Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Christian Life

I sure hope during my life as a Christian I am a blessing to those I meet. I read an article not long ago about the offices of the Church, the invisible and visible church. The writer claimed the gospel is properly proclaimed by pastors, teachers, evangelists and missionaries. The effects of the Gospel is lived out by Christians living in their neighborhoods and are not preachers of the Gospel. The writer made this claim, (I am still thinking about it,) he said “it’s not a requirement of members of the local church to preach the Gospel; it is required of local church members to live and be a testament of the Gospel.” This sure is different from what I have heard all my life. It’s been taught we are to know the Romans Road, to memorize verses for witnessing, to pass out tracts, to invite friends and neighbors to church etc.

Not so the writer claimed, Christians of the local church are to live a life demonstrating the characteristics of Christianity (regenerated men), of Godliness, of humility, of worship, of benevolence. We are to treat our neighbor as we treat our selves. We are to raise our children in godliness. We are to serve the body of Christ in humility.

How off the mark I think we may be, we the local church people. We have given up living the Christian life for the promoted activity (nearly every ministry promotes this) of carrying a big Bible telling everyone how they need Jesus. We are more than happy to point these folks to the correct place of worship, "now bow your head and repeat after me, and I will see you Sunday." It’s no wonder no one listens to us.

I think the writer may be correct it's not the job of the church member to be the minister, the evangelist, the missionary. The job of the church member is to live the Christian life. Seeing acts of godliness/holiness of us in our neighborhoods and our places of worship just might be the calling of the local Church/Christian (regenerated). My goal in life is not to be a good reader (I am not) or be anything else good. No, I desire not even to be a great soul winner. I do plead with God that He will make me a blessing, a caring person, and in my community a known God lover. To my church family, my friends, and most of all my wife, children, and siblings I pray God will keep me from falling so I may full fill the calling of a Christian. Note, I am not asking for God's help as if I can start and keep it up as best I can as if I may or may not need Him. No, I need God from beginning to end.

Here it is, My thinking altogether, I need Him (God) more and more.

You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?(Psalms 139:3-7)

Oh, Lord you have hedged me behind and before, You have laid your hand on me

Ken Clouse
Lay leader
North East Michigan Reformation Society

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