Monday, March 7, 2011

Images of the Church

Dear Friends,

I  thought it might be good for me to share some of what we are learning as a church through our Sunday services. We just completed a three sermon series called "The Church".  We looked at Acts 2 and worked toward getting a picture of the church as something other than a building with an address. The first week we looked at Acts 2:36-40 and discovered how the church acts as a "MASH" unit:

  • God is the great physician. (Vs 36)
  • Our brothers and sisters in Christ are the nurses (laborers of the Gospel).  (Vs. 37)
  • We serve both wounded warriors (believers who are spent in obedience to Christ in everyday life), and enemy combatants (those who do not know Christ, but need to experience Christ's love through us). (Vs 38-40)
  • We talked about our need to understand what Peter meant when he said to "repent" and "be saved".

The second Sunday we looked at the Church as a family Acts 2:41-47
  • We learned how we become a family through adoption. (Vs 41)
  • We receive grace from knowing God more deeply when we delight in Bible study, fellowship, worship, and prayer. (Vs 42)
  • We continue in devotion through awe at what God has done. (Vs 43)
  • Finally, we learned that we do life together as a family. (Vs 44-47)  What a radical call this is to our modern church that focuses so much on individualism!  (Read Acts 2:40-47 and ask "Do I live this way? Does my church live this way? Very convicting for me.)
  • If you are looking for an excellent book on the subject, Dr. Joe Hellerman's book "When the Church was a family" is an amazing resource.

Yesterday we concluded this series by looking at the Church as a Body, focusing on Acts 2:47. What does a body that is functioning normally do? It grows. We looked at 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.

  •  We are different in form. The eye looks different than the hand, and so does each member of our church. Under this point we talked about the need to have open handed and closed handed issues. There are some doctrinal issues that we must hold with a closed hand. Jesus as the only way to eternal life, the Bible as our source of revelation about Jesus and God. etc. There are other things that we hold loosely (ie order of service, style of dress, etc) 
  • We are different in function. The eye does something different than the hand. God did not equip us all in the same way. When we are brought into the family of faith, we are charged to use our unique gifting to accomplish the purposes that God has for us to do. Your function in your church is NOT to hold a chair down on Sunday. God has bigger things for you.
  • We are together in connection. Christ is our head. All leadership comes from his command. Are we waiting on him?
  • We are together in purpose. When you got out of bed this morning your eye did something totally different than your foot, but they were still working to do the same thing: get you out of bed! John 1:18 says "No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him." Jesus showed us God. 1John 4:12 says "No one has seen God at any time (I think I've heard this before); if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us." We now show the world God through our love for one another!!
We've seen some really cool things happening in the past couple of weeks as the church continues to learn how to do life and ministry together, and we eagerly await to see what God continues to teach us.

Praises and Prayer requests:

- This past Tuesday the Native Band "Broken Walls" held a concert at the Galena Bible Church. 15 Teens came forward during an invitation time. We praise God for His Spirit moving. Please pray that students who made a decision to follow Christ will get connected with the student ministry so that they can be discipled.

- Pray that God will provide Godly staff and teachers to work at the dorms and teach in the schools for this coming school year.

- Pray for safety for the men of the Galena Bible Church who are doing the annual task of cutting fire wood. Most need to cut 9 chords of wood to make it through a winter. (a chord of wood is 4'x4'x8').

- Praise: My root canal in Fairbanks went well this past week. Praise God for dentists and Ibuprofen!

Thank you so much for your faithfulness to pray for us. May God bless you and keep you.

1 comment:

Jim Conrad said...


How- what a transition from the bayous to snow country!

Was that you in the cap and gown picture-- NOBTS graduation?

And now a daughter! Our 3 boys are now 24,22,&20 and our daughter just turned 15.

How'd God get you back to AK? We just marked our 17th anniversary here at Towne View.

God Bless!