Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | August 6, 2008

Warning the Internet is not the Church

Spiritual growth outside of the Church is impossible.

 

A great article can be found here…and an excerpt as follows:

 

…The gospel is good news. The message determines the medium. There is a clear logic to Paul’s argument in Romans 10, where he contrasts “the righteousness that is by works” and “the righteousness that is through faith.” We were redeemed by Christ’s actions, not ours; the Spirit applies this redemption to us here and now so that we are justified through faith apart from works; even this faith is given to us through the proclamation of Christ. Since this gospel is a report to be believed rather than a task for us to fulfill, it needs heralds, ambassadors, and witnesses.

The method of delivery is suited to its content. If the central message of Christianity were how to have your best life now or become a better you, then we wouldn’t need heralds, but rather life coaches, spiritual directors, and motivational speakers. Good advice requires a person with a plan; good news requires a person with a message. This is not to say that we do not also need good advice or plans, but that the source of the church’s existence and mission in this world is this announcement of God’s victory in Jesus Christ.

Coaches can send themselves with their own suggestions, but an ambassador has to be sent with an authorized announcement. If the goal is to get people to go and find Christ, then the methods will be whatever we find pragmatically successful; if it’s all about Christ finding sinners, then the methods are already determined. Simply quoting verses 13-15 reveals the logical chain of Paul’s argument: “‘For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” The evangel defines evangelism; the content determines the methods of delivery; the marks of the church (preaching and sacrament) define its mission (evangelizing, baptizing, teaching, and communing).

The marks of the true church are the proper preaching of the Word, administration of the sacraments, and discipline. The mission of the church is simply to execute these tasks faithfully. Throughout the Book of Acts, the growth of the church is attributed to the proclamation of the gospel: “The word of God spread.” Waking the dead, this gospel proclamation is not only the content but the method. Those who believed were baptized along with their whole household. They were not simply added to the conversion statistics, but to the church-the visible church, which is no more visible in this world than when it is gathered around the Lord’s Table in fellowship with their ascended head. Furthermore, the apostles and elders-and, by Acts 6, the deacons-served the church as officers representing Christ’s threefold office of Prophet, King, and Priest…

…In this way, Christ makes himself not only the gift, but the giver; not only the object of faith, but the active agent, together with the Spirit, in giving us faith. And he not only gives us this faith in the beginning, but deepens, matures, and increases our faith throughout our lives. The gospel is not something that we need to “get saved” so that we can move on to something else; it is “the power of God unto salvation” throughout our pilgrimage. So we need this gospel to be delivered to us regularly, both for our justification and our sanctification…

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Responses

  1. “And John answered him, saying,

    “Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy NAME, and he followeth NOT US: and WE FORBID HIM, because he followeth NOT US.” – Mark 9:38:

    “But Jesus said, Forbid HIM NOT: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.” – Mark 9:39

    “For he that is not against us is on our part.” – Mark 9:40

  2. Eyes,

    I don’t think I follow how these verses affirm or deny the content in this post.

    Essentially, the point is spiritual growth is tied to being a member of the body of Christ. He is the vine, we are the branches unless we abide in Him we will be unable to bear fruit.

    Preaching, baptism and communion are found only inside the Church and are the primary means for spiritual growth.

    Would you disagree with this?

    S2C

  3. What is church?

    A church is (like) a government.

    A government which is composed of the people.

    A people which is governed by Law.

    A Law which is Christ, and which is the Lord.

    A government which all the people in there are created equal, that’s why we are all brothers and sisters.

    Therefore the law is the vine and the people is the fruit.

    Again…

    It is not the government who preached and baptized the people.

    But it is YOU who is being ruled by the government through law.

  4. Interesting…where did you come up with this anaolgy.

    The Church is literally the “called out ones” that belong to Christ. The Church is comprised of different individuals who are gifted with different talents to be used for the edification of the whole body.

    In the Church, Christ has ordained ministers to preach, baptize and administer the Lord’s Supper. Not all are called to do this.

  5. A government which all the people in there are created equal, that’s why we are all brothers and sisters.

    and if you want to lead on that government then you have to be least and serve the people.

    All the people on that government has a right to preach and baptize because “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.” – Mt:13:12:

    and they will ask, where and what is the name of that government?

    and Jesus Christ said:

    “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” – Lk:17:21

  6. Eyes,

    Don’t you think a more biblical analogy would be a family? According to Gal 3:29 in Christ we are all Abraham’s offspring.

    I agree that we are all one in Christ and equal before the eyes of God relative to our salvation. However, not all are called to preach or teach there are some who are called to those special offices in the Church Eph 4:11-14.

    S2C

  7. All people belong on that government is invited to work on the farm…

    “For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard” – Mt:20:1

  8. Wow, I guess every individual believer is a church unto himself. Amazing.

    Yep, the Bible certainly supports this. Sure it does. In fact, the Bible nowhere even mentions elders. Nowhere does the Bible say that there is any such thing as authority. In fact, it says that authority is evil. Now that I think of it, the Bible clearly says that we aren’t even supposed to submit to God. And it also says that we shouldn’t consider the governments of this world to be anything. The Bible really has a lot in common with the Anarchist’s Cookbook. In fact, the Bible is all about anarchy. Look again, and you’ll see the Bible advocating anarchy on every page. Didn’t Paul say that God is not a God of order but of disorder? Anyway, Eyes is absolutely right. There’s no such thing as authority. God doesn’t want to have authority over us either. In fact, he invites us to be his God, and he will be our people.

    If you thought that anything I said was true or correct, you seriously need to open your Bible once in a while.

    E

  9. Eyes,

    I think your view runs into a major problem expressed by Echo’s sarcasm above.

    When you say that everyone has the right to preach…Do you mean they have the right to become a minister and undergo the necessary training to become one?

    Or do you mean they have the right to preach whenever they want as long as someone is willing to listen?

    The former view does not really fall under Echo’s criticism, however the latter does.

    S2C

  10. Yes that’s why we are all brothers and sisters on that government.

    and nobody should think that he is above or special on that government because he preach.

    because we have a law on that government that “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 14:11

    you can determined of who is above on that government and that is to be least and serve the people.

    as the law of that government that say “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.’ – Mt:23:11

    To preach is like a servant? yes that’s true, it is written on the law of that government that

    “when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” – Lk:17:10

    How about decision making?

    A decision making of that government is like a council not came only from one person which called minister claiming himself a special.

    because it is written on the law of that government that say:

    Mt:18:20: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    Mt:18:19: Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

    So the concept of our Lord Jesus Christ in there is to have a respect every people opinion which belong on that government.

    Yes there is a discussion…

  11. When you say that everyone has the right to preach…Do you mean they have the right to become a minister and undergo the necessary training to become one

    Or do you mean they have the right to preach whenever they want as long as someone is willing to listen?

    The way you express your statement brother is like you under estimate the individual capability.

    No one knows how deeper is our individual capability, it is God only knows it and can harness it.

    Training? there is no training

    That Government of our Lord Jesus Christ is Universal.

    “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:” Jeremiah 31:31

    “ And they shall TEACH NO MORE EVERY MAN his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord:” Jeremiah 31:34

    why is it like that brother?

    Because Master Lord Jesus Christ said;

    Jn:14:16: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

    AND mOST OF All

    “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall TEACH YOU ALL THINGS, and bring all things to your REMEMBRANCE, whatsoever I have SAID UNTO YOU.


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