The Gospel and the Church/Men

Here’s the first of hopefully many posts to come. Been musing on a few things and here’s my attempt to articulate some of them. Open to feedback/pushback.

The church and it’s men inside are fighting a defensive battle. We are under assault from the world and from humanistic and individualistic thinking. Much of this has made it inside the church and so we are under assault even from within. We find ourselves today tossed about in the currents our own convolutions. On the backfoot, we are forced to counter, and cover-up, and respond, and manage the issues presented to us.

The church was not created to be on her backfoot. The “gates of hell will not prevail against it” is an ‘offensive’ statement.

The fundamental problem of the irrelevance of the church and the weakness of the men (in the west) is this: a failure to understand and apply the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel has been reduced: to an entity with no real power over sin, to one sinner’s prayer that we prayed once upon a time.  It has become a nice addition to a nice life, and essentially, it is now something that sits underneath us. It is something that sits inferior to the desires of the world. Instead of applying the gospel as something that truly redeems and restores to bring freedom, we band-aid our sin with management. We use the gospel as a band-aid for our skin cancer, when it should be the surgeon’s scalpel.

What’s the solution?

1. A perspective shift

In reality, the gospel sits above us all. It sits above the superficiality of the world. It sits above our brokenness. It sits above and conquers the powers and principalities of the world.  It sits above and conquers our sin and its consequences.

We need our eyes opened to the supremity of the gospel, for it is the power for salvation for all who believe, it is a story of love that conquers all other loves. The gospel is the story of our salvation by one man: the one man who will rule supreme throughout all eternity in righteousness, justice, and love.

2. An idol shift: surrender

When we lose the cost of the gospel, we lose the power of the gospel. 

Instead being a people that seek to use gospel to help us have a nice life, the thrust of the gospel is this: that we attempt to submit every aspect of our lives under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  And under his Lordship, there can be no competing masters, and so we find ourselves free, and we find ourselves having a purpose, because he created us.  He who wants to save his life must lose it. We live and conquer by submission and surrender. What a beautiful paradox.

Let us submit and give away our lives to the supreme and only good power. Let us take up our swords because we were made not to fight defensively. The kingdom does not advance by defense. And we’re going to take back all that the enemy has stolen.

Church: only as we submit and surrender afresh to Christ today, will we find the purpose and integrity and compassion that the world is so deeply needful and hungry for.

Men: only as we submit and surrender afresh to Christ today, will we find the freedom, and peace that our own broken and hearts need. And only as we surrender, will we find the leadership and vision and strength that our families and those we lead are looking for from us.

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2 thoughts on “The Gospel and the Church/Men

  1. The church is not our creation – it is God himself who made it and will keep it, whatever the opposition. We have lived, in the West, in easy times and often forgotten that we are in a spiritual battle within ourselves, forgetting to please God first and not ourselves first. Added to that, the society around us preaches self-satisfaction all the time. As time goes by, the environment is becoming more and more hostile to the God of the Bible, the real and true God Almighty, and it is tempting for us to give way on this little thing and that little thing. So we need a clear understanding in our own mind as to who God really is and we need to stick to that. We also need to call on him, continually, as Jesus told us to do, to give us his Holy Spirit.
    We often talk about broken hearts and broken lives, but really what is the issue? It is that we have been disobedient to God and his commands and often reaped consequences, so the answer is to call on God for forgiveness and help in our distress and time of need. And our first distress should be not so much for ourselves as for how we have behaved in God’s eyes and where we have let Him down. As David said, we have sinned against him alone. For a long time I didn’t understand the meaning of that, but now I believe it means that our offences against God are such that all other consequences, including how other people are effected, hardly show up in comparison.
    Satan cannot steal anything from God, only do what God allows, and we should be confident that God is all in all and his enemy has no power to harm us if we put God’s wishes before our own. Perhaps we will enter a time of real persecution, of winnowing to see what is in us and whether we will persevere but even if that happens, God will give us strength so long as we look to him and trust in him like little children, as Jesus said.

    • Thanks for the comment Paul.

      Yes, The bride belongs to the bridegroom, and He will present her holy and blameless on that last day.

      I agree with what you say about brokenness, but I see a large part of that as innate, or a result of our flesh. There is nothing good in and of ourselves, it wasn’t just that we chose to be disobedient, but we are a poor, blind, pitiful, wretched and naked race.

      I suspect persecution will separate the goats from the sheep. The church is purified then thrives in persecution, at least that’s what we’ve see in China? I am in territory I don’t know much about here

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