JohnSWilson3 Blog


Some things I have been learning in organic church life
August 5, 2010, 2:36 am
Filed under: 1- Discovering Organic Church Life Testimony

Imitating outward behavior is nothing more than following a religion. As we learn to live by the Spirit who indwells us, a relationship with Christ and His body, fruit of the Spirit is produced organically.

The brothers and sisters today spent time sharing about coming to agreement in Christ together over how we are gathering and to Whom we gather to, learning about forgiving one another and loving one another, putting off the old man and putting on Christ together. Many stories shared and the body of Christ strengthened. God is building His church!

It seems that as each follower of Christ contributes the riches of His glory to one another He will become strong in the inward man in all the saints who gather together, and they will come to know Christ and His great love for us better and in all His fullness.

Focus on performance leads to the road of human traditions and to institutionalism, life without Christ as head.

Imagine every believer sharing Christ in love in freedom with each other in face to face community from house to house.

Christ Jesus is THE cornerstone.

The quality of the foundation of a church plant, living by Christ’s life, will determine the life of that church, how they manifest His life to one another and to the world.

I am finding that the functions of caring, guiding, growing spiritually mature/older, protecting, teaching, etc are more and more not functions for certain people or to a person in the body of Christ but to any and all persons in the body of Christ who are growing in His lordship personally and in His headship corporately.

We are called not to follow leaders, but the Leader, Jesus Christ. The functions are just that to help the body of Christ function and keep Him Head of the body. Every member if they are expressing Christ are modeling Christ for others.

When we put church practice over knowing Christ we have created an idol.

Whatever we say or do, no matter how important or noteworthy, if it is not done in love it is worthless.

Learning to be the church cannot happen without living by the life of Christ. What was the reason for the epistles? To help the church know who they were in Christ, the being the church. Out of being His life is manifested organically, the doing. Too often it is the cart before the horse, at least as I have experienced it and observed it.

When we offend a brother or sister in the church we offend Christ. That is, when we break the law of Christ, the royal law of love towards one another we offend not just one another but Christ. Even if a brother or sister is offended, whatever it is, we must try to understand why they are offended and be reconciled. We should be sensitive to the feelings of others, since oftentimes unresolved misunderstandings tend to lead to bitterness and separation, instead of growth in learning Christ.

Sad to say baptism and the Lord’s supper, the practices meant to help us better understand our unity with Christ and one another, have been used by Satan for the very reverse, division in the body of Christ.

Spiritual discernment is important, but it is also part of learning Christ in community. Too often the extroverted personalities will use this steam roller approach to life as an excuse to the demise of the faith of those with introverted personalities. In Christ there are no distinctions, we are members of one body. Without love no matter what is said or done it is worthless. There is no condition in regarding how someone was offended. No matter how unspiritual a person may be, to include an unbeliever, forgiveness is always in order. I do not think some look to be offended, often they are the ones who need a listening ear and who need to see forgiveness practiced. We forgive as the Lord forgave us.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” How important to listen for and to Him, “be quick to listen and slow speak.”

Any person who has received Christ Jesus as Lord are “members of one body” whether in an institutional church or not. Potency is determined by Christ’s lordship in us individually and His headship in our gatherings.

When we learn Christ together in community, in face-to-face relationships, we will learn to live by the life of Christ and it will be manifested in our love for one another. We will refresh “the hearts of the saints.”

As we live in this organic way, allowing Christ to be head of our gatherings and living by His life, this life of mutual love, this manifestation of the “fellowship of the faith,” we will grow “in full knowledge of every good thing in us for Christ.” There is no other expectation than to share and receive something of Christ from one another based on the function that He has gifted each of us. To have a plan generally focuses the group to keeping the plan and thereby lose something of Christ in the midst of our relationships with one another.

Could we offer up our homes as a place the church could gather in the name of
the Lord Jesus Christ, share our meals together, and mutually edify one another?

Decided many years ago not to listen to TV preachers or evangelists, just read the Scriptures and focused on what Jesus said to me. I guess God was already leading me into non-institutional Christianity, aka organic church life.

We do not need someone to take charge of the church when it begins to drift from the Lord, it takes the glorious message of Jesus Christ to penetrate the heart and allow Jesus Christ to be head of His church!

I made a conscious decision years ago to not watch TV preachers/evangelists as they had more of an institutional/ theological slant to what they said, instead of helping the body of Christ live by His headship.

God has always called a remnant to Himself, it has always been the case in history, so why is it surprising that God would be calling a remnant from institutional Christianity, to focusing solely on Jesus Christ?

Too often we try to live by the Book, do what it says, versus using the Book to help is to live by His life.

Organic church involves face to face community – as we reveal ourselves to each other, the Lord moves us forward, challenging us forward spiritually in Him.

Living by the life of Jesus we will manifest His life towards others.

I have to say that “corporate convulsions of death and resurrection” is the gist of organic church life, amazing how God uses this kind of life to expose the flesh and to learn to put away the flesh.

Organic church life in its true sense is not a home fellowship but where everyone is focused on Jesus and His rule and not on themselves.

How do you make disciples in a nut shell: helping God’s people in community live by their indwelling Lord, knowing Jesus Christ and Him crucified!

True spiritual growth, the growth of the entire body of Christ, will not occur in a church that does not have Jesus as Head. If Jesus is removed as “the head of the body, the church” it becomes something other than what God intended and its growth is primarily physical and fleshly. I love my brothers and sisters, no matter be they in an institutional church or organic. We left the institutional system of the church to be the church. God can work in any “church” but His desire is not to work in a church, but to be Head over His church through all the parts of the body. As I read the Bible God’s manifest presence left that which was not according to His will. Not that he can’t use it to bring people to Himself in spite of the system, but He desires to be head of His church where everyone in the body grows to the fullness of Christ, not just a couple teachers and leaders. Ezekiel comes to mind. God is not out to reform a system, like all the reformers in the past, He is out to remove the system and place His Son as the preeminence and be the center and head to everything about the life of the church.

Being told to celebrate freedom in Christ without being able to function within the body of Christ is still slavery to the flesh.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Great post John. It is wonderful how your posts focus on Jesus. If I may add my poor opinion: I think that many differences of opinion between Christians are due to people not understanding their own spiritual gifts and the gifts of others. What they find important has to do with their gifts, and they become offended because they don’t realize others do not have the same calling from God. I speak from experience, and unfortunately, I see many others following my same footsteps. I think that if we understand how our differences come together to form the perfect image of Christ, then we would not be so quick to offend or take offense.

Comment by Peter

Hi Peter, great words bro! I think you nailed it on the head! This is part of learning Christ. I also think that it is also an aspect of putting off the flesh and putting on Christ. When we realize how our flesh was nailed to the cross, all of it, and that we are a new creation, we have been made alive in Christ, humbly seeing ourselves from that perspective I think we will begin to see how important it is to accept one another as they are, and to think of others more than ourselves.

John

Comment by John Wilson




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