Monday, February 6, 2017

State of the Church

What Does God Want Us To Be Doing?

The question in the title has an important element in it. It doesn't ask, 'What Should We Be Doing?' It asks, 'What Does God Want Us To Be Doing?' That guides us to the place we are to find the answer: the Bible. That might sound obvious, but, sad to say, there is a growing problem of Christians not looking to the Bible for the answers to important questions like ours.

Let me add a clarification lest there be any confusion. The 'Us' in our question isn't us as individuals, even if we are a group of individuals. The 'Us' is the church. The Bible has some things for individual Christians to do and then, other things for churches to do. Confusion here can become a real problem.

So, how does the Bible answer our question? I think that a really good place to start to look for an answer is those letters to churches that take up the second half of the New Testament. When you read through these letters what you find is that they boil down to two important themes. The first is the Gospel stated, clarified, defended: doctrine. The second is the Gospel applied in different kinds of situations: life. (Think: Romans chapters 1-11: doctrine, and then chapters 12-16: life.) And what is the point of these two themes? The stress in those letters is on what kind of people we are to endeavor to become. It's about growing in things like character - aka Christian maturity. So, a good beginning to an answer to our question is that we should be working at becoming a certain kind of people, whole people. And that makes sense since that’s one reason Jesus has come.

Next: Can we get a little more specific, please?

This is from a series of bulletin inserts that I wrote for my church.
 

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