Note: On the first Sunday of January, 2000, I presented to a combined adult Bible class a list of items that the church must thoughtfully address if we are to be a viable voice in the new millennium. I was asked to expand that Bible class presentation into a series of bulletin articles which were published in the church bulletin. They are reprinted here in the hope they will be helpful to even more people. These may be freely used as deemed appropriate.
| Introduction | The Bible & Truth-#1 | Bible Inspiration-#2 | Bible Interpretation-#3 | Nature of Church-#4 | Possibility of Unity-#5 | Worldliness-#6 | Christian Experience-#7 | Christian Missions-#8 | Christian Hope-#9 | Human Nature-#10 | Christian Living-#11 |
When all is said and done, when the studies are completed, the Bible understood as the authoritative, inspired Word of God, with the message plainly in view for our lives today; when the church has carefully thought about itself in the broader context of the world, seeking genuineness, to be like Jesus, and the unity for which Jesus prayed; when the church has reexamined the biblical imperatives for relationship with God, relationship with others, the Christian mission and the ultimate goal toward which our hope points; when each Christian has rethought the challenge of spiritual living in the human sphere and adjusted priorities and choices to reflect our higher calling and higher nature, a question which summarizes the ultimate goal is this: How can I become most like Jesus? What changes are necessary? What adjustments are needed?
Until each Christian finds a commitment to Christ that grows out of genuine relationship, the church will likely not address such matters as personal worship and devotional life, the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and a host of other issues, e.g. discipleship, lifestyle, purity, etc.
The nature of our fellowship, the lives we share with other Christians, these are the power and support. Through these we become involved in the lives of others, we become the presence of Jesus for others, we are his hands and feet.
Such is indeed a great challenge for the church and for each individual Christian who seeks an authentic Christian life. What do we need to study? What do we need to rethink? What do we need to know? What do we need to do? These questions will be at the forefront of many of our studies during the coming months.
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