Why do we need the church? Part 1

A follow up to Lance's Post: "Dear Church, Are We Off Course?"

need the churchMy friend, Lance (founder of Legacy dad), penned this blog post, “Dear Church, Are We Off Course?” in which he spoke from the heart and from some frustration and pure honesty with issues in today’s church in the free world, The United States of America.  If you haven’t read it or have, I encourage you to read it again and then ponder to yourself to ask what you see in your church and where are we going.

In Ephesians 5:25 we read are “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”, which applies to those whom Christ died for.  In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said that “I will build my church.”  In the Old Testament they reference to an assembly of people who worshiped God.  The Greek word, Ekklesia, is a term that is translated as church, which simply means assembly.  The Church is both local and universal.  The church is both visible and invisible.  It is not defined as brick and mortar.  In metaphors in the New Testament, the Church is referenced as “an olive tree (Romans 11:17-24), a field of crops (1 Corinthians 3:6-9), a building (1 Cor. 3:9) and a harvest (Matthew 13:1-30 and John 4:35).  The Church is a group of new priests, holy believers (that is you and I who are set apart for Him).

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Test God?

How is this possible?

First of all,  let me premise this blog by saying that I do not believe in man’s definition of “Prosperity Gospel” as defined as “Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, or the gospel of success) [A] is a religious belief among some Christians, who hold that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one’s material wealth. It is based on interpretations of the Bible that are traditional to Judaism (with respect to the Hebrew Bible),[1] though less so in Christianity. Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity.” (Wikipedia).

test-in-progressTo be a true disciple of God you have to be careful with your exegesis (defined as critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of scripture).  That is, to say, that when you read and interpret Scripture, you are to study it well and true and to understand contextual what the Scripture is saying.  It is important to read the whole text to understand the text completely.  Is it relevant to me now, is it for the time and place that it is written, does the passage transcend time?  All of these things have to carefully weighed and meditated on.  When you read God’s word in the way that it is intended to be read, then you will have a humble heart when reading this book.  Let me clear, when this book “reads” you.  The word is active and alive and it is sharper than any two-edged sword.  It is the inerrant word of God.  For a believer, in biblical inerrancy, Holy Scripture is the Word of God, and carries the full authority of God. Every single statement of the Bible calls for instant and unqualified acceptance. Every doctrine of the Bible is the teaching of God and therefore requires a full agreement.

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Hate your brother?

(Call yourself a Christian?)

1_john_title1 John 4:7-21New International Version (NIV)

God’s Love and Ours
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

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Family Devotion Time

(it's not as hard as you think)

This morning I found myself for the third morning in a row waking up an hour before my morning alarm (which is early, really early).   Needless to say, the night before I just simply prayed in my
bed and managed to fall asleep for whatever remaining time I had until my morning routine, but this morning was different.  This morning, I jumped up and started the coffee pot before it’s early preset time.  I let the dog out.  I read my Bible.  I journaled and I even spent more time in prayer than I normally do.  family-hands-and-home

As I drove to work, I listened to worship music and prayed for more.   I prayed for the 4 guys that I am walking with.  I prayed for the prayer list that I have been in need to get to.  For some unknown reason, it is 8:00pm and I am still wide awake.  I even went to the dentist this afternoon and had time to finish my afternoon work from home.  Please note: None of this was possible on my time.  Left to my own devices, this day would have been an epic fail.  I even had time to work out for the second day in a row before family time.

Next, family devotion.

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The marks of a disicple

From a legacydad perspective

dareOften you have read and heard from Lance and I not to just be a follower of Jesus, but to dare to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Some may say, “Are you saying that if I am saved then I am not automatically a disciple of Jesus Christ?”  or some say, “If I am saved then I am already a disciple of Christ”, while others say, “to be a disciple, your life has to bear the marks of a disciple.”  So you find yourself asking where does Legacy Dad stand on this.  My answer is:  Look to the New Testament!  If you read and reread and study and meditate on the Word of God, then you cannot help but understand what a disciple of Christ must do,  must look like and what fruit he/she should be bearing.

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The only way to find your life is to lay your own life life down

from Andrew Peterson

discipledockAndrew Peterson is one of my favorite songwriters who was actually introduced to me by my brother, Lance, who posted a video with the song “Family Man”.  I also learned and went to see Andrew and met him with the Director of Worship from our church who is a big fan of Andrew’s.  This morning I woke up and was listening to a collection of songs from Andrew and he has this one song, Dancing in the Minefields (lyrics here) and the line, “‘Cause the only way to find your life is to lay your own life down, and I believe it’s an easy price for the life that we have found.”  That is a profound statement and we know that resembles the Truth because we read something like this in Scripture, “13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13, NIV).

Jesus turned the religious world upside down when He came to this earth to serve instead of being served.  He exemplifies this when He washes his disciples’ feet.  We read so much truth in Scripture about marriage and how we are to serve one another:

  • Ephesians 5:  ” 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
  • 1 Peter 3:  “7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:  “4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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Discipleship

A legacy dad approach

dareAs you have read many posts and listened to both Lance and I blog about various topics ranging from modern day issues to relational topics through a biblical lens, we hope that you realize our heart is that you grow in your faith, strengthen your walks (and relationships) and be able to call God your true friend.  All that being said, leads me to this post in building true discipleship in your life.

Job 28:28 “The fear of the Lord –that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding”. 1 John 1: 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

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My body is a temple

1 Corinthians 6:12-20English Standard Version (ESV)

Flee Sexual Immorality
photogrid_140581942836912 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined[a] to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin[b] a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

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