From the moment you wake in the morning till the moment you fall asleep at night, the new "I" of faith despairs of itself and looks to Christ for protection and the motivation, courage, direction, and enablement to walk in joy and peace and righteousness. What a great way to live! Reflecting on Galatians 2: That is a perspective of the Christian life that we are familiar with and agree with as Mennonites, but is it the only aspect of what it means to be in Christ?
The implication of the name of these churches is that other churches are missing something and that they have the full gospel. What else could there be? Pentecostals have taught us that living in Christ is living in the power of the Spirit. We should be careful not to dismiss this by suggesting that it is a Pentecostal emphasis, because it is a Biblical idea.
Romans is very clear that we cannot live the Christian life in the power that comes from our own determination. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Being in Christ must be about living in the power of the Spirit.
Christ came in order to make the way for us to have our sins forgiven. In doing so, He made our lives a holy receptacle for God to live in. In the wilderness at Mount Sinai God showed them the pattern for the tent. When the building was completed, it was cleansed. The priests sacrificed lambs in order to atone for the sins of the people and to cleanse the temple and when that was done, the pillar of cloud which had accompanied them came to rest on the tent of meeting and from that point on the people knew that God was in that tent and thus in their presence.
When Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem and the building was completed he called on the priests to cleanse the temple and they offered sacrifices to remove the sins of the priests, of the people and to cleanse the building. When that had been completed, there was a cloud which enveloped the temple and it was clear that God came to dwell in that temple.
The pattern has been repeated in us. Jesus came to earth to cleanse unclean human vessels. It was not the blood of a lamb which was shed to cleanse people, but the blood of Jesus Christ. Those who have accepted that cleansing are now fit vessels for the indwelling of God Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit.
The power of the Spirit of God is present with us to help us remain in Christ, to help us walk in Christ and to help us proclaim Christ. We do not live in our own power, but in the power of the Spirit of God. Living in Christ involves surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit! As an Evangelical Mennonite Church, we also identify ourselves as evangelicals.
The Bible teaches us that to be in Christ means that we have a message to proclaim. God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. I was involved in a conversation about this recently. One person was reflecting on what would happen if a medical researcher discovered a cure for cancer and decided that he would not share the cure with others. We would think such a person to be very selfish, perhaps even evil. So many people are dying of cancer that to withhold the knowledge of the cure of cancer from them would be a terrible thing.
They went on to say that we as Christians know of the cure of a disease far worse than cancer. The disease of sin does not just afflict a certain percentage of the population, as cancer does. It afflicts every single person living on this earth. It is a disease which is far worse than cancer. The effects of sin destroy not only the body, but cause terrible suffering for all people on earth. A person ravaged by sin can be totally healthy physically, but in terrible spiritual anguish.
But sin does not only destroy a person spiritually, it also destroys people relationally and physically. When a person dies, cancer is finally not a problem to them.
The consequences of sin, however, if left untreated, do not stop when a person dies. The consequences of sin afflict a person for all eternity. There is no disease which is as bad as the evil of sin in our hearts. As Christians, we know the cure for this disease and if Christ is in us how can we not be involved in communicating the good news of the cure for sin to all those we come in contact with. When Christ is in us, it is not only this logical perspective which will move us to be involved in proclaiming the gospel.
It is rather the very presence of Christ in us which will move us to let others know of His great gift. From Mennonites we have learned that being in Christ requires a direction of obedience and service. From Pentecostals we have learned that being in Christ means living in the power of the Spirit.
From Evangelicals we have learned that all who are in Christ will proclaim the good news about Christ. In recent years there has been a new church movement which has arisen. It is sometimes known as the emerging church movement. The emerging church seeks to live honestly in the context of a world in which relativism reigns and in which organized religion is often suspect. It recognizes that it will be increasingly difficult to make the gospel known to this culture by inviting them to church.
Let’s Talk About The Good News
They understand that the only thing that will convince people in our culture of the good news is the presence of Jesus in the life of those who follow Him. What they are teaching us is that being in Christ involves a relationship with Christ that is living and active and present with us every day. This is, of course, not a new idea, nor simply a modern concept. It is thoroughly rooted in Scripture. It implies a constant relationship with Christ. The same message comes from 1 Thessalonians 5: Wherever we go, whatever we do, whoever we meet, we are always functioning in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
One of the ways in which teachers test to see whether their students have understood the material they have taught is to give them a multiple choice test. A question will be asked and a number of possible answers will be given and the student has to check which ones are correct.
It means to have a direction of obedience and service in life. It means to live in the power of the Spirit c. It means to be involved in proclaiming the gospel or d. It means to live in a relationship with Jesus; how would you answer? Or would we have to do what teachers often do, and that is offer a fifth option, e. Because they are so fully described in Scripture we know that the answer to this question is e. Keith What Can I Do?
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Let’s Talk About The Good News | North Riverdale Lutheran Church
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