Build the new temple, the church of Christ, together. This is what the international leader of the New Apostolic Church, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, urged the faithful on Pentecost.
It was the conclusion and highlight of the Pentecost assembly: the divine service in the central church in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Numerous congregations in North and South America received a live stream of the divine service.
The church of Christ as the temple of the new covenant: this was the central thought of the sermon, which focused on 1 Corinthians 3: 16: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
Temple inside and outside
First of all, temple means the gathering of the church of Christ: to experience the nearness of God; to thank Him through prayers, music, offerings, and by doing good to our neighbour, as well as asking for God’s help for one another, and imploring His forgiveness.
Temple also means, demonstrating that God lives in the midst of His congregation—in the hearts of the faithful. This becomes visible when our actions are aligned with the will of God and we try to develop this further and further.
The church under construction
The Chief Apostle urged the faithful to build the church, the new temple, together. “Everyone is needed. And each one can contribute.” Important is the plan of God, in other words, the gospel of Jesus Christ and the teaching of the Apostles, as the Bible describes it.
The visible church of Christ is anything but perfect, he said. “Don’t get upset about it. It is still under construction.” What matters is not the number of imperfections, but how we deal with them. “With God’s help we can deal with these human imperfections.”
Differences and similarities
At the beginning of the sermon, the international Church leader had pointed out the diversity within the New Apostolic Church, a church which can be found in almost all countries in the world. The circumstances of the individual members are as diverse as the setting and conditions of the congregations.
But God’s plan, the Chief Apostle said, is to eliminate all injustices in His kingdom forever. To accomplish this, every believer has been given the same gift: the gift of the Holy Spirit. And with that, everyone has the same chance. “Now it is up to us and our will.”
5 June 2022