth Dickson

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The Fire and Zeal of a Missionary God written by Ruth Dickson

The Fire and Zeal of a Missionary God:

It was Jesus who personally trained, nurtured and spent quality time with His disciples.  This reflected in the disciples boldness and zeal.  Jesus preached His own gospel. He set the pace and standard, as the first Missionary, for others to follow.

After Jesus resurrection (Acts 1:3), He still spent forty days with the apostles, nurturing them, giving instruction and guidance for the journey ahead. Jesus spoke about, “the kingdom of God.”

The Collision with the Holy Spirit:

Throughout their sojourns, the apostles came up against different groups of people who would challenge their preaching and teaching.

In Acts 4, Peter and John were arrested and put in custody for teaching and proclaiming Jesus rose from the dead. Peter and John refused to stop teaching, but proceeded  with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

  In Acts 5, the high priest and a party of Sadducees were, “Filled with jealousy” v.18. They arrested Peter and the apostles, charging them to prison. Nevertheless, the angel of the Lord released Peter and the apostles and they declared they would continue sharing the gospel, saying, “We must obey God rather than men.”- v29

As God’s people, you will come across modern day Priests, Pharisees and Sadducees, who will set themselves on a constant collision course with the Holy Spirit.  Jesus and the Disciples went through it. All who follow Christ will go through it.

 The Power of the Holy Spirit:

In this era, the challenges of God’s people  are multi-faceted. It is important to walk, step by step and precept upon precept, with the guidance and Power of the Holy Spirit.   

   Until the disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit, they could not move into the higher arena to which they were called. There is a greater endowment and empowerment of the Holy Spirit for a higher calling. This is not a joke, but a serious matter.

God’s Presence Precedes His Work:

After Jesus’ ascension, His Spirit still instructed the apostles where to go, and where not to go… It is important that you do not attempt to do any work of God without submitting to God. You must wait for the release of the Holy Spirit. God’s presence is with you always and your greatest battles will be  fought on your knees.

The Work of God Continues:

God’s plan for people to repent and believe the gospel still stands. “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand.”(Mark 1:15)

Child of God, pray for willing vessels who are ready to be renewed, and receive the Holy Spirit, to move forward.  Pray to be given wisdom, well beyond your years, and pray for the Spirit of boldness along the way…

© Ruth Dickson

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Empowered for God’s Glory written by Ruth Dickson

Empowered for God’s glory 

The name of the Lord must be exalted and declared to the ends of the earth. Let the trumpets sound and the banners be raised. The Spirit of God is the primary witness of God’s desire, as the Spirit was there, from the beginning. 

The Spirit goes before you:

The Spirit goes before the servants of God,  giving them the power, unction and zeal to publish the gospel. Salvation must reach the ends of the earth, “I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth…” – Isaiah 49:6

The Gospel is to be preached to the ends of the earth, by the power and unction of the Holy Spirit. This has been part of God’s plan and purpose from the beginning of creation.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

 God’s Mission:

Be encouraged today to be a faithful witness for the Lord. The Spirit’s empowering witness goes before you. Pray without ceasing to be raised up and empowered by the Spirit of God.

© Ruth Dickson

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