Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Concerning the Church - Part 3

The church is to exist as a witness to the gospel and is to model to the world: grace, love, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, self control, acceptance, patience, sacrifice, a willingness to die to oneself, faith, determination, extra mile living, the laying down of one’s life, service rather than the need to always be served, passion and action for justice, peace as a non-anxious presence in the world, faithful witness, initiative, creativity, light and life in the midst of darkness and death, hope and courage in the face of impossibility and lose. We’re to take up our cross and follow Jesus. We’re to lay down our lives for our fellow men.

Paul really meant it when he said ‘it’s no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me’ and he really meant it when he said ‘come follow me as I follow Christ.’

Full on. For sure!

The call is not to join an institution or to sign a pledge card; it is rather to sign on for a different narrative account of reality that is in profound contrast to the dominant account of reality into which we are all summarily inducted.[1]

Our “doing and living” is to be as people “alive in Christ.”

Philippians 2:5-11
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a human being,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

A renewed identity in Christ leads to a new way of living; you are a new creation, act that way!

[1] Walter Brueggemann, The Word That Redescribes the World: The Bible and Discipleship (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006), 95.

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