Monday, October 11, 2010

I believe in God but I don't need the church

Preached at Grace Church Truro yesterday on "I believe in God but I don't need the church". 
There are many reasons why we would take a negative view on church and we explored them initially, and asked what kind of God-without-church we might believe in, before turning to the Bible to see what the God-of-Christianity says (Ephesians 2:13-22).
Audio available here soon though I didn't think I was as clear as it should have been in places.

#1 The God who came to us. 2000 years ago, in human history to make peace and end the hostility between God and people, and people and people. Jesus body is broken to put us back together. It's an Eden-reboot as the One-New-Man is invited back into the presence of God. There aren't 6.8 billion people in the world who can say "every man is an island". We're more connected than that. The human race is the broken One-Old-Man (Adam)- and then Christ comes and makes in himself a One-New-Man. He catches us up to himself.

#2 The God who comes to us now. Though a building can't confine God he chooses to be present in a holy temple. Follow the thread from Eden to the tabernacle, the temple, the Incarnation, by the Spirit in us - and in the construction site of the church whose members are being built together gradually, until finally he comes to live on the renewed earth with us. No Jehovah's witness end to the story for us - with a peaceful world and God still in heaven. He came to us, he comes to us, he will come to us forever.

It's a beginning to end story of the church from Eden to the renewed creation, centred but Jesus whose body was broken, whose blood was shed, so that he himself would be our peace. In this story we find our identity in our relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and with the church. I closed with a story from CS Lewis that demonstrates how interdependent and connected we are as we're caught up into the life of the Triune God, not alone any more but with God and with his people:
"In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets. Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see Ronald's reaction to a specifically Charles joke. Far from having more of Ronald, having him 'to myself' now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald.... “
Related link:
Haddon Robinson: The Big Idea in Preaching. In my opinion, I fell short on that yesterday.


  1. Hi,
    Mind if I 'borrow' this final point & quote for a talk on loving one another/God's restored Holy Spirit community in a couple of weeks?!

    I spoke in the same series a couple of weeks earlier - I like this type of subject! Looking forward to listening to your talk,

    Jez Bayes

  2. Jez, sure. It's a powerful point and inevitably CS Lewis makes it better than the rest of us ever could! I'll check yours from the series, see you around some day no doubt.

  3. Thanks for posting the audio link Dave.

    I preaching a similar thing last Sunday.