Saturday, August 30, 2014
The world needs the real Jesus. All too often religion masks the real Jesus in customs, traditions and bureaucratic institutions that care more about the perpetuation of their own organizations than advancing the good news of the Gospel and making disciples of Jesus.
There has been one church for over 2,000 years. The church is the Body of Christ; it is not an institution. When Jesus told the Apostle Peter he would ‘build his Church” he was referring to a people, not a denomination. The word translated “church” comes from the Greek term ekklesia (“upon this Rock I will build my ekklesia” Matt 16:18), which is formed from two Greek words meaning “an assembly” and “to call out”, or perhaps simply “called out ones.” To summarize Jesus teaching in Matthew 16:18, the New Testament church is a body of believers who have been called out from the world by God to live as his people under the authority of Jesus Christ.
When we are united in the faith we are “One Church”. We are One Church when we focus and teach the essential truths of the Gospels, the essential faith. It is in this essential truth and faith that we find revival, spiritual birth and unity. The essentials bring life and hope to all who believe.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
The time is right for the Church to get back to the basics; those essential truths including the one gospel and saving faith in Christ. Once we master these essentials and live them we will begin to experience true unity in the church. A good definition of unity would be to have everything in common and at the same time embrace the diversity of gifts and callings and languages and styles that make up the Church.
Jesus prayed that we would be 'one' in John 17:21 but for almost 2,000 years the Christian Church has experienced divisions, splits, dissension and even heresy.
How can we possibly be 'one Church' when there is so much division? Some churches have only male ministers while some allow females. Some have clergy with special vestments and some are in t-shirts and jeans. You may be used to services that last over two hours or perhaps your local church has you out in less than an hour.
While we could go on and list pages of differences there is still the prayer of Jesus that we would be 'one'. Deciding that we are ONE CHURCH is still a choice despite what appears to be stark differences. The choice is to look at our differences as interesting diversity within ONE CHURCH rather than examples of different churches. We can do this when we focus on the essentials.
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