The late theological statesman, Edmund Clowney observed:
“If we lack interest in the church we lack what was for Jesus a consuming passion. Jesus loved the church and gave himself for it (Ephesians 5.25).”
Jesus’ love for his church is evident throughout the pages of the New Testament. In Matthew 16.18 Jesus promises to build his church. In fact he promises to empower it and protect it to such a degree that even Hell itself can not stand against it.
In Ephesians we are told that we, the followers of Christ, are the Body of Christ. (Ephesians 5.30) And the way the world will know we are his people is through the way we relate to one another. (John 13.35)
OK. I know that there is little, if any, new ground being broken here so far. What I have written is widely understood and little debated by those who are followers of Christ. But while these principles are widely known, lesser understood is how we can -and should – practically live out our life together as Christ’s Church.
The folks at 9 Marks have developed a wonderful little e-book that helps lay a solid foundation and offers wise instruction about life together. It is titled: Living as a Church. Originally a Sunday School curriculum, each chapter is only about 3-4 pages designed to spark conversation as well as instruction.
Below are the links to the various chapters. I commend them all, but they are also of value considered by subject of interest.
- Introduction: Unity- God’s Goal for the Church
- Church Membership: Context for Unity
- Preaching: The Foundation of Unity
- Corporate Prayer: God’s Power Creates Unity
- Church Government: Godly Authority Fostering Unity
- Fellowship: Building a Bond of Unity
- Discontentment: A Test of Unity
- Church Leadership: Submission for the Sake of Unity
- Church Discipline: Preseving God-honoring Unity
- Serving & Giving: Sacrifice for the Sake of Unity
- Worship: Praising God in Unity
- Corporate Evangelism: A Harvest of Unity
5 thoughts on “Living Together as the Church”
There is something interesting God is doing related to understanding unity attached to how God imparts all knowledge into a united area that can be called the Kingdom of God. Life can understand how to use itself to understand God as Jesus Christ did and does. The Church can represent all united life to some and it can also represents the life of the environment, an experience with something placed to human being environments where life can come together based on caused interests timed with what God is doing. Interests purely placed(no integrations coming from bits and pieces of divided information about God and God’s ways). It is interesting, when understood attached to unity things like Churches are aware and as alive as you understand yourself to be, understanding God as a part of the life within it. That is how we will always exist perpetually, aware and alive with interests that cause understanding about what God is doing at any and every moment where united life is caused interested. There is communication at this site http://www.allelyah.wordpress.com addressed to certain groups of people that God causes me to understand can use information about how life understands God. Some of it can be interesting now or later and all of it cannot. Words and images are caused by God to either be compatible with experiencing ability or incompatible. Life is to use itself with words and images that understand to them infatuation (peace, love, joy) unless they are being caused to understand something necessary to be understood toward agape experiences. Sometimes that is useful, but not always appreciated by some initially.
Agape emotions to you and all wisdom attached to what God is doing along with anything God causes interesting pertaining to your perpetual existence.
I am not sure I understand exactly what you are expressing, but I will look forward to checking it out.
Good stuff Dennis. I think 9 Marks hot the mark sort of speak here. 🙂
Only one issue I think, the “Church” is lacking for real Godly men who are able and available and it affects leadership and unity at the same time.
So many “leaders” in the church are really there because they won a popularity contest with the people in the church or have been attending a certain church for a long time and by default are put in places of leadership. I will say however there are many really Godly men God has put in leadership positions and are real servants, live leaders, of outstanding character, and people who Love God and others.
How do you know the difference and what do you do about it ? An interesting topic that may well be worth looking at in further postings.
Jesus Christ exists as an organized area unity. This area understands a united communication and causation from God which causes it to use itself doing something that God is doing that is caused interesting to them pertaining to their appreciated experiences. In life understood as whole, God causes them to use themselves within experiences placed to their existence and then causes understanding about them attached to what God is doing. At intervals, populations of life togeher with their living experiences are casued to form an area unity that is positioned attached to the one Jesus Christ is united with and as. These organized area unities all have a united understanding of God’s process and are caused to use themselves doing something that is appreciated pertaining to aspects of the earthly experience that God used to understand Himself as He always is.
Things that Jesus Christ was caused to do understood to Himself and to life interested in what God was doing something necessary to be understood about God. This life existed in a variety of ways and across earthly existences (understanding levels). For exmaple, walking on water communicated that life was to use itself attached in a unity, but not inside of or integrated. This was a shared conscious experience for a grouping of life. The opposite of a possession (an life integrated with divided existences, information, emotion) is an existence caused to use itself together in a unity. That is eternal existence that is appreciated.
Jesus Christ was also caused to provide information to some that God caused Him interested in pertaining to what they were providing that was not united with an eternal understanding about God and was not being provided free of a causation from life that understands from the non united parts of experiences in the world. These provisions were coming from attention spans interested in what human beings were doing (understanding from them or to them) and not what God does. When a life is interested in understanding from or to human beings about something they understand in part or about something not undersotod attached to what God is doing with everyone and everything, they are caused to recieve integrations from the areas they are focused on. Some have understood this as opressions and possessions and today, for many, this has been medicalized and criminalized and disconnected from an understanding of God.
How to use information that places you inside of what God is understanding to and causing purely can be understood and it is to be used within what is available placed to life here as experiences.
Understanding somethings about Jesus Christ and not knowing how to use the information to exist understanding God united with the area where God is causing united knowledge and experiences that are appreciated, is happening because the information is not able to be understood together with the life of the experiences God has placed to this “era”. You can understand how to use the information Jesus Christ communicatd about if you understand something about the way the life of your interests, attachments and activites are caused to understand a communication from God. They are to understand as one with you and you can understand everything that you are and that you use yourself with as living.
You can understand something from God if you are not caused to be saying something out of your area to God. Life (people, places, things, activites) that you come together with that is not united with how you will understand God as an experience (one that you can continue to have with God eternally) communicates out to God. That is not supposed to happen and at certain points it is understood by God as unacceptable.
Relative to what you are using yourself with now, this may or may not be understandable, but what follows repersents a communication to another pastor. It can be interesting to you when you are interested in what God is doing that always happens, something that you can also do by way of a united experience that you are caused into that is appreciated.
The living aware scripture that you attached to your communication understood as in the Book of John (the unity of Jesus with life understanding God and all of that life in unity with God), is interested in what God is doing and in perfect unity. These are examples of words and images, because they are attached to what always happens, that support life to use itself united with their position mark, experiencing themselves attached to God without integrations or impurities. Unity with the life of your position mark, is how God causes you to have a united understanding of God and how you will always use yourself. God causes life to use itself in a way that understands to that life what God is doing. This occurs in what can be called the environment of the Kingdom of God or within continuous Kairos Moments. Interest in what God is doing is an eternal interest.
When a human existence has been understood to by other humans telling them how to understand their aware experiences which are caused by God (for example, the life of science, medicine, government, religious business people, educators, etc) and what is being communicated to them is not something that is united about what God is doing with everyone and everything as God is always known to eternal life, then that life exists integrated with pieces and parts of information. To account for gaps in knowledge pertaining to interests, some have understood this as supposed to occur, and some have called this mystery and all of this is only another word for confusion. Anything God causes interesting through experiences placed to life is able to be known attached to an understanding that all knowledge comes from God to awareness (not through humans) and attached to using yourself within unity with people, places, things around you. This means that anything you are using yourself with, God causes to understand a communication of infatuation (moves you and what you are using yourself with into an environment that rotates out negative energy, divided information, the unseen communication of restless emotional life) and you and the life around you (attachments, activities) understands God as one.
God can cause you to use yourself to understand this information within an experience. What life interested in understanding God to them is doing is to go around to wherever you are caused interested an with your senses look for examples of what is supposed to happen. This moves you into a united circumstance and God causes in a way that is very interesting to participate in. This is the same instruction God gave to the Israelites when understanding their way out of the Wilderness and into a preferred conscious experiences and united knowledge. Your consciousness, your attention span is your soul at any given moment. Life using itself within what is being described will have a united soul, consciousness, attention span that is always placed within the Kingdom area and understands knowledge and emotion in unity with the life there.
God causes me to provide information here about understanding ability toward life being interested in what God is doing and understanding how to use themselves within the area where God is causing them to use themselves within the experiences God causes in a way that understands what God is doing.
I can supply other words to parts of this as well and appreciate God for all areas of life that is interested in what God is doing. God understands this as “Something is happening that is supposed to happen and everything in unity praises God.”
I did not understand spell check prior to this post and you can understand that spelling, while understood as necessary to be done by some, is using itself in the area were God causes something to use itself out of unity (entropy pathway, breakdowns, doing something different information). That would be another communication about what life understood about causing something to be understood to others in a certain way together within a false unity understanding themselves into a temporal fix in a way that is not truth.