The late theological statesman, Edmund Clowney observed:
“If we lack interest in the church we lack what was for Jesus a consuming passion. Jesus loved the church and gave himself for it (Ephesians 5.25).”
Jesus’ love for his church is evident throughout the pages of the New Testament. In Matthew 16.18 Jesus promises to build his church. In fact he promises to empower it and protect it to such a degree that even Hell itself can not stand against it.
In Ephesians we are told that we, the followers of Christ, are the Body of Christ. (Ephesians 5.30) And the way the world will know we are his people is through the way we relate to one another. (John 13.35)
OK. I know that there is little, if any, new ground being broken here so far. What I have written is widely understood and little debated by those who are followers of Christ. But while these principles are widely known, lesser understood is how we can -and should – practically live out our life together as Christ’s Church.
The folks at 9 Marks have developed a wonderful little e-book that helps lay a solid foundation and offers wise instruction about life together. It is titled: Living as a Church. Originally a Sunday School curriculum, each chapter is only about 3-4 pages designed to spark conversation as well as instruction.
Below are the links to the various chapters. I commend them all, but they are also of value considered by subject of interest.
- Introduction: Unity- God’s Goal for the Church
- Church Membership: Context for Unity
- Preaching: The Foundation of Unity
- Corporate Prayer: God’s Power Creates Unity
- Church Government: Godly Authority Fostering Unity
- Fellowship: Building a Bond of Unity
- Discontentment: A Test of Unity
- Church Leadership: Submission for the Sake of Unity
- Church Discipline: Preseving God-honoring Unity
- Serving & Giving: Sacrifice for the Sake of Unity
- Worship: Praising God in Unity
- Corporate Evangelism: A Harvest of Unity