Liberia: Rev. Dr. Reeves Admonishes Oldest Baptist Congregation in Africa to Uphold the Spirit of God; Transform Society by Taking Steps of the Old Believers
MONROVIA – The Senior Pastor of the historic Providence Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Samuel V. Reeves, has admonished members of Africa’s oldest Baptist congregation, the Regent Road Baptist Church that they can only convert their society, transform government, rendition overhaul, heal and reconcile the world, if they allow the spirit of God act in circumstances confronting them.
Speaking Sunday, June 13, as guest preacher at the Celebration of the 299 years of service of the Regent Road Baptist Church in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Rev. Reeves said success is not based on doing the same thing and expecting to change the status quo, but with continued consistent connection to the Holy Spirit, which is he believes is the source of all blessing.
Order than doing this, he said, one will be heading for failure, especially with the thought that yesterday successes are guarantees for tomorrow’s failure.
The celebration was conducted under the theme, “Empowered by the holy spirit for effective ministry.
“When the church, the called-out ones, the living body, the branches of the Vine, the Bride of Christ, is empowered by the Holy Spirit it becomes an agent of Redemptive change called by God to make a redeeming difference in this indifferent world,” Rev. Reeves preached.
He said unless members of the congregation take the steps of the early church, by becoming a plug to the source, and regularly examining their walk and bear the evidence of the Spirit, individual lives and the collective life of the community of faith, the church, will go no-where.
According to Rev. Reeves, the evidence of a life, and a church that is filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit is not speaking in tongues, but marked by Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Meekness, Self-control.
“I am sorry if I made some of you mad, that’s what the word of God does. Listen to Paul in Galatians 5:22. He says, the fruit of the Spirit – fruit is evidence – sign – signal – mark – proof – suggestion – confirmation – substantiation and verification.
The confirmation of a church filled with and empower by the Holy Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Meekness, Self-control. Listen, a church that is evident by this list of fruit is ready to take on the challenge of Effective Ministries that are transformational,” Rev. Reeves stressed.
He maintained that it is not impossible for the church to have the same kind of explosive power, one that world can’t stop; a life changing that-be accountable, and make it champions for social justice, anti-corruptions and advocates for the poor, the widow, and the destitute as well as a power that transforms communities, and makes disciples like the early church did.
In order to achieve this, Rev. Reeves cautions members of the Regent Baptist congregation that their actions must always show that they do practical things that will keep them connected with Christ and be change agents in a world full of evil, crime, and corruption.
He said, “Listen, Luke is telling us because the church today has access to this kind of power. Nothing is impossible for us to overcome.
This supernatural power is available to us – the power of the Holy Spirit controlling our leaders, forming our visions and passion, changing our minds and attitudes, energizing our ministries, and allowing the world around us to see the life of God active and creating new communities and society around us.”
He further said that changes is important in the lives of delivers, because it leads to changes of people, systems, communities, organizations, churches, and governments; which introduces Justice, decency, uprightness and righteousness in a ‘corrupt generation.’
However, Rev. Reeves also advised that upholding these values might place you in dangerous position with negative forces of the world.
As a result of receiving the power of God to transform, he said believers are under divine obligation, just like the early church, to become a dangerous church.
“A safe church is a place where there is very little excitement, and not much is happening spiritually.
A safe church is a place where there is no expectation and low expectation, and a lack of genuine enthusiasm about God, and service in the church,” Rev. Reeves added.
“A safe church strives to keep every-member happy, and avoid controversial issues, and remains cautious; a safe church says we have always done it this way; A safe church remains resistant to change and new ideas, and is made up of people who always play it safe.
Listen, god never called his church to be a safe church. With the power of the holy sprit, gods church is a dangerous church where everybody is called to carry out effect ministries that transform lives, renew the communities around us; to stand with the oppress, and stand against the forces of tribal politic, sectionalism, corruption, injustice, and evil in high and low places.”
At the same time, Rev. Reeves informed the congregation that taking on the task to become a dangerous church to the world requires several risks that will keep you in closed relationship with God.
He stressed: “A dangerous church is made up of people who are willing to take risks with God; a dangerous church is where people pray and things happen; and where people’s relationship with God is not passive, but active and alive; a dangerous church is where people sacrifice self for the good of others, and take risks for the things of God; a dangerous church is a please where believers pay their tithes faithfully and fully, and use their gifts regularly without excuse in the church for the glory of God; a dangerous church is where people are serious about God, and different from the world; a dangerous church is a please where communities are renew, lives are radically changed and disciples are intentionally made; and a dangerous church is a place where people gained passion for God; and where people urged others to repent, be saved and not perish.”
Meanwhile, Rev. Reeves said the same spirit that was available to the church in Acts, that enabled believers to transform lives and renew communities is still available today, to make the church and believers more effective witnesses, better examples for God, faithful ministers, running effective ministries, and champions for social justice, to be anti-corruptions and the cause of Jesus Christ for the poor, the widow, the destitute and the forgotten.