I had the joy and privilege of preaching at Harvest Bible Chapel Naperville this past weekend on Romans 12:1-13. We’re currently going through a series called, “Do You Have It?”, examining the fellowship in Christ and gospel community that the early church experienced.
When we ask the question, “Do You Have It?”, were specifically speaking about the following:
- IT is the deep bond we share as Christians, because of the fellowship we have with God through what Christ has done for us in his life, death, and resurrection.
- IT is the partnership we have in the gospel, having been those who have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken, through what Jesus has done for us; we, now, are to live in the joy of the gospel, as those encouraging each other to press more deeply into the riches and realities of the gospel in our daily lives—and also as those who are growing in our ability to proclaim the gospel to those around us that they may share in the joy of God in Christ.
- IT, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer notes in his classic Life Together, “is not an ideal but a divine reality…
“[IT is] Not what a man is in himself as a Christian, his spirituality and piety, that constitutes his community. What determines our brotherhood [I’ll substitute “IT”] is what [we are] by reason of Christ. Our community with one another consists solely in what Christ has done to the both of us.”
- Bonhoeffer also notes that [IT], is a community commitment to God’s Son as he’s revealed in God’s Word! He says,
“the Christian is the man who no longer seeks his salvation, his deliverance, his justification in himself, but in Jesus Christ alone. He knows that God’s Word in Jesus Christ pronounces him guilty, even when he does not feel his guilt, and God’s Word in Jesus Christ pronounces him not guilty and righteous, even when he does not feel he is righteous at all. The Christian no longer lives of himself, by his own claims and justification, but by God’s claims and justification. He lives wholly by God’s Word pronounced upon him, whether that Word declares him guilty or innocent…THEREFORE THE CHRISTIAN NEEDS ANOTHER CHRISTIAN WHO SPEAKS GOD’S WORD TO HIM.” GOD’S WORD IS GREATER THAN OUR FEELINGS!
My message from this past weekend focused on realizing that gospel community within the context of the local church. You can watch it below…