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Dear COA Family,

We had a wonderful church camp over the past weekend. It was our first camp after five years and
the Lord worked a gracious work in our midst through his Spirit to refresh us and reconcile us to
himself and to one another. This was shown in the powerful sessions that we had and the wonderful
times of fellowship we enjoyed. We even had the joy of witnessing four of our friends placing their
faith in the Lord for the first time during the third day of the camp!

So, my message this week would include a description of what we have learned at the camp, so that
those of you who were not at the camp could also share in the blessings as well. You are all part of us
and we all constitute the body of Christ. Each and every one of us are precious and special to God and
have been given a gift to serve and build up the community of God.

Here is a brief recap of the sessions:
1. We recognised that all of the spiritual blessings that we have received come from God the
Father alone and they are given to us because of his great love and mercy toward us. Our
identity and unity is therefore rooted in God alone (Ephesians 1).

2. All of the walls that have been built up in our lives – whether between ourselves and God or with
one another – have been broken in Christ. We can therefore reconcile and receive each other in
Christ (Ephesians 2).

3. Not only that, we all were given gifts by the Holy Spirit for preserving the unity of the body and the
building up of the church. None of us lives to or for ourselves alone but we are to humbly serve each
other with our strength and abilities (Ephesians 4).

Then, on the last day, there was a final session that I shared from Ephesians 6:10-18. It is rooted in the
reality that spiritual warfare is present in our lives. This is because we have an enemy – the devil –who
prowls around and seeks for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8-9). There is no escaping from this fact
of a constant spiritual struggle in our lives against him.

However, the key to winning our spiritual battles on earth is first to know who our true enemy is – Satan.
We are not each other’s enemy nor should we be fighting among ourselves.

Paul concludes in his letter to the Ephesians:
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of
the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly
places” (Ephesians 6:12, NLT).

The Lord has put this word strongly in my heart to share with everyone – it is dangerous and futile for
us to see each other as an enemy and fight against each other. We will end up consuming each
other. And this grieves the Lord.

Instead, we must make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace and focus
our fight against the true enemy of our souls – the devil. We should love each other deeply from a pure
heart, seek to do good to each other and battle against the devil’s schemes in our lives.

So, who is your enemy this week? I hope and pray that it is not your fellow brother or sister.

By fighting the right battle, we will gain the true victory of Christ in our lives and in our church.

God bless,
Revd Ian