New Lifestyle or New Creation?

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Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.   II Corinthians 5:17

Interesting question.  After all, is there really a difference between the two?  And if there is a difference, does it really matter to me?  I trust that after a little exploration we will see that the difference can literally be life or death. Continue reading

Beware! Obstacles to Maturity in Christ

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Have you ever noticed those among us who have so much more understanding of the Word of God that it leaves you with a sense of wonder at how much they perceive? We all know at least one or two whom we fellowship with at some level that exude such confidence that we know is beyond human ability. There is no question that the eyes of their understanding have been opened (Ephesians 1:18) and they walk in truth fully prepared to give a reason for the hope that is within them with gentleness and respect. (I Peter 3:15)

 

When I am around such people there rises in me an inward calling, “I want that! I desire to know as much and be able to reflect His attributes as well as these people do!” But how? How do you mature to such a point? And why are we not yet to that place? Continue reading

Unity or Conformity?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy love for the church runs deep as my childhood memories include a magnificent old pipe organ pumping out bold notes and tones to familiar beloved hymns amidst the grandeur of towering stained-glass art of centuries past. The sound of the bells toiling in the old bell tower bidding all to come set a perfect stage for praising a majestic King, and I was enamored, to say the least, by all the grandeur my childhood eyes and ears took in. The traditions in that church ran deep for my family as I was the 4th generation brought up under all the splendor.

 

When new members came into this church, it was clear what was expected of them. Behaviors and vernaculars must meet the scrutiny of the long-entrenched of the congregation. The pressure was great to “clean yourself up” and “carry yourself correctly” if you were to be welcomed and accepted. Many did not make the cut and drifted off in search of some other congregation more readily accepting of their demeanor.

 

This may be a rather drastic example of how churches pressure members, yet the call to conformity can be felt quite strongly in some places. Continue reading

Country Club

 

In my quest to tear down the walls within the Kingdom of God, I have first had the need to discover what the walls are actually made of. I will take down these walls stone by stone so that we may remove hindrances to maturing in Christ unto unity (Eph 4:13).   See “Tearing Down Walls” page.

 

We must begin by asking “What is Christianity?” As I have walked amongst churches for decades now and talked with Christians within various denominations I have found such a variety of ideas about what the church is and its purpose here on earth. I have also marveled at the differences of perception as to how we walk out our faith as we live out our daily lives. I have discovered that for many of the congregations of churches today, the church as been reduced to nothing more than a lifestyle choice. People clean themselves up as in accordance with the required lifestyle ordained by the church they choose.

 

What do I mean by lifestyle choice? Continue reading

The Call to Unity

The church of Jesus Christ! What a glorious mystery! Such an adventure to live in His Kingdom serving the Most High God (El Elyon). There is no treasure or pleasure on Earth that compares to the exhilaration of serving the Master!

 

But there is an enemy of the Kingdom, with a dark and sinister plan. He intends to destroy the people of the Kingdom so that the Kingdom itself will likewise suffer destruction and all the servants of the Most High God will therefore serve him instead. What is this mysterious offensive attack? Continue reading