Who doesn't want to be healthy? I mean...physically. Of course, we all do. That being the case, we are certain that there are specific daily habits which contribute to good physical health; we call them physical hygiene. Nearly all of us took courses in Primary and High school that covered the basics of good physical hygiene. Everyone agrees that good hygiene includes eating right, sleeping well, physical exercise, bathing properly and, of course, brushing our teeth. The symptoms of neglect for some of these become obvious more quickly than others. If you miss one night of sleep, your performance on even routine tasks may be severely substandard. However, it may be several days before people begin to notice that one hasn't been bathing properly or teeth brushing. Nonetheless, even the neglect of these over a period of time will have negative health implications. With the Covid19 Virus spreading, we are all becoming very conscious of personal hygiene.
A Believer's spiritual health is accomplished likewise - through good spiritual hygiene. The scripture abounds with admonitions that encourage the practice of spiritual hygiene. Here's the list - just four:
(1) Read your Bible,
(3) Fellowship with other Believers and
(4) Share your faith with others.
I'm convinced that a Believer cannot experience the abundant life in Jesus Christ (John 10:10) without exercising good spiritual hygiene on a systematic basis. Here's why. Let's start backward and work forward on this one - the bottom line (so to speak). God wants to see Believers living their lives before the world in a manner that glorifies God through Jesus Christ; that's the bottom line. In order for that to be the case, each Believer must demonstrate the attributes of Christ. Well...that comes naturally when Believers are led by the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." There they are, nine attributes, symptoms of being led by the Holy Spirit of God. You don't work on those individually; they are symptoms of reality. To attempt to fabricate these attributes is like covering oneself with deodorant and cologne to disguise one's failure to bathe. It doesn't solve the problem - just disguises the symptom (and perhaps not very well).
It should be emphasized here that the fullness of the Holy Spirit is evidenced by the attributes of Galatians 5:22-23, not the manifestation of spiritual gifts in I Corinthians 12. Paul makes this fact very clear in I Corinthians 12-14 and Galatians 5. Let's state it simply: When you are led by the Holy Spirit, you will be characterized by nine attributes of the "fruit of the Spirit." Now you might ask, "How do you arrive at a point in your Christian life where you are led by the Holy Spirit?" That's simple; those who are led by the Holy Spirit are those who are filled by the Holy Spirit. Due to the unscriptural teaching that prevails regarding the "filling of the Holy Spirit," this process requires some additional explanation.
Everyone who has trusted Jesus Christ as savior has received the Holy Spirit. I Corinthians 12:13 says, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." Romans 8:9 further substantiates this fact when Paul says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." However, receiving the Holy Spirit and being filled by the Holy Spirit are not functionally identical. All Believers receive the Holy Spirit at salvation. It's the Holy Spirit that makes the salvation possible in the first place (John 6:44), and it is also the Holy Spirit that seals our salvation experience by inducting us into the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13; II Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 4:30). However, the filling of the Holy Spirit involves a continual process in the Believer after salvation. Filling of the Holy Spirit is not a one time experience, but a continual process. Ephesians 5:18 says, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." The Greek word for "filled" there is a verb (present passive imperative) that, based upon the tense, speaks of a continual process of filling. In other words, you don't get filled just one time and ride that out for the remainder of your life. Again, it's a continual process. Wouldn't it be great if we could fill our cars up with fuel the day we purchase them and never have to do it again? We expect to fuel our cars. Expect also to fuel the spiritual man. When you fuel the spiritual man with practices of good spiritual hygiene, the spiritual man becomes strong in your life because you are filling up. When you are full of the Holy Spirit, you are led by the Holy Spirit. When you are led by the Holy Spirit, people see the attributes of Jesus Christ flowing out from you, the "fruit of the Spirit."
What is this fuel for the spiritual man within every Believer? The answer is simple: the practices of GOOD SPIRITUAL HYGIENE. Let's list them again:
What historical days we suddenly appear to be living in. Our Lord and his disciples also found themselves living in challenging days. Asking ourselves what is the Lord's will for my life here and now, Paul reminded Timothy that the key is personal holiness based on sound teaching, 1Th 4:3 "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification..." We can confidently move forward in these times because of the Lord's presence in our lives, which was the key element we heard in a recent sermon from Mark's Gospel when Jesus calmed the storm. Their security was to be with Jesus. Might I encourage you to be faithful in your daily time of prayer and Scripture.
It appears we now have the first confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Knysna. The only way we can determine how long this entire concern will last is by helping to limit the possibility of spread and exposure through maintaining what is now known as “social distancing.” This is quite a "big gulp" for a pastor to swallow. While this will all be monitored and reviewed on a weekly basis, I feel this is something we need to prepare to embrace and endure. So for now, Sunday Services will be suspended until further notice.
Ministry and Support
I must emphasise, “Church isn’t closed…the building is.” The church is alive and acting in faith, hope and love to share Christ and serve others. Don’t lose sight of this. We are living forward even in days of uncertainty because our confidence is in the Lord and in His word.
Know I am praying for you and hope you are praying with me for our national leadership, local community and for one another as we persevere in these days.
We will continue to minister to you and each other on a more individual personal level, We are able to interact and communicate through some platforms like Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lagoonsideknysna/, Church Website https://www.lagoonside.org/, WhattsApp group we will create for Lagoonside and Youtube.. This is something we want to sharpen and expand in the coming days.
For your tithes and offerings, for now for those able, use internet banking, and those who aren't able, contact us. Our Banking Details are as follows:
FNB, A/C No. 62079193852
Branch Code 210214
So stay tuned… there’s more to come. Thank you!