How should faith and reason work together?
The purpose of the Church in a nutshell …
We still unconsciously see the Church as a building, though we have moved on from the sacred ground concept and freely meet now in all sorts of places, from converted warehouses to cinemas and even sports halls. But you know this and there is no intention in these articles to make any comment at all about where we should meet. It’s what we do when we get there that is the issue. What is the purpose for Christians meeting together? Let’s first delve through Scripture to see what it says about the early Church. The following have been taken from Acts 2:42-47, Acts 4:32-35, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 and Acts 17:11.
From these Scriptures we see that these early believers indulged in:
- Breaking of bread
- Sharing material possessions
- Eating together
- Praising God
- Biblical feasts (Passover mentioned in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8)
- Exercising of spiritual gifts
- Lord’s supper (Holy communion)
- Examining Scripture
So this is a good place to start. The question is how do we do these things in the context of Hebraic Church, using the seven principles mentioned in the previous article?
To remind us of the summaries of these principles:
- the importance of divine encounters. We need to provide frameworks so that this is normal in our gatherings.
- to see purpose not just in ourselves but in all of God’s creation.
- to trust God in everything and not to put limits on His actions or intentions.
- the cultural context of our Saviour and what can be gained by a corresponding understanding of his Jewish origins.
- the Bible is alive and is God’s principle means of communication to us.
- to re-evaluate the Church’s treatment of the Jewish people and to be an agent of change.
- to have real expectations of God working in our lives and that He has created us all to worship using the gifts that He has given us.
These can be summarised further into one big idea:
We need to provide an environment where we can all meet God individually, discover and exercise all of our gifts (not just spiritual gifts) and callings and to worship the living God, with the correct application of His Word and an acknowledgement of the debt the Church has to the Jewish people, including a desire to bless them.
This is an extract from the book, Hebraic Church, available for £10 at http://www.sppublishing.com/hebraic-church-101-p.asp