Jesus: The Genesis and Freshness of the Church

Note: I’ve been in some professional training and have not been able to post as often as I would like.  I will be out of town the next two weeks as well, and will have limited posts during that time.

freshness genesis life

Credit: Flickr user tzofia (cc)

Now, on to some Friday fun!

This quote from Watchman Nee’s book, Love Not the World is of critical importance for the church today.  As many Christ followers are moving away from institutional forms of church and returning to smaller, simpler formats, the issue of source is paramount.

There are many “things” that groups meeting in a simple format (typically in a home) are established around.  Some of those are:

– Bible study (often focused on a particular doctrine that all in the group must accept)

– Separating from the world (often focused on home life, home school, home church)

– Doing church the “biblical way” (focused on discerning and following a NT liturgy of sorts)

– Saving souls (often focused on a particular evangelism method, and focused on the need to save many people quickly)

– Fellowship (focused on developing relationships and often avoids any formal meeting)

– Following an individual (often focused around a strong-willed person looking for followers, often unhealthy)

– Discipleship (focused on more experienced believers training younger believers)

– Social Justice (focused on helping the needy or poor in some way)

These are some of the “big ones” that I’m aware of.  Some of these can be healthy for a group to pursue at the time that the Lord leads in this direction.  

But by themselves they are just things.

None of these things should be the source, origin, or focus of a church.

God has not given us “things”, He has given us a “Person”, His Son Jesus Christ.  And as Ephesians 1 says, all spiritual things are given to us in Him.

Here’s the quote from Watchman Nee:

All that belongs to human nature continues spontaneously; all that belongs to God continues only for as long as God’s working continues.  And the world is all-inclusively that which can go on by itself without the need of specific acts of God to maintain it in freshness.  The world, and all that belongs to the world, does this naturally – it is its nature – and in doing so it moves in a direction contrary to the will of God.

Any group of believers that desire to follow Christ together must then together submit themselves to His leading.

This requires a constant turning to the Lord both individually and together and asking Him for direction.  It requires a strong spirit of exploration.  This requires that we resist instituting rigid traditions where the Spirit is leading a group through a season of some kind.

Ultimately, this requires that Jesus is our Focus, our Life, our Goal, our Source (our Genesis), our Head, our Way.

Other “things” will not sustain the life of the church.  They are dead in and of themselves.

Turning to Jesus constantly brings His freshness into our lives and life together.  (This is the intended meaning of the signature line of my posts… “follow the life”.)

Follow the Life!

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6 thoughts on “Jesus: The Genesis and Freshness of the Church

  1. we struggle in this modern day lifestyle to consider Jesus Christ as a real being and tend to treat people as if they were only things.

  2. Thanks Mark for highlighting the fact it must be from His life which speaks to the relationship we each are privileged to have with Him. From that base we are privileged to be in relationship with His body, with each other and to see His life spread into others. What a blessing.
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  3. Great post, Mark. So true – anything outiside of the life of Christ is death…even those “things” done in His name, or that are “about” Him. I left an organic community this year that Christ has since showed me was built around things, and not truly under His headship. As far as I know the group is crumbling now. It breaks my heart, but without Him being the source of everything in the community, it will eventually die. This is a strong personal reminder too. Thank you!

  4. Great post, it’s really that simple, Jesus and Him only. All it takes is consistently seeking/turning to Him and through that we will be moved by His Life.

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