We have been given peace by the work of Christ. We need to live in a place of peace. To that end, the Bible also teaches us to pursue peace and the one leading the ecclesia or guarding the garden or house of God and guiding in the local Body of Christ (the local ecclesia) should exhort in such a way that the peace is felt. The presiding brother has to pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
From the experiences in life and from exhortations we should know that we need to put some effort into peace-making and peace-keeping. Therefore, the words of the exhortations should build us up to be able to do the necessary work. By the guidance of the church leaders, we should find the best ways to practice certain qualities, so that we will find that the Lord comes alongside us to uphold us in our walk, and abide with us through the journey until we get to the kingdom where the door will be swung wide open since we are expected.
The exhortations presented in the ecclesia should supplement the faith of the community with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are part of the members of the ecclesia and are increasing, they shall keep the members from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our lord Jesus Christ.
“5 Yea, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply virtue; and in your virtue knowledge; 6 and in your knowledge self-control; and in your self-control patience; and in your patience godliness; 7 and in your godliness brotherly kindness; and in your brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful unto the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2Pe 1:5-8 ASV)
Beloved, the life of faith comes with its imperatives. There is an ‘oughtness’ with which the life is to be lived. The elders leading the ecclesia have to take care that goodness gives breath to the ecclesia. They should not pose themselves as the only acceptable leader and preacher, because all members of the ecclesia should take part in the building up and all ought to be teachers.
It is not always guaranteed that the many years of the experiences of the aged will redound in their attainment of sound and godly wisdom that will profit the soul of young ones seeking the same. (The account in 1 Kings 13:1-32 clearly illustrates this point). Thus, while young people are encouraged to seek counsel from older people, they must reckon early on that only God Almighty has perfect wisdom, and he imparts His wisdom to us through His Holy Spirit.
In case they feel that there is some wisdom lacking they should ask God for it. As such the young, as well as the older ones in the ecclesia, should always be alert, follow the Word of God and must seek above all else to learn wisdom from God, and vet every counsel offered by persons deemed wise against the counsel of God revealed in the Bible. Through careful testing, we might uncover ignorance in the words of the knowledgeable, contradictions in the analysis of the understanding, and folly in the wisdom of the wise.
The one giving an exhortation should be gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere, willing to hear and listen to reactions.
In the post of February the 21st (Laodicean Ecclesias) we shall see how important it is and why we all in the ecclesia need to do a self-examination.