May 04, 2015
One unbiblical proverb used when people talk about children is “it takes a village to raise a child.” We may not fully see the effectivity of this proverb when it comes to parenting and the validity of its principle but it says this about mankind’s nature: that we are purposed for a village or community. When God created Adam, He put him in the garden, and when Adam disobeyed God, he was banished from the garden. The garden represents the place of community between God and man.
God placed Adam in the garden for him to flourish, for this is the ultimate community between God and man. The sin of Adam not only resulted to the fall of humanity but also the lost of community.
Ever since we lost the community with God, history has been a report of community projects. Some are closer to God’s original design but the garden was only fully redeemed through Jesus.
I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
– Matthew 16:18, ESV
And because of what Jesus did on the cross, we may return to the garden, the community with God – the church.
God also put Adam in the garden to make it fruitful, through fulfilling his God-given calling.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
– Genesis 2:15, ESV
Man is not only placed in the garden to flourish through his relationship with God but also to make him fruitful by following the mandate of God.
As we continue to disciple the students in the campuses, we bring them back to the garden as we establish them in the church. The best place for students to flourish in life is when they are in fellowship with God and with other believers.
At the same time, establishing the students in the church entails a responsibility for us, to make them fruitful in and through our fellowships.
Our mandate, like Adam, is to work and to keep the garden.
To work the garden is to cultivate it. Cultivating means preparing the land for sowing and making the plant grow by pruning and watering. A cultivating fellowship is a healthy fellowship. This is seen through the fruit of the fellowship. What does it mean to have a cultivating fellowship?
This means that our fellowships prepare their hearts to go deeper in the Bible and in prayer.
Our fellowships are not only a place for comfort and encouragement, but also of correcting and disciplining. The ties get stronger in the good times, as well as the bad. Students get to learn in our fellowships to value relationships over the offenses.
Our fellowships, like burning coals, will cause them to to feel more the love of Christ for the lost.
A healthy fellowship bears the fruit of greater love for God, His people and the lost.
Keep an eye out for the second half of this blog on keeping the garden!