Friday, February 13, 2009

The "Normal" Church

What happens when a church organization or a Church fellowship gets into sin? What happens when a little leaven leavens the whole lump? I'll answer this question today from the perspective of spiritual gifts as given in Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4.

The prophets will try to fix it by preaching against sin and reinforcing all such Biblical truth.

The evangelists will try to fix it by bringing more unsaved people into the church to get saved.

The pastor/teachers will try to fix it by getting people more educated with more expository and topical preaching.

The ministers will try to fix it by trying to make everyone feel more comfortable.

The exhorters will try to fix it by encouraging everyone that things will get better.

The givers will try to fix it by throwing more money at the problem (like more programs, new music and instruments, bigger monitors and screens, etc.).

The rulers will try to fix it by adjusting the procedures and processes, ways and means, or constitution of the church.

The merciful will try to fix it by feeling even more sorry for people and praying for them.

The wise and knowledgeable will try to fix it by spreading their own opinions.

The faithful will try to fix it by acts of the flesh that seem right to them.

The miracle workers will try to fix it by hoping and praying that God will fix everything eventually.

The healers will try to fix it by trying to heal everyone from the diseases and calamities that are sure to come upon them in God's judgment.

The discerners of spirits will try to fix it by letting everyone know that it's all the fault of Satan so there will be many prayer meetings of spiritual warfare coming up.

But you see folks, none of this will work. When sin enters into the Body, Satan will indeed tempt the Body to bastardize their gifts and turn them to fleshly pursuits. He is a master at such deception. And while in sin, the Christian will not ever realize it. Apart from the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we would be condemned to perish in the chaos.

But God is faithful, merciful, and full of lovingkindness towards His children. He will not leave them forever in such desperate straits if they hear His voice and repent. Even still, the spiritual gifts must be left aside for the moment. Nothing but the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, the tragedy of the cross, and the Reality of His resurrection will bring the Church back into a righteous, "one" relationship with God.

As Oswald Chambers says, "The only ground on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ; to put forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blasphemy. The only ground on which God can forgive sin and reinstate us in His favour is through the Cross of Christ, and in no other way."

The Church needs to wake up, get right with God, and then get to work.

1 comment:

W McCallum said...

Very timely message and so true is the little chorus which says:

"What can wash away our sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus..." (Lyrics by Matt Redman) see:
http://grahamchoo.googlepages.com/NothingButTheBloodLyricsAndChords.pdf