The Role of Modern Guards in Zion
Discouragement is a threat to triumphant Christian living. The sources of discouragement are varied and they encroach with stealth, until the victims of their assault are overwhelmed. “The Lord is my strength…” (Exo 15:2). “He gives power to the tired and worn out, and strength to the weak” (Isa 40:29). And for that reason, “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals, (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer” (Acts 2:42, NLT). Church provides a broad range of developmental activities, including fellowship, but it should not be narrowly confused with a social club, for it is more than that. “God… has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord” (1 Cor 1:9, NLT), and “…our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). “…You Gentiles are a part of God’s house. In olden times God did not share this plan with His people, but now He has revealed it by the Holy Spirit to His apostles and prophets. And this is the secret…: the Gentile will have their full share with the Jews in all the riches inherited by God’s son’s. Both are invited to belong to His Church, and all of God’s promises of mighty blessing through Christ apply to them both when they accept the Good News about Christ and what He has done for them. …Endless treasures [are] available to [the Gentiles] in Christ” (Eph 3:1, 5-6, 8, TLB). “May… God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ… give each of you His fullest blessings and His peace in your hearts and your lives” (Php 1:2, TLB). “…Everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…, and becoming one with Him, no longer counting on being saved by being good enough or by obeying God’s laws, but by trusting Christ to save me; for God’s way of making us right with Himself depends on faith—counting on Christ alone” (Php 3:8-9, TLB). “Dearly loved friends, I had been planning to write you some thoughts about the salvation God has given us, but now I find I must write of something else instead, urging you to stoutly defend the truth that God gave once for all to His people to keep without change through the years” (Jude 1:3, TLB). Modern guards in Zion, like their ancient counterparts of Ezekiel 33:1-11, must be ever vigilant, strengthening the Church from within, so it remains robust, to carry out the Lord’s mission in the world. “Now we can come fearlessly right into God’s presence assured of His glad welcome when we come with Christ and trust in Him. When I think of the wisdom and scope of [God’s] plan, I fall down on my knees and pray to the Father of all the great family of God… that out of His glorious, unlimited resources He will give [us] the mighty inner strengthening of His Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in [our] hearts, living within [us] as [we] trust in Him. May [our] roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; and may [we] be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high His love really is; and to experience this love for [ourselves], though it is so great that [we] will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last [we] will be filled up with God Himself” (Eph 3:12, 14-19, TLB).
Bro. Graham F. Watts, Sr.