Monday, June 25, 2007

Confident Christians love the church with the word

Christians are confident people. Not self confident. We're confident in the blood of Jesus. His death in our place that gives us confidence to enter The Most Holy Place. The presence of God that was previously marked No Entry can now be entered boldly. What should we do - draw near! Come on in. We have a perfect prayer life since Jesus is always interceding there for us and he calls us to enter in ourselves. Consider Tim Chester & Andrew Bonar on Leviticus. The blood leaves us humbled and deeply sin-conscious. Devastated by our evil hearts as we see our sin through the cross of Jesus. And yet, made perfect and made alive by the same Jesus!
And then, we live in he light of this. What does confident living look like? Hebrews 10v23-25 : Let us... v23, Hold unswervingly to the hope we profess Why? because he who promised is faithful. that is : because God's promises are reliable. v24, consider how to spur one another on towards love and good deeds. To stir up outbursts and overflowing gospel-life. v25, not give up on meeting together, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching. Notice the logic : Don't quit meeting because you need to encourage one another. So what is the point of meeting together? For encouragement. Not because it's nice and fun - though it can be that too.

What encouragement? v23 - holding to hope : faith in Jesus' blood. This isn't fuzzy feel-good self-esteemism to make you feel good. He means the encouragement that leads to a deeply-convicted soul. To souls that are really alive to the guilt sin and the glory of God. This is a Hebrews-3-stype speaking God's word to one another. Rooting out sin. Calling one another to hold on to the gospel. It's not a Christian meeting if we don't have God's word open.

What's the goal? v24 - to live love and live good. Not just to know the truth but truth-applied. All theology - all knowing of God is to be life changing. And notice that this discipleship is a community project. LET US do this. Confident Christians love the church, there's no such thing as solo-Christianity. Take a coal out of the fire and it quickly grows cold. We're all in this together and the bond between us will be what we find about gospel-hope in the Bible.

Use your time to open the Bible together. The community of the shadows God's people were to talk about God's word wherever they went and whatever they were doing. How much more in the community of reality should we? Let us delight to open the Bible together. Always carry one around so that you never miss an opportunity to be encouraged, to or to encourage someone else with the word of God. Our meeting together is not Christian meeting if God's word is not heard.

Ask one another - what is God doing in your life? Ask one another - what's encouraged you recently to hold onto Jesus? Confident Christians love the church by encouraging others to hold onto hope in Jesus' blood.

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