Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Christian Maturity

I found this interesting little section in my Bible reading notes this morning...

"...maturity is not the place where we stop growing because all our problems are solved - it is the place where we have learned to grow more freely.

To be perfect is to be without fault. To be mature is to have the ability and willingness to deal with the faults that remain. The Church will never be made up of perfect people: but it can be a body built up of those who are mature." Encounter with God (Scripture Union)

This thought was derived from this powerful passage in Ephesians. The role of church leadership is "... to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."
Ephesians 4:12-16 (emphasis added)

So according to this passage - how mature are you? And how mature is your church?

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Demolished Walls

I'm just about old enough to remember the fall of the Berlin Wall & the media frenzy which it sparked.
How exciting to see the celebrations in Germany yesterday as this historic event of two decades ago was remembered. Not only did it lead Germany to reunify, but it marked the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Cold War's end. The symbolic act was to reflect how the then Communist governments of Eastern Europe fell one after another.

Mr Obama gave a great speech, but I'll pull him up on this one phrase...
"There could be no clearer rebuke of tyranny. There could be no stronger affirmation of freedom," he said of the wall's tearing down.
My minister reminded me last week that there is in fact another demolished wall which greater symbolises the rebuke of tyranny & is a much stronger affirmation of freedom. You can read about it below...

Ephesians 2:13-22 (The Message)

Now because of Christ—dying that death, shedding that blood—you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything.

The Messiah has made things up between us so that we're now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped. Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody.

Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.