Rethinking What It Means to be Church
Text: Ephesians
by Robert J. Young

Exciting times, exciting Jesus. Time to be creative, escape business as usual. Wan to be point person, change agent. Hinge. Idea people. Aggressive, change the direction of our world. Establish relationships with integrity, honesty, trust.
Time to be bold and responsible (Ian Fair). Find and pursue God's agenda for the kingdom, stretch, leave comfort zone if necessary. Not exist for self, but to reach out and into the world where God's missions surely exists.
* Dream for the church. Take unchanging message to constantly changing world. God is immutable. Bible is immutable. God's plan for the church is immutable. But church is subject to error, because is a divine/human enterprise. Both. Ecclesia of God, ecclesia of people. Church lives at level of humanity. Therefore, is a problem. As a living body, the church can thrive, can decline. Shows its human dimension.

Concerning Christ, only way to know God ultimately is in JC. JC is God's ultimate revelation of himself. God is best revealed in personality, not in dry black and white pages. So the process of revelation is tricky, for while the Bible is adequate, perfect, complete, it is not exhaustive. The zenith of God's revelation of self is in JC, and continues in the spiritual body of JC today, in the church. How is the world going to come to know God? Through the church. Church is the lived revelation of God, with Christ as our heart, and the HS as our empowering force. So our great challenge is to so live as so embody the lived revelation.
Bible for this is Eph. 1:22-23. Is basis for life. Church as 2nd incarnation. Need elevated view of the church. When people see church for what it is in God's eternal plan/purpose, not be dropping out like flies. Not being saying, Jesus Yes, Church NO. Today, church is most important thing in the world. Church is the real world. This is where it is happening. Church is of eternal value, seeks eternal values.
When think like JC thinks, puts us out of step with the world. Church is no second priority. Not an afterthought. Church is, has been, always has been, always will be the place where God intends the kingdom of God in this age to enter human experience.

The significance of the church in our contemporary world depends upon our focused proclamation of significant truths and principles which are being proclaimed by no one else. Among these are...

These principles focus our lives in effective imitation of the pattern of Jesus Christ.

In addition to the message we proclaim, we must consider our motives. Our great dilemma, how can the church speak and be heard in a non-churched, non-religious world? How get priorities straight? Not get societal concerns ahead of spiritual matters? Consider several personal matters.

Results: Christians live like Christians, walk with God, serve others, love one another, are assembled in a worshiping/sharing community, and the lost of the world take note that these have been with Jesus, and souls are saved.
Christians imitate JC. Is meaning of word. Jese is our ultimate model, the lives of others who were followers of Jesus are helpful also, l Cor 11:1. Jesus Christ is our example, 1 Pet 2:21. Ac 4:13. We must insure that the body matches the head.
World no longer laugh at church when we are like our Lord. Too often those whom he accepted we reject. Is our agenda today in the church the agenda of God and JC for the kingdom? Will souls be saved? Will the gospel penetrate a world of darkness and bring saving light?

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Last updated July 17, 2002.