Encouragement from Elder Sergiu Cernautan

A belated Happy New Year, Westside! It’s hard to believe February is here. By God’s grace, I trust your New Year is off to a good start.

I am incredibly thankful to be serving our Lord Jesus Christ as part of the Westside body along with the elders, the staff, and all of you. As Pastor Matt mentioned in one of his letters, we have been talking and praying a lot as elders about the season we are in, the mission and vision that God has for Westside at this time, and how to prepare for where He wants to lead us next, while faithfully continuing to serve Him.

Living on mission in the heart of Vancouver is quite similar to the church in Corinth—both cities representing the cultural, political, economic, and spiritual centres of their parts of world. How are Christians to live in light of the gospel of Christ in the middle of a cosmopolitan, prosperous, morally decadent, and idolatrous society along with all of its temptations and distractions? To that end, I am incredibly excited as we enter the 1 Corinthians series.

The church in Corinth was troubled by many serious problems. Yet, the remarkable things the apostle Paul said of the church in Corinth in 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 are also true of us. Mainly, that

(1) God gave us his grace in Christ Jesus,

(2) that we have been enriched in every way in Christ (e.g. in our speaking, in our knowledge as confirmed by the testimony of Christ in the body of Westside),

(3) that we do not lack any spiritual gift, and

(4) that He will keep us strong to the end so that we will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ because God is faithful.

These realities were true of them (as they are true of us) us solely because of the grace of God. Paul’s message of exhortation to the Corinthians is framed between, and must be received in light of, two theological realties—the cross of Christ as key to God’s wisdom and the resurrection of Christ (and ours) as the ultimate triumph over death—our final enemy. So we do not lack any good thing in Christ.
Thank you for your continued faithfulness as displayed by the testimony of Christ in all of you. My prayer for all of us is that we would continue to be faithful to do every good work that God has prepared for us beforehand as we invest our time, talents, resources and opportunities for His kingdom. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with us.
Much love in Christ,
Elder Sergiu
Ps. 16:3 NLT
Categories: Encouragement