Monday, August 17, 2009

8/17- Unity of the Church

(Calvin preaching to unruly crowd)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equips his 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.” (Ephesians 4:12,13)

Calvin: I say we must not thoughtlessly forsake the church because of any petty dissensions. For in it alone is kept safe and uncorrupted that doctrine in which piety stands sound and the use of the sacraments ordained by the Lord is guarded. In the meantime, if we try to correct what displeases us, we do so out of duty. Paul’s statement applies to this: “If a better revelation is made to another sitting by, let the first be silent” [1 Corinthians 14:30 p.]. From this it is clear that every member of the church is charged with the responsibility of public edification according to the measure of his grace, provided he perform it decently and in order. That is, we are neither to renounce the communion of the church nor, remaining in it, to disturb its peace and duly ordered discipline. (IV.1.12)

Thought: Christ raises up the right people to serve Him. He calls them into ministry for the benefit of His church. We are looking for a youth director at our church. I know God will lead us to the right person at the right time. In this passage in Ephesians the leaders of the church are called by Christ to equip the church until we reach unity in the faith. One of the vows of an elder/pastor/member is “do you promise to further the unity and purity of the church?” That is what is mentioned here. Our job as Christians in a disjointed, diverse, and alienated world is to love others- especially in the church- and to make the church better through our work and encouragement. The Bible NEVER focuses on when we ought to leave the church. When we leave (not talking about moving away here), neglect, help divide, or stay away from the church we are not building up the body of Christ, but wounding it. We cannot wound or neglect Christ’s body without hurting ourselves spiritually.

Prayer: Help us, O Lord, to build up your body on earth, the church. Help us to see that our good and the good of our children is involved in building up your kingdom.

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