Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
In conclusion, it is always true that “unless the Lord builds the house, those who build labor in vain” (Ps. 127:1), and yet we are especially aware that this Conference is one in which the enemy would love to “kill, steal and destroy” (Jn. 10:10), one in which the beast will make war on the saints, those from “every tribe and people and language and nation” (Rev. 13:7). He will do any and everything to work against the “one new humanity” (Eph. 2:15) God has created through the work of his Son, and applied by the Holy Spirit.
This “one new humanity” created by God we desire to understand and work toward. We are “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). This is not an entity we create, but rather something God creates and we are eager and committed to work it out. There is a right understanding and living out God’s work in our lives, and discerning the vital difference between God’s creative work and our eagerness to maintain the unity he created. As we live out this new life in Christ, individually and corporately, this is a testimony to the enemy that God triumphs. One of the results of God creating one new humanity is “so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Eph. 3:10).
We, the people of God, the church of Jesus Christ, reflect and manifest what and who we truly are in Christ. We manifest and live out the reality of those who have been ransomed by the blood of Christ “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9; cf. 7:9; 14:6). We are an outpost of heaven, a manifestation in the present-time of the end-time eschatological people of God – what we will become, we have become, as the kingdom has come in the person and work of Christ (the now), his rule and reign are embraced and lived out by those who have received Christ by faith, and the kingdom will come (the not-yet) fully when he returns in glory.
Please plan to join us for our Theology Conference as we address this important issue. Please join us in prayer for the speakers, attendees, those who are considering attending, all the administrative details, and anything else the Lord leads you to pray. We are also praying not only to be encouraged and edified, we are also praying to be challenged and through all of this the Lord will produce lasting gospel fruit. We eagerly desire to be faithful, and as we are, we also recognize our dependency on the Lord to do the work. With Paul, we recognize these important truths: "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth" (1 Cor. 3:6-7).
You can find information on the Conference at the following link: EFCA Theology Conference: The Gospel, Compassion and Justice, and the EFCA. Registration is found here. Please do not come alone. Instead, plan to come as a ministry team to learn and grow together!