Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”  (Luke 24:46-47)

All kinds of books have been—and still being—written about what the church is to be and do.  You will read titles like, “The Attractional Church,” “The Purpose Driven Church,” “The Multipying Church,” “The Five Star Church,” “Sticky Church,” “The Intentional Church,” and on and on we could go.  Some of these provide solid insights; most of them give some help.  There is value in reading them.  The best book ever written on church life, however, is the Good Book!  The Word of God is our instruction manual.  Jesus said that He would build His church, so let us hear the task that He assigned us.

The church’s task is to WIDEN people’s understanding of the Word of God (Luke 24:44-45).  Jesus wants us to grow in the grace and knowledge imparted from Scripture.  He wants us to widen our comprehension of His ways, deepen our convictions from His Word, and heighten our consecration in our walk.  The teaching and preaching of the truth of Scripture is indispensable—it is how disciples are developed.

Receiving the truth, we are equipped to WITNESS for the Lord (Luke 24:46-49).  The church is not to be a reservoir where the Gospel is stored, but a river where the Gospel is streamed.  Good news is meant for sharing!

  • We have a message (v.46-47).  Jesus died and rose so that repentance from sin is experienced and remission of sins extended.
  • We have a mission (v.48).  Those who know Christ have the responsibility to introduce Him to others.
  • We have the might (v.49).  Our assignment is too big for us, but we don’t have to depend on our ability and ingenuity.  We have the power of the Holy Spirit!
Knowing the truth and sharing the truth is grounded in—and strengthened by—our WORSHIP in the church (v.50-53).  What we do can only be accomplished in community.  Throughout this text plural pronouns are used: “they” (v.45); “them” (twice in v.50 and twice more in v.51).  We assemble to celebrate our Savior and connect with the saints.  After we gather and scatter, then we reassemble to rejoice in what God has done in and through us!  Those we reach are welcomed into the family through baptism, united in communion and grounded in instruction.  An environment of love for God and our fellowman is provided.  The church is a hothouse for growing disciples.

It is simple isn’t it?  That reminds me of another book: “Simple Church”!  Yet, it is true.  We just need to do a few things well—and only those matters commanded by our Master.  Like a three-legged stool, take out just one: our inspiration in worship, our instruction in the Word, our involvement in witness—and that local church cannot stand.  Now, let’s open the Book, open our hearts, and open our mouths!

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