Great and Unsearchable Things

Things the Lord gives me, and then I write them.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Can meeting together fulfill God's vision of Body Life?

http://www.paidionbooks.org/girrard/bullets/bb620316.html

After reading this article, I was challenged to examine my own actions. Recently, I  have started attending a home group. As the article mentions, "meetings" (whether we assemble at 'church' or in homes) fall way short of the vision God has for us to "lay down our lives" for each other. It would seem like one could only do that in a close geographical setting. I travel about 35 mi. to attend this home group. My question is (to myself and you) "What does it look like to lay down one's life for the brethren?" and "Are we doing it?" Does the world know that Jesus has come because of our love one for another?

8 Comments:

  • At 7/09/2010 9:35 AM , Blogger Bill and Cheryl Flook said...

    Hi Patty! To me, laying down one's life is to go the extra mile. If someone needs something, go over and beyond what they need. If a man is unlovable, love them even more. I think that even more importantly, the motives in which we love one another should be pure, and without any selfishness of what we can obtain from that person. The Lord is always weighing our motives, and is what seems to be very important to Him.

     
  • At 7/09/2010 10:43 AM , Blogger Court said...

    "laying down our lives for our brethren" is clearly defined in 1 John 3:16-20 as giving materially to fellow Christians who are in physical need. It is obvious that this is not being taught in the American churches (or the vast majority of most home groups) or we would have in our prosperous American churches regular offerings for our struggling brethren scattered throughout the world in the Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Communist nations.

    That being said, I believe it is still important for us to be in some type of relation (gathering) with fellow Christians. I may see flaws and error in my brethren, and in the churches, and in the home gatherings, but there are also among these brethren precious saints who will strengthen my love for Jesus Christ, and deepen my understanding of the truth that is in Him. Also this fellowship is a check and balance against my own personal flaws.

    Also, the days will come when the American church will be in great need of strong Christians to see it through very difficult times ahead. We need to develop relationships now so that we can be a help now and in the future. We need to be a blessing and we need to be blessed and encouraged ourselves. As long as the church (or home group) is not apostate, we need to contribute to its growth in Christ, and be a recipient of the love and strengths that can be also imparted to us. However imperfect it is.

     
  • At 7/09/2010 6:33 PM , Blogger Shelaine said...

    I agree with Court. Our church bodies have so much room to grow in spiritual understanding and putting that into action. However, I believe the fellowship is crucial to that growth. When someone is truly a part of a fellowship of brothers and sisters - family - we are able to lay down our lives for our brethren. In serving others in their need - whether it's time, money, our plans, etc - sacrificing of ourselves for others. Bearing their burdens. And it really comes down to an individual's decision on how attached they want to be one another and also the mentality of the local church body that which you are involved with. I am so blessed at this time with a beautiful "church" family but I feel it extends far beyond the walls of the church building where we gather for corporate worship. That is just where it begins for a lot of those relationships. And not just to keep it "in the church" but to bring Jesus to others and them into relationship with others. It is truly a beautiful thing to me. The Body of Christ is so beautiful!!! But I know that I personally, by the power of the Holy Spirit, should lay down my life more, and so I am challenged by this. Thank you! Lord help us all.
    ...Just my opinion....

     
  • At 7/10/2010 9:19 AM , Blogger Patti Blount said...

    Thank you for your comments. They are all so helpful in getting a clearer vision of His vision, as we share our unique perspectives. What I was also wanting to examine is, in our mobile society, can we really "lay down our lives for one another" if we all live miles apart, and then go to "meet together"? Can we get to know each other, and daily be there for each other, or could it work better if we gathered with those living around us who are also brothers and sisters in the Lord, providing a lampstand in our communities?

     
  • At 7/10/2010 11:10 AM , Blogger artnelson said...

    Just "meeting together" is not the church and in most cases is not even a spiritual experience. It doesn't matter whether it is the church building on the corner or the living room down the street.
    Meeting together is not God's intention. His intention is that we be assembled together and that is a lot more than meeting.

    So, what does it mean to be “assembled”? We use the word to mean, “gathered together”, but is that correct? A bag or box of parts are “gathered together” but they certainly are not “assembled”.

    Again, with anything that is being assembled, there is already an executed design, which was developed by the designer. There is a collection of parts that were also designed to be fitted together in a pre-determined place and a pre-determined order. The same is true of the Body of Christ. God has designed His Temple according to His own desires. He has pre-determined (chosen) the parts (living stones) and has a pre-determined placement and function for each one.

    We have been told many times that the Sunday morning meeting is the assembling together and that if we don’t attend then we are “forsaking the assembling together”. This is simply not true. First, I have attended many Sunday mornings and that gathering is far short of the meaning of “assembly”. Second, no “assembling” is going on—it is just a bag full of parts that are being jiggled together. I am not at all sure that any institutional church has the capability to “assemble” the way that the Scriptures intend. At least, they can’t and continue to function according to their denominational by-laws.

    (For more on this please see “Being the Church Series” on my website: www.lifestreamteaching.com This is taken from lesson one. but lesson 3 gives us the purpose of assembling.)

    Moving to a house group doesn't solve the problem either. We have to be "led together into the Name of Jesus". This is done by the Holy Spirit. We can't be built together without the Holy Spirit and He won't do it without our cooperation. We cooperate by being willing to be built together and willing to go through the sanding and chiseling that is required to be fitted together as living stones.

    This finds practical expression in how we practice the "one another" requirements of the New Covenant. All of the "one another" commands have an element of give and take--we practice them toward others and we receive their practice toward ourselves.

    I believe that it is essential that we come to an true understanding of what "church" actually is and that we throw off the Constantine perversions that we have inherited as our institutional church. We must come into a real relationship with the Lord and with the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill God's intention. --------Art Nelson

     
  • At 7/10/2010 3:49 PM , Blogger Patti Blount said...

    Commenting on Art's comments: I believe that I am, to the best of my ability (by His strength)"letting" God hold me to the fire, so to speak. I do see what you are saying concerning the difference between "gathering" and "being assembled," as a cohesive Body. Many groups, I have found, though, consist of some yielding to His work, and some not. So, how does that work as far as "being assembled" together?

     
  • At 7/10/2010 8:20 PM , Blogger Chris said...

    Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing! And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!" Then the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever. Rev 5:11-14
    Now I call that an assembly!God has lain out right before our eyes what assembly is all about. The Church, for the most part, is blind to what the Spirit is saying.

     
  • At 7/11/2010 8:08 AM , Blogger Patti Blount said...

    Using that Scripture, Chris, what do you see the Spirit saying here?

     

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