By Lynn Metier
Such was the question Pilate asked of Jesus (John 18:38), apparently in only a rhetorical way since he didn’t await an answer. It is IMPERATIVE, however, that Christians seek the answer, because it is only in knowing the truth that we can recognize, refute, and reject the deception, misinformation, falsehoods, and outright lies so prevalent in the world today. We shouldn’t be surprised at this state of affairs since the Bible tells us that “the whole world lies under the sway of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), whom Jesus identified as being completely without truth and the father of lying (John 8:44). Indeed, deception is one of the devil’s most powerful and effective weapons, which he has used since the Garden of Eden to separate mankind from God (Genesis 3:1-13), who is the “God of truth” (Psalm 31:5). Therefore, the first and central piece of spiritual armor Christians are exhorted to put on in order to stand against evil is truth (Ephesians 6:11-14), which the Psalmist declared, “shall be your shield and buckler.” (Psalm 91:4c)
This truth, however, is more than a theological concept or an abstract idea.Read more...
By Pastor Ray Viola
I am asked from time to time what my vision is for Koinonia Fellowship. I have stated this for 30 years now, and will state it again. My vision for Koinonia Fellowship is found at the end of all 4 gospels, and the beginning of the Book of Acts. I believe with all of my heart that The Only One with a vision for the church is The One to Whom it belongs, The Lord Jesus Christ. He simply is looking for men who have no other agenda than His. We are not called into ministry to build our kingdoms; we exist to glorify Christ and carry out His truly great commission. He will build His church. Thus, my vision for Koinonia Fellowship, past, present and future is to preach the gospel to every creature and make disciples.
It is the providence of God that has determined the location where He has called us to serve. In the history of Koinonia, God has planted us in two towns. Irondequoit for 13 years, and East Rochester for the past 17, going on 18 years. Thus, for 30 years, we have been teaching through the Bible, book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse in these two areas. The outcome of the ministry of The Word has been wonderful. God's Spirit has added to His church from 13 people to today. God has sent 4 men out to plant other local churches. He had touched people's hearts to serve in missions - local missions like nursing homes, Open Door Mission, Prison Ministry, and The Father’s Heart. He has touched other saints to serve in New York City, Texas, Italy, and India. Others have gone out on short term missions to Africa and other countries. None of these were in my heart when this church began. But that is always the overflow of God-centered, Spirit-filled, Christ-exalting, Gospel-centered exposition of Scripture. God-fed sheep will be given a God-created heart for ministry. Reaching the lost with the gospel and making disciples is what Jesus told us to do.
Thus, Christ's vision for His church will continue to be THE vision for Koinonia Fellowship in 2015. There is nothing new under the sun. However, being incurably human, there is always a learning curve in ministry. Looking back and looking ahead requires contemplation and consideration. God's grace has allowed us to grow from our conception to the present day. 2015 launches us into the 31st year of existence as a local congregation. We have been through many changes over the years. There has been many tears, and much rejoicing. Ministry is hardly easy, usually messy, but never in vain. The only perfect part of the church is in heaven right now. Over the years, we have by God's grace done many things well. But we can certainly do many things better. Seeking to do what we do better is part of what lies ahead for Koinonia Fellowship. We never want to assume that because God has blessed us, that means that everything we do is without flaw. The church at Ephesus was doing a lot of things right, but they lost their passion for Jesus. That is never right! Jesus will not dwell in a church where a love for Him is not supreme. Thus, I am always asking myself, how can we better reach the lost with the gospel with the love of Jesus? How can we better equip the saints for the work of the ministry with the love of Jesus? How can we better care for the flock and their ever increasing needs with the love of Jesus? Those are daunting and challenging questions, and ones that cannot be answered easily. Questions that require wisdom from God, and burning hearts with a love for Jesus and a desire to see that happen.Read more...