I posted earlier that I’ve been reading through the book of Acts trying to trick my mind into believing it’s the first time I’ve ever read it. I’m shooting for an impartial outlook on what the first church was really like. (Oh and for those of you who commented under your breath, “Tricking his mind couldn’t have been too hard.” You're either being facetious or you know me well. Either way I wholeheartedly agree! I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer! I am foolish! “And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.”)
Thinking about Acts and the true church, you know, US, the body of believers. I was stirred by what Pete Wilson from Cross Point Church in Nashville had to say in his blog recently.
Pete says: “Jesus modeled a community for us where everyone’s welcome. He would welcome, love, accept, embrace, and include anybody who came up to Him. It didn’t matter—prostitutes, Samaritans, tax collectors, Gentiles, lepers, or sinners. We dream of a church where people, even if they don’t agree with everything we believe yet and even if they don’t understand everything we teach yet, can discover a place where they are welcome “as they are.”
Jesus helped us understand we’re all equally in need of the forgiveness of Christ. Because of this there is no need for any sense of spiritual superiority. We dream of creating a community…where there is no need for hiding, no need for reputation building, no need to impress anybody because we are all sinners, saved and living by grace.
Jesus continually chose to believe the best in people. He looked at people like Peter, who was inconsistent, unpredictable, and shaky in his faith at times, and still chose to believe that transformation could happen. Likewise, as Christians we’re called to believe the best in all people. We’re called to look one another in the eyes and see the men and women that we can become through the power of Jesus Christ.”
What about a body of believers that work, thought and acted in this fashion that Pete talks about?? Everybody’s welcomed, Nobody’s perfect, Anything is possible!
It’s not about an allegiance to the sign that’s in the church lawn it’s about an allegiance to Jesus and doing whatever it takes short of sin to reach people.
Acts 2:37-47 says...
They were cut to the heart by what Peter had to say about JESUS.
They were baptized and given the gift of the Holy Spirit.
3000 in ONE DAY!
They devoted their lives to the apostles teaching (JESUS).
They continued to gather together.
They had everything in common (JESUS).
They did whatever it took to help someone in need, including sell their own stuff.
They broke bread together in each others homes with glad and SINCERE hearts.
AND THE LORD ADDED TO THE NUMBER BEING SAVED DAILY!!!
NOW THAT’S A VISION FOR CHURCH! It’s sad that this sounds so novel because this is how church started and we should be broken, compelled and passionate for church to be this way again!!!