Restoring The Spirit Of The Church

by Dennis Simmons
The principle for the restoration of any object or ideal is basically the same. There must be a desire to restore, and there must be an understanding of what the original was.

The extent to which restoration is desirable is determined by the value of the object or ideal which is to be restored. No greater ideal could be desired by man, than to restore the spirit of Christianity as it was taught in the New Testament.

What is the spirit of Christianity? Webster's dictionary says that the spirit of a thing is its animating principle, its pervading influence. Let us turn to the word of God to find the animating principle of Christianity, the spirit of the finest way of life the world has ever witnessed.

Love is the permeating influence which seasons every activity of the Christian life. After considering the various gifts bestowed upon men for the edifying of the saints, Paul concludes 1 Corinthians chapter twelve by declaring unto them "a more excellent way." In the thirteenth chapter he reveals "love" as the more excellent way, pointing out that love is the only part of a Christian's activities that will never cease.

Christ came into the world to seek and save the lost. By His life He was able to demonstrate to the world the supremacy of love. It was the love of God for us that prompted Him to give us His Son. It was Christ's love for the Father and us that made Him willing to be obedient, even unto death.

According to Christ there is no greater demonstration of a man's love, than for him to be willing to lay down his life for his friends. Christ's love was even greater than this, for He died for His enemies.

Reading the thirteenth chapter of John, we see Jesus as He talks earnestly with His disciples. He realized that He was about to be offered. Taking advantage of one of the last opportunities He had to be alone with His disciples, he addressed them as little children, as a father would tenderly give his children last minute instructions that will keep them safely until he returns to with them once again.

They were aware of many commandments which God expected them to keep, but then Christ gave them a new commandment concerning love-- "that they love one another ." Christ told them how they were to love each other. It was to be a love similar to the love which Christ had for them. What was the extent of Hid love? It was to the point that He was willing to die in their stead!

Today we need to restore this spirit of love in the New Testament church. Love is the tie that binds us together, even more closely than fleshly ties. As the apostles and disciples preached to every nation, their uniform as soldiers of the cross was love.

Love is like a golden ring on which all the Christian graces are strung. As a circle is never ending, neither should be the love that we have for God, truth, our brethren and the lost.