Every congregation of God’s Church that was written to was dealing with internal and/or external problems, just like the different congregations today. Government interference, offense, financial problems, a lack of Love, and the list goes on. Yet, they were called to be the Church and fulfill their mission. Just as we are today.
But if 20 years ago you had a moment of belief and raised your hand, or even walked to the front and knelt at the altar, but went right back to doing as you always have, living as you have always lived, then you have not crucified the flesh; you are still dead in your sin and separated from God.
Galatians 5:1 – 6:10 Chapter division is manmade, for our use, to make it easier to find something that was written. The separation between 5 and 6… Read more “The Crucified Life (part 2) 7-7”
It is only in love (God’s love for us and our comprehension of it) that we can be, “built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22). We, the Church, have received the Holy Spirti, the Helper, the Spirit of Truth, so that we can reach into our communities, build relationships, and be God’s Church to those same communities. But we must live the crucified life, being led by the Spirit.
Any congregation, any church, that tries to function apart from the Spirit is powerless, a Zombie-a dead body-that looks alive but is dead on the inside. All it cares about is itself and all of its efforts are for itself. It does not produce at all but only takes. Every fundraiser is for themselves: a new roof, refrigerator, or just to keep the lights on. If all it is concerned with is within, then how is it fulfilling its purpose to be salt and light to those around it? It isn’t! It is dead, a drag on the community and on God’s true church.
The Church is to be equipping one another for works of service both in and out of the church building. That first church in Acts was learning together as the Church, they were devoted to each other, had meals together in one another’s homes, as Acts 2:46 tells us, and they prayed together… (they were equipped). God did not design His church to be a country club, or some kind of charitable organization that meets weekly, He put us together to learn and grow and teach and pray together so that we would be equipped to spread the Gospel!
Fellowship, worship, and ministry are all conducted by people, not buildings. Church buildings give us a place to have fellowship, a place to worship, and were intended to be a place to help us with, and in, the ministries we are called to do as the church. But buildings alone cannot meet every ministry need nor are they essential for a congregation to be the Church where they are placed.
Peter began his following when he and his brother Andrew heard Jesus’s call “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” So Jesus’ first and – as we will soon discover – last commands to Peter are “Follow Me.”
Not only was his name changed… but his whole life as he journeyed with his Lord, he was still the same man but things within were changing. He was changing because he followed Christ, he was becoming more while on his journey with Jesus because of his love for Him.