Dear brothers and sisters, thank you for your interest and prayer for the gospel work in Germany. Let me briefly share with you the main topics of the ministry here last month.
The Peace of Christ
As a congregation, we find ourselves with great joy and hopeful anticipation of the church plant in Frankfurt. This month, quite unexpectedly, the congregation in Frankfurt was able to begin renting a building at a good price, which is not an easy thing to find in that city. Next month we want to appoint elders and then soon establish an autonomous church. God has been very gracious with us the last 3 years. The congregation has been growing spiritually and has also doubled in number.
A third of the members of the church in Wetzlar, who are loved affectionately and whose spiritual engagement in the church has been highly valued, will now leave in order to formally be members of the Frankfurt church, and humanly speaking, there are fears and sorrows of how the small congregation in Wetzlar will carry on. Furthermore an elder and his wife and another couple will leave because of work opportunities elsewhere.
In John 14 I preached about the peace of Christ. He promised His disciples peace in the midst of great distress when humanly speaking the disciples would have expected no peace, joy or encouragement at all. Yet Jesus promised His peace by means of His Word, because of God´s sovereignty and on the basis of His own obedience. Is it not much like the way of God to comfort, bless and give peace in times when we least expect it?
The Fruit of Christ
In evangelizing on the streets we often experience either lack of interest, ignorance or outright resistance. How can we witness in a way so as to present Christ as truly glorious, our glorious Savior? I had a conversation with a Muslim man that wanted to persuade me that Islam and Christianity are just the same. So I told him about the differences that exist at the very core of what we believe. However, he could not rationally admit the vast differences in our beliefs. He even affirmed that he believed Mohammed had died as a penal substitution for sins. O foolish men to prefer the most obvious nonsense than looking upon Christ!
Yet Christ promises his disciples fruit in John 15? I believe the greatest and most lasting fruit is not seen only at conversion, but in a continuing witness of love to a world full of ignorance, foolishness and resistance. Christ alone can fulfill what is lacking in us, He being the great vine, promised through the whole Old Testament, bringing to fulfillment as a man all that God delights in. By unity with Him we are promised to participate in His fruitfulness. Please pray, that we as a church will not cease to bear fruit as we learn to treasure Christ more and as we continue preaching the gospel, proclaiming Christ’s name and witnessing in word and deed.