As Charles and Daniel draw their series on the local church to a close, they will be digging into ‘The Mission of the Church’. Up this week, Evangelism…and why this is a biblical and essential part of the mission.
I save all my back issues of the magazine Victoria. I love to pull out one for each season and reread articles. I was recently glancing through the 2011, September/October issue. With my older son getting married in November, my mind catches anything on weddings.
I began to read an article about the making of a royal wedding gown. It was Catherine Middleton’s royal wedding gown. It is hard it believe it was that long ago that Kate and William were married. I remember getting up at 4:30 am to watch the famous wedding make history.
In this article, they describe every detail of the making of her wedding gown. The skilled embroiderers of the Royal School of Needlework created the lace for the train, skirt, bodice, sleeves, veil, and shoes for Kate’s wedding dress. Individual motifs were hand cut from lace. The stitching team washed their hands every twenty minutes to keep the lace pristine, and the needles they used were changed every three hours. What an amazing job for the bride, and she did shine on that wedding day.
But as royal and exciting as this wedding was, I am thinking of this Scripture:
I will greatly rejoice in The Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)
Because of what Christ has done on the cross for me, I am clothed in righteousness and salvation. I am a part of the bride of Christ.
“You also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God by Christ Jesus.” (1 Peter 2:5)
And from Jesus Christ Who is the faithful witness and the first begotten from the dead, the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. (Revelation 1:5)
My garments have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. I am decked in His righteousness. Stitched in His salvation; in His love. The wedding is going to be a glorious event. I am headed to the marriage feast of the Lamb.
Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the saints. And He said unto me, Write, Blessed are those who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And He said unto me, These are the true sayings of God. (Revelation 19:7-9)
Image Courtesy of Honor Photo Bar
The Lord Supper and Baptism are more than just ceremony and ritual, they are ordinances for the blessing of the corporate body of Christ. There is purpose and reason, and it is a precious means of grace for the believer. Charles and Daniel discuss the biblical blessing that these ordinances are and why they should not be neglected…
“What’s the least I can believe and still be a Christian?” The question may seem quite reductionist and presumptuous to those who hold the Word of God as life giving, awe-inspiring, and actually words from God. How many women want a perspective in potential suitors or their husband that asks, “How little do I need to know about you and do for you and still claim your commitment?” It is a magnificent statement of self-ism and a betrayal of true love. Yet, these words are the title of a book considered in the broadest sense to be a “Christian” book.
Certainly this is not the tenor of spirit in faithful and God loving Christian homes, at least not overtly. What does overtly mean? Well, in this context I mean what I have had to confess to God many times in my walk with God; when I don’t understand the significance of certain scriptures or don’t like the conclusions that biblical authors take us to, it is easy to ignore those portions of scripture for the lower hanging fruit. We neglect the beautifully complex order that feeds that fruit of biblical knowledge that I enjoy easily. We are, rather, quite pleased with ourselves that we are in the Word. But are we really “in the Word” if we are refusing to study biblical truths that eventually make our minds hurt for their complexity? Aren’t we really just picking and choosing what we want to consider in our Christian walk? In these moments we are acting quite in step with those who want to strip the Bible of the clear truths that clash with our culture’s current perspectives. The difference is that we have chosen not to be that overt about our rejection of truth. No, that would not be the response of a biblically centered, Christ honoring and Kingdom seeking Christian.
But what of truths like the one we are studying in this conference? Providence. Do we even know what it is? Do we understand how it works? Do we even know how it helps the believer? Last year marked one of the most trying years of my married life. The trial was not because of sin. Marjorie, my wife and best friend, went in for her regular mammogram only to find out after a couple of days that she had breast cancer. After a bi-lateral mastectomy, full reconstruction, and more knowledge about women’s breast cancer than we wanted to ever know, we are finally done. Where was the relief? What was the theology for which to call out to God? Where was the hope, where was the joy, where did we satisfy the hard questions that spring from this disease?
Providence… You may not be in the storm right now, but I assure you, you will be. Many around the world are in egregious conditions. What anchoring will you have? What anchoring can you give if you were asked by one of the loved ones of a Christian brutalized at the hands of ISIS, “where is God?” Join us at this year’s Passion For Christ Conference as we begin a journey of unpacking that anchoring truth of God’s providence. I look forward to the journey with you.
Dave Teruel will be a plenary speaker at P4C14. He currently serves as preaching pastor at Westwood Church in Evansville, IN. He is married to his wife Marjorie of 16 years and they have three children.
One of the most neglected “means of grace” in the local church is the true and deep fellowship of believers on a regular basis – not to mention the needed exhorting and admonishing of one another that comes from that fellowship. Join Charles and Daniel as they discuss why we neglect it and how to incorporate it into our lives…