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Don’t Get the Wrong Idea About Church

There’s always some sort of controversy about the Church. Some shout “too conservative”, while others “too liberal” and this congregation or that or this conference or that has something questionable or abominable going on. Many times, it seems about getting butts in seats as opposed to opening God’s Word. I think what has happened is that we get the wrong idea about the Church. In our ego-centric culture, many have tried to turn the Bride of Christ into a buffet, taking out the “problematic” parts we don’t like, or allowing our traditions to dictate what we should and should not do. We have, in many cases, become divided against one another, not on matters of Scripture, but on matters of personal opinion. Sometimes, we make it more about getting people in to seats than preaching the truth of Christ that can get people saved.


Loved ones, the true Church is always centered on Christ. It is always confirmed by His Word. The Church is the saints of Christ, not an activity on Sundays or Wednesdays (though the gathering of the saints IS something we’re called to do!) The early church was founded on the day of Pentecost when Peter preached Christ and Him crucified and risen again through the Scriptures, letting the authority come by the power of the Holy Spirit; and the people who heard were cut to the heart and said, “what shall we do?” Those who become the church should keep asking that question “what shall we do?!” Look at what the Scriptures say happened:

“’Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.’”


“Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.’ And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.


“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:36-47


 If you’ve repented and been baptized into Christ (that was what Peter said they should do), and you have received that same Spirit who rose Jesus from the grave, you should be dedicated to the same things that the Church was dedicated to in the beginning, and then, never stop responding to the Gospel! Repent daily; seek Christ daily; be in Scripture daily; be in fellowship daily; break bread daily; pray daily. The Church is not about you, or me, and is not centered on a preacher, culture, or personalities. It is established by and centered on Christ. The Saints, then are devoted, to Christ and His word and to one another. Stand on that!


Romans 6


What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.


For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.


Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.


Slaves to Righteousness


What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.


For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


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