Stefan Cornu serves with Costel Ghioanca in the Adonai Church in Bucharest, Romania. He is very devoted to Christ, his family and to the ministries of the local church. In this months reports he relates how he is staying busy in the midst of the pandemic and the government’s restrictions:
It has been a month full of online meetings and counseling sessions. Our Sunday services were in at the building, but other meetings were held online.
We begin this month with a prayer night on July 5. We prayed especially for strength in temptation, health issues in our Church and praised the Name of God. It was a wonderful night of prayer as the Covid pandemic was getting stronger in Romania and the spiritual enthusiasm of the Church was lacking.
Sadly, Church life and attendance were affected also by the pandemic, as people didn’t come as usual to Sunday worship. Also, the summer vacation season has contributed to this state. But definitively the pandemic has resulted in spiritual damage.
We are thankful that until now no one was lost from our midst. We did extensive counseling sessions and are grateful to God for the fruits we see. This month we finished one of the multiple counseling sessions. It was a real encouragement to see an individual rehabilitated by the Word of God. He was battling pornography and depression and a low view of himself, but now he’s doing much better, as he is strong and willing to fight the battle no matter what. This is a real win. Praise God for that. We understood that these struggles come from a distorted view of God and the spiritual life. Satan wants to blind us about who God is and who we are.
We also continued our catechism course with Mr. Costel, Mr. Eduard and Maria. We are praying for Mr. Eduard as he is growing complacent towards the Church. The last couple of times he didn’t participate in the baptism course. But Mr. Costel and Maria are stable and diligent. Mr. Costel does not speak a lot, which gave us doubts if he understood the course. But when we have asked him questions, he always answers well. Maria is very solid in understanding the Word of God, so we praise God for that.
We are about to close the wedding counseling with Moise and Gabriela, whose wedding is scheduled for August 8. We pray that their marriage would be pleasing to God.
On July 19 we started meeting for one worship service on Sundays. We formerly had two services, but as the Coronavirus cases increased dramatically, we made the decision to stop the second service. Now, we encourage our congregation to have family worship on Sunday evening and provided a guide for how to do this and what to study. The feedback has been very positive as people engage much more personally with the Word of God. Also, the openness is greater in the family context.
I continued my preaching from the book of Galatians this month. I have preached tree sermons and finished chapter two of the book. It was a dense theological chapter, but it was spiritually rich. The basic idea was that justification is received only by faith in Christ, and not by any works. Paul is very clear about this, and if this is lost, then the whole Gospel is lost. Period. If by any means we can merit the favor of God by our works, it doesn’t matter how low the merit is as then justification in not purely by faith. But more disturbing is that when we accept just a little merit, then soon the door will be open to accept more and more merit, until we declare that Christ sacrifice is in vain. If we don’t stick with justification by faith alone, we dishonor the infinite sacrifice of our Lord. So this is a sobering realization. It’s not a matter of fad or fancy doctrine, it is a matter of honoring the glory of Christ and His sacrifice as it ought. We pray that His glory might be lifted up in Adonai Church and that Christ would be exalted above all.