by Peter Swann
If the Apostle Paul walked into Hope Church, would he be comfortable?
This question is plaguing me. Badly. Because the answer tells us all we need to know.
If it’s a no… well, we somehow aren’t living out normal biblical Christianity. Our church doesn’t reflect a New Testament church, and we have somehow allowed cultural Christianity or skewed traditions to shape what we think church is.
If it’s a yes… then our church would have to embody all of Paul’s writings, starting with Paul’s expressions of his own heart. Process with me his thoughts on these areas:
- 2 Timothy 1:3 - I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.
- Spiritual Warfare
- 1 Thessalonians 2:18 - Because we wanted to come to you-I, Paul, again and again-but Satan hindered us.
- Romans 5:3-5 - Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings
- 1 Corinthians 14:18 - I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
- Church Discipline
- 1 Timothy 1:20 - Among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
- Signs and Wonders
- Romans 15:18-19 - 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience-by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God
- 1 Corinthians 9:22 - To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.
This list could go on for quite a while. These are just some areas that seem to especially jump at us. And depending on our background, we’d perhaps resonate with some and wince at others.
Where we would wince, it’s time for us to press into our wincing. And we are going to do just that. It’s going to be a fun journey, and a powerful one. There is nothing like biblical Christianity.
So, may our Lord give us a greater love for biblical Christianity than cultural Christianity, and may the Apostle Paul be comfortable in our church.