Being active in many different churches of various denominations, biblical teaching, as well as various models of governance; there are a few life-lessons worth sharing:
- If the people do not share the true Gospel of Jesus Christ the church is wanting.
The true Gospel of Jesus Christ is centered around evangelism; encouraging people to accept Jesus as their Savior converting them into the family of Jesus Christ.
Gospel of Mark 1:4, “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” (KJV)
The heart of evangelism is to three-fold:
First, sharing one’s individual story (testimony) of how Christ changed their life in the hope of converting (proselytizing) others to believe in Jesus as well as discipling others to do the same thing; share their testimony with others to continue the work of faith. In the process of encouraging others to practice sharing their faith; “Making disciples of all nations”
Second, the empowering of the Holy Spirit. If people will have ownership of their personal relationship with Jesus Christ, that relationship cannot help but to be shared. It is too vibrant to contain! The empowering of the Holy Spirit happens when a person is living in accordance to the purpose of Jesus Christ. Jesus has purpose for all of us: individually and collectively. The Apostle Paul says, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers…” (Eph. 4:11) In other words, we have a vocation wherein we must serve in spreading the Good News while instruction (discipling) others in the way of faith. When we live according to God’s desire for our lives, we are spiritually empowered to accomplish that vocation.
Finally, we are to be mission focused. Mission focused is two-fold, have direction (vision and guidance) as well as take the Gospel to the far ends of the earth (missionary mindset). Mission mindedness occurs after we have been discipled and understand our vocation having exercised our spiritual gifting’. We understand how to properly defend our faith as well as properly encourage, exhort, instruct, rebuke, and reprove in Jesus name. Also, we are externally focused not internally focused; we care more about what is happening outside the church walls than inside.
- If people are more concerned with doctrine than relationships we become judicial instead of grace filled.
Judicial implies a system through which right and wrong is prescribed. Grace filled implies the ability to love regardless of the fulfillment of right and wrong being accomplished.
2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (NIV)
A wise man once explained this verse as the ability to understand right distinguished from wrong, how to instruct the wrong into right, as well as how to maintain right when living right. However, the entire thing being centered around a “judicial” belief. If we take God out of the bible the “inspiration” becomes “motivation” which leaves one hungry for relief.
May I say that there are several interesting studies in Scripture, all of which are profitable. Although, if we do not share the love of Jesus being centered on the cross; our wisdom becomes null and void. By neglecting grace, we neglect the cross. Paul says, “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.” (Gal. 5:4; ESV)
- By not holding one another accountable we neglect holiness.
Sin will never justify sin! If I am offended I am not authorized to be vindicated through my own actions, words, or allowed to ask my friends and associates to do anything on my behalf. An individual gets into an argument with another and harsh words are spoken that offends all involved. The other person being offended hits the one arguing saying, “My actions are just because you insulted me!”. The crowd standing around enjoys the spectacle because drama is enticing. We are entertained by watching people disagree, this is why gossiping about other people is worth salivating over; its junk food for the soul.
Genesis 4:9, “Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (NIV)
Cain had killed Abel his brother because of jealousy. What is unique is the answer, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” How many of us, with someone we care about, will go to the hospital and set with someone although there is nothing physically we can do not make any difference; we are present for emotional support only. By the same token, if we know for fact that someone is morally wrong in decisions they make the option to let it alone is chosen more often than not. Why is it that we are more concerned with the emotional well-being of someone than the eternal well-being? Perhaps our ideologies of fixing ourselves before attempting to fix another is more condemning than we prefer. Speaking to someone about a wrong reveals the condition of our own hearts. For this reason we reply, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”