Friday, November 13, 2009

Pursue holiness

"Historically it's been the understanding of the Church, as well as the Bible, that we are to be progressing in our sanctification, growing in our righteousness. See, the goal of the church has never been, at the end of the day, to simply be evangelism; to simply be some front-door-get-saved 'Yay we're done' type place. It actually has been a place for those to come hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, respond to it, and then grow into the fullness of what God has for us." - Matt Chandler

Thank you, Matt Chandler. Funny how Paul doesn't write the churches or Timothy and talk about "church growth" methods. Rather, he DESPERATELY pleads with Timothy and with the churches, that they would pursue holiness. And he talks about real holiness. The writer of Hebrews even calls it "the holiness without which no one will see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). And according to Jesus, there is a massive number of people who call themselves Christians, even many people who are active and driven in Christian service (read the text!), who apparently don't possess this holiness and will NOT be with Him (Matthew 7:22-23).

Evangelism is a command. It's a duty. It's a joy. It's a passion. But be honest--the PRINCIPLE battle going on, if you only had the New Testament letters to go by--is for godliness. The New Testament is FILLED with how a Christian, how a born-again person, ought to live. If we love God, we're drawn to this. We're drawn to, we desire, closer fellowship with Him, and in turn we hate the things He hates. But growing our church by the thousands? Even a person dead in their sins would like that. What Type-A personality, what "high D" (DISC test), what alpha male wouldn't want to win? To make something grow? To be successful? Does it mean he's doing what God wants? Does it mean his actions are even an expression of love for God? Does it mean he's even saved? (Again-Matthew 7:22-23 -- no.)

Pursue godliness, above all things. And true godliness, in our world, is ALWAYS radical.


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