In Part One of this two-part message about where a Christian belongs, we learn the distinction between the invisible Church and the visible, local church. When a person becomes a believer, they are admitted to the invisible Church, the worldwide family of faith; but it is within the visible church that God has made special provision for the fellowship, instruction , and discipline of His people. Discover the importance of belonging to both.
9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1I appeal to you therefore, brothers,1 by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.2 2Do not be conformed to this world,3 but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.4
3For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4For as in one body we have many members,5 and the members do not all have the same function, 5so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,6 with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
9Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,7 serve the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
What does it really mean to be a Christian? In this study, Alistair identifies the essential elements of the believer’s life, starting first with conversion and then elaborating the manner in which believers are to act out their faith "To be a Christian," he says, "is to declare that Jesus is Lord. His Lordship affects both our minds - teaching us what to believe, as well as our morals - changing the way we live." While each follower of Christ has a unique calling, all Christians share the same fixed features of genuine faith.
The basic nature of the truths unpacked in this series should not be mistaken for elementariness. Far from being relevant to recent converts alone, these truths form the core of each stage of the believer’s life and apply equally to all Christians. Young believers and weathered saints alike will find Alistair’s examination of the "main things" of the Christian faith a useful and challenging way of assessing their experience
|Becoming A Christian||Luke 5:12-13|
|Belonging, Part One||1 Peter 2:9-10 Romans 12:1-13|
|Belonging, Part Two||1 Peter 2:9 Romans 12:1-13|