Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A New Testament Church, part 3

The relationship to others

In judging a church's relationship to others, we consider two aspects: (1) the relationship of church members, and (2) the relationship of church members with the world.

The church members' relationship to one another is a loving relationship. It is a family relationship. Jesus declared this to be the sign of His disciples (John 13:34,35). We can give mental assent to the dogma of a specific congregation or denomination and still be devoid of God's love to brothers and sisters in Christ. Love of God manifests itself in love for the brethren (I John 4:20). Love for the brethren manifests itself in our actions one toward another (I John 3:17,18) -- not merely saying, but actually doing (James 2:15,16).

The church members' relationship to the world is "outsider" relationship (John 17:14,15). The child of God is in the world, but not of it. Love not the world, neither the things of the world (I John 2:15). The child of God goes into the world and preaches the Gospel (Mark 16:15). Though we are not of the world, we are to love both our neighbors and our enemies (Matthew 5:43,44).

A congregation of Jesus Christ will be participating joyfully in one another's lives and preaching the Gospel as God opens doors.

To be continued (d.v.)

1 comment:

Bro. Matt said...'re hitting on all cylinders right now! Preach on!