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  • Why was this site started?

    slide06.jpgLet us begin with a very important fact. The goal of the site is not to criticize traditional or institutional churches. Yes, some of the articles make comparisons and some of the writers do strongly question traditional practices. However, those of us who have created this site did so for several reasons:

  • Our Best Articles

    bestartikle.jWe have over one hundred articles available on our site, so if you are a new visitor, you may be overwhelmed. Where should you start? Here you will find some of our best articles that we have posted since the s...

  • Incarnational Practices

    slide05.jpgYou are church before you do church. This is one of the fueling insights of the missional church movement. This isn't a new idea...but it is pretty provocative, especially when one considers its implications. If we take Jesus at his word when he says (as recorded in John 20:21) "as the Father has sent me, I am sending you," then we realize that our being sent is the basis of our "doing" church. In oth...

  • What is an Organic Church?

    slide04.jpg Organic Church. I've been using this term for around fifteen years now. Today it's become somewhat of a clay word, being molded and shaped to mean a variety of different things by a variety of different people.

    T. Austin-Sparks is the man who deserves credit for this term. Here's his definition:


Your Christ Is Too Small PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 19 December 2013 15:39

The promise of the New Covenant is this: “„I will put My laws into their minds, I will write them upon their hearts. I will be their God and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach every one his fellow-citizen, and everyone his brother saying, „Know the Lord,‟ for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.‟”

 “All shall know Me” . . . this is the beating heart of God. I‟ll be blunt: Either you and I can  know God intimately, or the gospel is a sham. One of the rewards of our Lord’s suffering is that we all shall know Him . . . “from the least to the greatest.”

 Living in organic Body life for many years has taught me the reality of a major teaching in the New Testament. Namely, the Lord dwells in all of us, and He is a speaking God. But the primary vehicle He uses as His mouthpiece is His Body.

 Therefore, you and I will never know Christ deeply or intimately unless we are in a community of believers where each member is free to open their mouths and speak. We learn Christ by being connected with other believers. I’m not talking about the Sunday morning church service that most of us grew up with where one or two members of the Body have the freedom to speak to everyone else. I’m speaking of a community of believers where each member is free to share Christ with one another.

 The truth is that we can’t fully know Christ as an individual. We know Him fully through the new creation. That is, we know Him through His Body.

 This understanding changed everything for me. Throughout my years of living in church life, I began to understand that my brothers and sisters in Christ were parts of Christ, and I learned to listen to my Lord through them. I also discovered that the Lord is constantly speaking. And He speaks through His own people even at times when they are unaware of it.

 If this is true . . . and I assure you it is . . . then how well we know the Lord depends on how connected we are to the other parts of His Body?  (This principle would also include what Christ has revealed to members of His Body in the past.  Therefore, whenever I hear Christians make the claim that “99.9% of all I read is the Bible,” I cringe. Every person I‟ve met who made that claim was grossly imbalanced. And for good reason. Rightly understanding the Bible requires an interpretive community.)

 My journey into Body life taught me that the Christian life, in its core essence, is living by another life. It’s living by Christ. But it’s not simply living only by the Lord who indwells me. It’s also living by the Lord who indwells my Christian brothers and sisters.

 I live by the Lord who is in me, and I live by the Lord who is in my fellow brethren (in whom Christ also dwells). God  has designed it that way. Consequently, if we will know our Lord deeply, we must be connected to other members of the Body of Christ in a concrete way. And it doesn‟t hurt at all to include in that mix exposure to the great teachers of the past whom God has gifted to reveal Christ to His church.

 Throughout my Christian life, I’ve met believers who had their own private walk with the Lord. They never knew Christian community, yet they had an extremely strong devotional life. Every person who fit that bill, in my experience at least, was lopsided in some arena of their lives. The reason? They didn’t avail themselves of the balancing of the Body.

 No Christian is wired to live an individualistic Christian

life. Without Christian community, we cannot grow normally in the spiritual life. We were designed to live with other Christians and receive their spiritual portion. If you doubt this, please read 1 Corinthians 12 with this possibility in mind.

By Frank Viola


(this is an excerpt of this article. The whole article  can be found at http://www.ptmin.org/ )

 

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