Thursday, September 23, 2010

Questions about church (Part 1)

Some questions about the church were asked a couple of weeks ago. This new series is my attempt to answer those questions. Your feedback and insight would be appreciated.

Over the next 4 or 5 weeks we are going to discuss the church. Here is what I have come to believe about the church. I owe a great deal of gratitude to IVP’s New Dictionary of Biblical Theology as it has greatly helped in shaping my view on the church and what it is.

Before we get to the questions let’s start at the beginning. Because we serve a God who is 1 God in 3 Persons we have been made for community. Our completeness if found in God and others. God, as seen throughout the OT, wants a people/community that is His. He did make us. Understanding this leads to a clearer understanding and appreciation of what God was attempting to do with Israel in the OT. He wanted a community of people to be solely dedicated to Him, to worship Him privately and together as the true God, and to share Him with others. These scriptures of God speaking to Israel help us understand this:

Exodus 19:5 says,
Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation. This is the message you must give to the people of Israel. (NLT)

Joshua 22:5 says,

Love the LORD your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul. (NLT)

Notice that these commands are given to a particular people. They are for the community. This is important because a lot of what God was trying to create with Israel is seen and adopted (there is more to it though) by New Testament writers as what God wants to create with His church as it begins with Jesus in the New Testament.

Next week: What does Jesus teach us about this topic?

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