In the last two posts I have talked about the preponderance of evidence that led to my paradigm shift. So this question comes to mind; what should this mean to the church, its doctrine, its worship, and its faith and practice? When I mention the church I mean those who are believing in Jesus as the redeemer. I mean the universal body of believers, the catholic church, small c.
First off, it only makes sense that when one identifies as a believer in Jesus Christ, that they would follow what Jesus, and his first century apostolic writers taught. This means that they would look at the scripture from a redemptive view and not as a legal constitutional document. It means that they would define and teach that the word of God is the gospel or Jesus the living good news. When John wrote that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, he meant that the gospel (good news) became flesh and dwelt among men. He certainly did not mean that the scripture became flesh and dwelt among men. Therefore, the gospel should be the main focus of all Christians and Christian Churches. The gospel is as refreshing, if not more refreshing to the seasoned saint as it is to the new one. The gospel is the main defensive weapon against the accuser of the brethren. The gospel is the necessary re-assurance that promotes resting in the peace with the Father which only comes from justification by faith.
A follower of Christ should not use the scripture in a legal constitutional way. Even the instructions in the epistles that sound like commandments should not be viewed in a legal constitutional way. When they are the result is ALWAYS spiritual death and striving to please God in the flesh. They can only be efficacious when one is resting in redemption by faith alone. I am not saying that they cannot show the heart of God, and cannot be used to encourage godliness. I am saying that when they are used with a legal constitutional understanding or focus they always, always, always become a killing letter. This is precisely why the gospel has to be the main focus.
Christians, should worship Jesus. Paul tells us that in the risen Lord Jesus Christ, all of the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily (Col 2:9.) Further, Isaiah prophesied that would be the case (Is 9:6-7.) The King of Kings and Lord of Lords in Revelation 19 is Jesus. The name of Jesus is to be worshipped by every tongue, and every bowing knee. When Jesus is worshipped there is a special anointing that can come in no other way. It is the name of Jesus that saves, heals, cleanses, and comforts. Why is the name of Jesus mentioned so little, and so many sermons are just a rehashing of Old Covenant messages that do not in any way point to Christ. Jesus said that the entire scripture points to him (John 5:39-40; Luke 24:27, 43-45.) If you use the Old Testament scripture it had better point directly to Jesus if you are a Christian and if it does not you should not use it.
In faith and practice every Christian should be resting completely in Romans 5:1. If you are a following believer of Jesus Christ you should be allowing the love of God and peace with God to be the driving catalyst of your life. A proper understanding of the apostle's doctrine (Acts 2:42) would promote real transformation in the life of the believer. Not reformation. That seems to be the main business of the evangelical, institutional church, and it is just flat out the wrong focus. It is no wonder church doctrine is so far off the mark.
I am going to be writing in this vane for a while so why not go over a lot of these posts and see the preponderance of the evidence for a paradigm shift?