Friday, February 18, 2011


As a support pastor at my church (Youth pastor, assistant pastor, associate pastor -- depends on who you ask) I don't always get to choose the topics that I preach about. Usually our pastor (currently our interim pastor) comes up with a series and I have opportunity to plug in with one of the topics that works into that series. (An opportunity I am so very grateful for.)

I love preaching. I love the study that goes in to it. I love the reading. I love falling asleep trying to formulate the best way to verbally articulate what God has birthed in my heart. I love praying and studying to discover how the timeless truth of scripture can be applied to the 21st century. I love wrestling with God's word, and letting it transform me and then trying to bring people in to that process in a 45 minute verbal presentation as I try to point them to the text that so deeply affected me.

I love preaching.

If I could preach about anything this Sunday, it would be the topic I have been given. The topic I get to preach on this week: the church. Christ's bride.

I have spent my time in Matthew 18, 28, Acts 1-4, 8, Ephesians and 2 Timothy the past two weeks. I have been reading Why we Love the Church and listening to sermons by Kevin Deyoung, Pipes and CJ...

If decapitation is the removing of a head from the body, decorpulation is the removing of the body from the head. DeYoung argues that's the trend in modern Christianity... they want Jesus, but not the church. They love Christ, but dislike his bride. They want the head, but they want to do away with the body... scripturally, functionally, practically... that just doesn't happen.

So as these things bounce around in my head I thought I'd post a quote I will be using, it's Kevin Deyoung quoting and discussing John Stott's writing:

"I trust that none of my readers is that grotesque anomaly, an unchurched Christian. The New Testament knows nothing of such a person. For the church lies at the very centre of the eternal purpose of God."

From a historical perspective, the existence of unbaptized believers in Christ who are not under the authority of the church is not accepted as normative ecclesiology. The very word ekklesia means ‘public assembly’ and speaks to the necessity of our Christian commitment being made visible.

As the body of Christ, the church makes visible our invisible God. The Body of Christ takes up space on earth. The Body of Christ can only be a visible Body, or else it is not a Body at all.

Churchless Christianity makes about as much sense as a Christless church, and has just as much biblical warrant. John Stott’s assessment of evangelism in the book of Acts is right: "The Lord ‘didn’t add them to the church without saving them, and he didn’t save them without adding them to the church." Salvation and church membership went together; they still do.’

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