“And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 KJV)
Prayer time. Set out ‘reminder’ cards. Open Bible. This scripture 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13. The cards remind of specific people for whom I desire to pray. The open Bible represents the scripture as Truth in the prayer. This particular book and the scripture that jumped out of the page deals with Paul’s words to the church at Thessoliki. The Bible subtitle is “Prayer for the Church.” Seems appropriate.
Two sets of keys words are in this prayer: 1) “may the Lord make you to increase and abound in love toward one another and toward all; and 2) “in order to establish your hearts blameless in holiness.”
Is Paul is saying for our hearts to be blameless and established in holiness, we have a prerequisite that is love toward one another and toward all? Perhaps. Perhaps this blameless holiness is beyond salvation by faith in Messiah. But isn’t that the trap some have fallen into, then Messiah’s sacrifice isn’t enough to save, but we must do something else beyond that to establish holiness?
In looking at the subtitle, “Prayer for the Church,” it is directed to the body of believers, not to a single person. Individuals are blameless in Messiah through their faith in Messiah. But a church is established in holiness, blameless, through its demonstration of love toward its own and those outside its body, its congregation.
Church members, together as one body of Messiah, are to love one another while also loving all people. The demonstration of this love is what will bring the heart of the church into blameless holiness. I believe this is what makes a vibrant, healthy, joyful fellowship of believers. It is in such a group that the Spirit of G-d is able to work in individual believers and flow outside the confines of that group, drawing others into the flow of divine love and power.
It seems to me such a church needs no membership drive, doesn’t need to preach and teach on giving and tithing, and doesn’t have to beg for help from its members to help at various social functions. Such a church, established in a blameless holiness, has bonds between believers and things just happen; the Spirit, like the conductor of a symphony, works to make the body alive.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .