Monday, February 18, 2019

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The Rev Andries Combrink is a Presbyterian Minister of the Gospel. He lives in Centurion, South Africa.  He is amongst others a blogger and lyrics writer. To teach the Word of God is his calling,  based on the Reformed tradition. 


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“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Mt 4: 4.)



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Jan 13

Written by: Andries
Saturday, January 13, 2018 12:11:35 AM  RssIcon

Could it be true that we live during an age where people do not need the Church anymore? Or is the decline in participation in local Churches the result of a lack of Biblical teaching by the Church about the Church. It seems that less people know what the biblical teaching about the Church of Christ is.

Paul writes as follows to Timothy in 1 Tim 3: 15:  I write (to you) so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.



The short verse says a lot about the Church.  Paul spoke to Timothy about “the Church of the living God”, about the “household of God” and about the Church as the “pillar of truth”. We need to carefully examine what the Bible says to remain within God’s will when it comes to being part of the Church and about maintaining God’s work through his Church.
In our current society we live with a multitude of political, civil, social, environmental, sport and business organisations.
Unfortunately, many started to see the Church as only another option to choose from.
Paul, however, indicated to Timothy that the Church has a special importance in God’s plan for our lives and if we want to serve and worship God, we need instruction on how we are to relate to the Church and plan of God.
1. The Church is not optional. Yes, the Church needs reformation. And the leaders and members of the Church make mistakes. And the Church sometimes communicates in a way that does not feel relevant and we need to repent of the mistakes and correct them with God’s help.
But the fact that the Church is not perfect does not make it optional.
Jesus established the Church. He did not only establish individual Christian-living, but a community, called the Church. Jesus said he builds a community on the confession that he is Lord, Saviour and the Son of God. It is this community that the New Testament calls the Church of Christ.
The New Testament assumes that people who are believers are part of a local Church where they live by their confession about Jesus. The Church is not man’s invention, but God’s. 
The Church is composed of people redeemed by the Son of God, brought together by the will of God to live together as the family of God, in order to do the work of God! (David J Hokes)

2. The Church is the Household of God.


Many metaphors are used to describe the Church in the Bible, for example a temple, a body, a community and a family.  
When the Church is referred to as a household, the emphasis is on the essential need of believers to be supported and encouraged through relationships with other Christians.
We are interconnected as brothers and sisters, because God is our Father and we have one Saviour, while one Holy Spirit lives in us. We have been initiated into one Body by the same Baptism and as such we were ordained to serve God as part of this community.
This means that we are to care for each other, to share God’s love and to help those who need support or are hurting.
We all need encouragement and we all need to grow in the knowledge of Christ. We all need to grow in love for the Lord. This happens within the family of God. Being part of the family is essential and the Bible says the local Church is where you will experience this.
Our behaviours and choices impact on our brothers and sisters who need us. When we are willing to share in the family of God, we will find that we need their love, friendship and encouragement too.
Let’s be very clear: If we do not see the Church as the household of God and ourselves as brothers and sisters to every other believer, we do not listen to what the Bible says about the Church. But if we do, we will begin to experience the abundance that Christian living is intended to be.

3. The Church is the pillar and support of the truth.


Learning about the Gospel, about God, in the faith community safeguards the truth. Anyone can sometimes misinterpret God’s Word and some are prone to over emphasising one teaching of the Bible to the detriment of others. Within the Church of Christ we find the support to uphold the complete truth of God.  
The Church is a pillar and support of God’s truth, because of the biblical promise that God’s Spirit will be present within this community and will guide his people. Although we know that the Spirit dwells in every individual follower of Jesus, God’s promise to reveal and uphold the truth that has to be taught and learned, is given to the community of Christ, as a body.
In Church we in faith expect God to address his people on the one universal, Christian truth as revealed in Christ and testified to by the prophets and apostles in the Scriptures.
The Church provides the context where we challenge one another to fully live for the Lord on the basis of the truth God has revealed to us in Christ and through the Scriptures. We do this as the household of God, the community of the King, the Church of the Living God.
We said earlier:  The Church is composed of people redeemed by the Son of God, brought together by the will of God to live together as the family of God, in order to do the work of God.
This is possible when we share the truth of God, through the guidance of the Spirit of God, because we desire to know the full Gospel of Christ, as the Church of God.




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