It is vital for the edification of the Church that all members be united with the Administration placed by God. For, being so means that they are “united with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
MEMBERS OF THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO (Church Of Christ) firmly believe that the Almighty Father appointed a minister to whom He gave the authority to preach His message and to administer the Church towards spiritual maturity and, thus, salvation (Col. 1:25, 28–29). Thus they are continually thankful to the Lord God for placing an Executive Minister in the Church in the person of Brother Eduardo V. Manalo to shepherd the now global flock. Indeed, they consider him a blessing from God as they truly feel his love and concern for them, untiringly caring for the Church by, among others, constantly teaching them the will of God.
That is why, on Brother Eduardo Manalo’s upcoming birthday, Church members all over the world express their heartfelt greetings and well-wishes. They fervently pray to God that He continue to protect and help their beloved leader and allow the immense spiritual power to flow through him for the benefit of the entire Church.
God’s purpose for placing an Administration
Apostle Paul declared the divine purpose of the Administration placed by God in the Church, thus:
“For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed.” (II Cor. 10:8 New King James Version)
The apostles were entrusted with the authority to administer the Church in the first century. According to Apostle Paul, the Lord God gave the Church an Administration for its “edification and not for [its] destruction.” Hence, every task carried out and every decision made by the Church Administration in accordance with the pure gospel and by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28) is always for the edification of the Church, in general, and every member, in particular.
For this, the Church Administration, through the leadership of Brother Eduardo Manalo, launches multifarious activities in which the Church members enthusiastically take part for their spiritual growth. All of these are for the purpose of edifying their faith to ensure their salvation.
Why Church members should be edified
It is vital that each member of the Church receive spiritual nourishment and care because, according to Apostle Paul, the edification of the body of Christ or the Church is “for the perfecting of the saints” (Eph. 4:12 King James Version). The saints being referred to are those who are inside the Church Of Christ, which was redeemed and cleansed or sanctified with the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation; Heb. 9:14, 22 NKJV). According to the Bible, those who are edified are the ones who will reach Christian maturity, will be presented perfect before God and before Christ, and, thus, will be worthy of salvation.
That is why, the Church Administration is making every effort to edify the Church and help the members reach spiritual maturity and perfection. Apostle Paul explained that Church members who are fully edified and are heading towards spiritual perfection are no longer like “children,” which the Bible describes as those who are easily carried away by “the teaching of deceitful people” (Eph. 4:14 Good News Bible) or by false teachings.
Thus, they will no longer be deceived or swayed to do anything that go against God’s teachings. There may be those who persecute them and spread lies against the Church but they do not get affected or carried away. Instead, they are able to stand their ground in upholding God’s teachings taught by the Church Administration.
That is the reason the Executive Minister, with the ministers and ministerial workers as his helpers, always exhorts all the brethren to firmly hold on to and constantly obey God’s words that they received toward the perfection of their faith.
Church members also have a part
As the Church Administration makes every effort to edify the Church to be certain of receiving salvation, every member should also strive to fulfill his or her duty:
“Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” (Rom. 14:19 NKJV)
Church members are taught to pursue the things that edify one another. Thus, each of them should also do his or her part for the edification of the Church. Apostle Paul identified one of the things that every member should strive to fulfill because it is for the edification of the Church. This is what he taught:
“Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
“From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph. 4:13, 16 NKJV)
Thus, it is vital for the edification of the Church that all members be united with the Administration placed by God. For, being so means that they are “united with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ”:
“We give you word of all we have seen and everything which has come to our ears, so that you may be united with us; and we are united with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (I John 1:3 Bible in Basic English)
What members should avoid
All members should shun division among them. Christ underscored the harm that division brings to His Church: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall” (Luke 11:17 New International Version). The Church Of Christ is also called “the household of God” (Eph. 2:22 Phillips New Testament in Modern English).
Thus, anyone who tries to cause division or strife within the Church commits a sin against God. Such a person is destroying the household of God. Apostle Paul relayed what God will do to him who tries to destroy the Church Of Christ, which is also “God’s temple:”
“If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” (I Cor. 3:17 NIV)
The apostles conveyed this warning because God does not want any member of His Church—who has already the sure hope of salvation—to end up in punishment. God’s temple or the Church is sacred. And its unity is sacred, as well.
Bringing joy to the leader
Inasmuch as the Church members want to bring joy to their beloved leader, the apostles taught what true Christians should do, thus:
“That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” (Phil. 2:15–16 NKJV)
Church members should become “blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.” That is why, even if wickedness abounds in their surroundings, true Christians “shine as lights in the world” by “holding fast the word of life” or leading a life in accordance to God’s teachings.
For that reason, Brother Eduardo Manalo announced the current theme of the activities of the Church: “God’s Elect Strive to Live in Holiness.” If Church members uphold such kind of life until the end, God’s Messenger—the first Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ in these last days—as well as those who administered the Church after him, will have reason to “rejoice” on the Second Advent of Christ for they have not labored in vain.
Apostle Paul also taught true Christians how they can complete the joy of their leader—“by being of the same mind” as their leader’s, “having the same love [toward one another],” “intent on one purpose” or to be united in purpose, “and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel,” which is “the good news regarding salvation” (Phil. 2:2–3 Amplified Bible)
Brother Eduardo Manalo calls on all Church members around the world to intensify their participation in all activities in the Church. This is because he wants all the brethren to reach spiritual perfection and be sure of receiving salvation, especially now that it is truly very near.
Thus, members of the Church Of Christ the world all over express their deepest gratitude to the Almighty Father for blessing the Executive Minister with another year in his life. They highly value the labors of their beloved leader in caring for their spiritual welfare. They prove it by remaining firmly united with him and selflessly submitting themselves to his administration, for they faithfully believe that the Lord God placed him for the welfare of their salvation.