Church (9) Ekklesia
|So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. (2Timothy1:8-11)|
Paul, writing to Timothy who is his protege and a pastor-in-training, describes the life and ministry of the church. Let's pick up a few of his points...
- Being part of the church requires boldness and courage. The church has not always experienced the peaceful times we've been privileged to live in.
- God's power is available for us to testify and live for God, even if it involves suffering.
- We were saved before we could live a holy life and not because of anything we have done, but all because God showed His amazing grace through Jesus His Son.
- Jesus has been there from the beginning of time, appeared to us (to reveal what God is like), died to be our Saviour, destroyed death and sent His life-giving gospel into the world.
- We have been called! Called to live a holy life in response to what God has done!
This is a high call and a high privilege. We're not called to do it alone, but as a community.
We are called by a loving God. Our community does not lie in the strength of an organisation or denomination but in the One who calls.
We are called to come out of an old life that is centered around self and selfish pursuits to live for God and for a world that needs us to be heralds, apostles and teachers of the good news that is the gospel. God makes us His co-workers. He puts His reputation in our hands. He asks us to tell the incredible story of what His Son did for us!
(If that doesn't cause your heart to beat a little faster then you need to read this again!)
While it is a bit a cliche, it remains true to say this:
What is CH--CH ? The answer is: U R!