Bishop João Carlos Lopes, Bishop in the Methodist Church in Brazil will be the Bible Study Leader on Thursday, Sept. 2, at the 2016 World Methodist Conference. You can read Bishop Lopes’ bio at http://worldmethodistconference.com/speakers/joao-carlos-lopes/.
Below is a video of his message at 2013 Aldersgate.
Article from Expositor Cristão (January 2016).
Translation: Google Translate Service
I will build my Church
Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)
We like this statement Jesus made after the declaration of Peter that he was “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” WE too have heard what we complete this statement:
- It is Jesus who edifies the church: He said “I will build.” No one — Pastor or charismatic leader, the skilled or the talented can build the Church. Sometimes we are impressed with some leaders. We should be impressed with Jesus. It is he who builds the Church.
- Jesus has a design for your church: He said he will build the Church. Jesus’ statement is
pointing to the future. It is not something that happened in the past. It’s something that keeps happening, and will continue until He returns.
- The Church belongs to Jesus: He said “my church.” So if we say “mine” or “your own,” then it is not Church. If Church, it belongs to Jesus. Remember it was Jesus who died for the Church, it was not you or me!
- Jesus always protect the Church: Jesus protects a church not in the passive sense, but in the active sense. The church moves, and the power of Jesus attacking the door to Hell (the manifestations of evil), and the gates of hell shall not prevail. So we do not have to be afraid of performing the Lord’s work. He takes care of His Church.
I want to highlight some disciplines that as the Methodist people you need to do as part of the Church being built by Jesus:
- We need to commit to a life of prayer: We need to take practical steps to become more effective as a praying church. We need to come together to pray. In Matthew 21:13, Jesus said “My house shall be called a praying House”. Certainly We pray individually, but we need to pray corporately also. More than a program, prayer needs become a lifestyle of the Church. Prayer must again be a priority in the life of the church. We can not forget that “it is not by might, nor by power, but the spirit of the Lord ” (Zechariah 4.6).
- We need to commit to a life of Holiness: This is the commitment of the people called Methodist from their origins going back to Wesley, and its preachers reached the conclusion that those Methodists had been called to “reform the nation, especially the church, and spread Biblical holiness throughout the land.” Our history speaks about holiness. Our national planning talks about holiness. Our theme for the biennium brings this emphasis: “Disciples and disciples in Mission paths, produce fruits of a holy life.” Everyone produces some kind of fruit. We are called to bear fruit that testifies to the fact that we have been blessed and set apart by our God. People bearing holy witness through a life in the presence of God.
- We need to commit to a lifestyle of generosity: Generosity is always the consequence of love. Those who really love are generous. God so loved us that He practiced the greatest act of generosity, giving his only son. Generosity affects all areas of our life: finance, gifts, talents, time. When we plant a new church or a new mission field, it is an act of generosity. A sacrificial act of love – We go out of our comfort zone to bless other people. when we hold a mission. This is an act of generosity and love. When we accept to lead a discipleship group, a class Sunday school, this is an act of generosity. When, in obedience to the Lord, we use our gifts and talents in the church service and community, it is an act of love and generosity. In the Christian life, the lack of generosity is synonymous not only with selfishness, but also synonymous with disobedience and infidelity.
- Lastly we need to commit to excellence in all that we do: It is not enough to be generous. IT IS A must to do everything with excellence. After talking about the gifts in chapter 12 of the first Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul begins Chapter 13 saying in use of the gifts, I’ll show you the most excellent way — “love.” Everything we do with love, we make quality and excellent. I said Jesus has a project for your church. His project is to make disciples of all nations. Thus the Methodist people progress, participating in the project Jesus for his Church.
Go Forth in Prayer: HOLINESS, GENEROSITY AND EXCELLENCE.
God help us and give us grace!