Feb
18

Quinn’s Epistle to the Estevanians

image

 

 

1. Quinn and Vanessa, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Estevan, with the Pastor and the Elders: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, thankful for your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

It is right for me to feel thus about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my time in Edmonton away from home and in the defence and confirmation of the Gospel. For God is my witness; how I miss you with all of the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that that your love may grow more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may choose what is excellent and may strive towards purity and blamelessness for the day of Christ, filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

I want you to know, brothers and sister, what I have done has, in the end, really served to advance the Gospel, so that it has become known throughout my own family and friends and to all of the rest that my time away from Seminary that I brought upon myself, and the richness of the hand of God through all of this and most speak of the transformation in my life and the hope of a new beginning and are given hope themselves by it.

?Some perhaps still have misgivings from perhaps less than noble motivations at my re-entering Seminary, but I don’t know. Those who I do know who are cautious or skeptical about me do so out of good reason, and based on past experience. The latter do it out of love, for me and the Church, the former, I’m not sure. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice.

?Yes, and I shall rejoice. For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for the good, and it is my eager hope that I shall not be ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honoured in my life, no matter the vocation that God places me into. If it is to be Pastoral Ministry, that means fruitful labour for me. Yet which shall be chosen I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to become a Pastor and serve Christ and His people in that way, but I maybe it would be better to do some other kind of work for Him, like that which I am doing now. I only know that no matter how this turns out I shall remain and continue with you all, for our mutual progress and joy in the faith, so that together we may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus.

?Only let your manner of life be worthy of the Gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind, striving side by side for the faith of the Gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear omen to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake, engaged in the same conflict which all Christians everywhere are engaged in.

2. So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the Name which is above every name that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in Heaven and on Earth and under the Earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

?Therefore my beloved, as I have always done, so now, not only while I was there but also while I am here, I will work out my own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. I will try and do all things without grumbling or questioning, that I may be blameless and innocent, a child of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom we try to shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the Word of Life, so that in the day of Christ you may be proud that you did not run in vain or labour in vain. Even if I am to pour myself into my work here, sacrificing this time as an offering to God, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise I will be glad and rejoice with you.

?I hope in the Lord Jesus to come with Vanessa and Trinity to you all soon, that I may be cheered by your presence. I have no one like them, and Vanessa is genuinely concerned for your welfare. Vanessa’s worth, as you know, is both in working with me, and helping and supporting me as I journey through this time and all that have come before it. I trust in the Lord that shortly we will be able to come to you also. I have also heard that Melissa has visited you, my sister and now Deacon in La Ronge. She was of great support to me in my struggles and though she did have struggles of her own, and very nearly chose another career, but mercy was shown to her and she has now been successful in serving God up north.

3. Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no bother for me, and is safe for you.
?Look out for the dogs, look out for the evil-workers, look out for those who would sow division among you and draw you away from Christ! For we all are united through Baptism into Christ, who worship God in spirit and glory in Christ Jesus, and put no confidence in the flesh. Though I have thought that I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh, if any other man has reason for confidence, I thought I had more: converted by the Charismatics, a studier of theology, a lover of pious learning, a Lutheran raised of Lutherans, as to purpose driven – a Director of Young Adult Ministry and leader of Bible Studies, as to zeal, a hater of the “dead Christians,” as to righteousness, never missing a Monday night prayer meeting!

?But whatever gain I had, I count as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus my Lord. For His sake I would suffer the loss of all things, and count my former ways as crap, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on what I was doing, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

?Not that I have already attained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers and sister, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but one thing I strive to do is to forget what lies behind and strain towards what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature be thus minded; and if in anything you are otherwise minded, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.?

Brothers and sisters, you shouldn’t imitate me, but look to those among you who so live and been an example to all of us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you with tears, live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their bank account, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on Earthly things. But our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body t be like His glorious body, the power which enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.

4. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. I entreat Faith and St. Peter’s to agree in the Lord. And I ask you also, true fellow farmhands, help the people of these congregations, for they have both supported, affirmed, and loved me, and contributed to my development as a Christian together with the Edmonton congregations and Pastors and the rest of my Seminary brothers, whose names are in the Book of Life.
?Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let all men know your reasonableness, the Lord is at hand. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

?Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What I have learned and received and heard and seen in you, I will try to do; and the God of peace will be with us.

?I rejoice in the Lord greatly that you have always been concerned for me; you were indeed concerned for me over the last couple of years, but had no opportunity to help. Not that I complain of want; for I have begun to learn, in whatever state I am in, to be content. I am beginning to know how to be brought low, and how to abound; in all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.
?Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Estevanians yourselves know that in the beginning of the my journey, when I left Saskatchewan, no people entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving except you only; for even at CUCA you sent help to me once and again. Not that I seek the gift; but I seek the fruit which increases to your credit. I have received full support and more; I am filled, having received the gifts you sent to us, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

?Greet every saint in Christ Jesus, Vanessa and Trinity greet you, everyone who knows you here greets you, and those who I have told of you, especially those at the Seminary. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with your spirit.

Speak Your Mind

*