Are you as tired as I am of the hype and hyperbole that goes on as churches compete for attention and standing? Help me with an attempt to state as simply, directly, and affirmatively a description of the church we read about in the bible. And then to “be the church” together. You aren’t alone. Go ahead and take this “Jesus thing” too far.
- Ordinary evangelism: Talking about the Gospel in public places with unbelievers.
- Ordinary obedience: Teaching believers to obey what Jesus commanded. Being examples of that obedience.
- Ordinary good works: Doing good works. Visiting the homeless, the poor, the orphan, the widow, the hungry, those in prison and it’s aftermath.
- Ordinary assembling together: Gathering together regularly to encourage each other, teach each other, build up each other, and pray together; admonishing one another when needed.
- Ordinary meals together: Sharing meals together, remembering our Lord, the cross, and anticipating His return.
- Ordinary love for Him: Loving Jesus; learning about the depths of His love for us and for the lost. Responding to His love.
- Ordinary love for each other: Loving one another; submitting to one another, esteeming others better, sharing our goods, our homes, our time, our lives. Saying often, “That’s what Christians do!”
- Ordinary simplicity: Leaving behind clergy, buildings, budget, night club entertainment, sermons, tax free status and the encumbrances of worldly tradition and wisdom.
How the church is organized and functions together is important, but it is not the answer to our condition. I have spent too much time and energy thinking that if only we could “do church” using biblical patterns and directions, that we could solve problems such as our Lord identified in Laodicea: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked…” Rev 3:17
Notice the next few verses indicate Jesus is the answer—not organization, not structure, not patterns.
- I counsel thee to buy of Me…
- As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten…
- I stand at the door, and knock
- I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me
- To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Paul saw God as extraordinary. His prayers show the expectations he had for what God could and would do for the saints. I have come to believe our greatest need in these times is to return with abandon to a profund dependence on God’s willingness to provide us with the understanding, desire and power to live holy lives dedicated to glorifying His son, Jesus Christ.
Paul’s points us to descriptions of God
- God of Peace
- God of Patience
- God of Hope
- God of All Comfort
- Father of Mercies
- Father of Glory
- The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
- God who is Faithful