A most serious matter for the Church in our times, I believe, is BIBLE. Time out NOW, for the very ‘hap-hazard’ way in which Christians handle the Word of God. Maybe on Sunday Morning; the number of Adults who attend Sunday Church School? (let’s not run those numbers— frightening!) And the ‘once Weekly’ Bible Study? Folks saying they are afraid to come out at night? I say, FEAR GOD, but then, that’s faith deeply rooted in moving, and having being in God. You say, yeah, BUT… I say, BUT… GOD!.
I absolutely love the old Church Sunday School Pictures taken out in front of the Church where the children number in what seems to be hundreds. Each time I look at mine, I spot somebody else whom I had long forgotten about and feel the need to make contact with them. The one that I have, I might be about 4 years old. All my sisters and brothers… cousins… oldest friends…
Some of us more mature minds who inhabit the Church’s Schools on Sunday need to have a change of mind— REPENT! Our Class IS NOT, should not be, and must not be the only Bible class! Some of you who have not yet found your way to study the Word of God in group study (just may be our last vestige of true Christian Community) do it NOW… is the time for SALVATION.
But know this: Bible Study, the teaching ministry of the Church is DIALOGUE, where the preaching ministry of the Church is MONOLOGUE. Here, in Bible Study, all minds, all experience, all sharing is as real as any. It must be THE PLACE for working out our salvation— for as individual; as misunderstood; as lonely; as oppressed; as downtrodden; as desolate as life may be in our times.
Here’s a twist: visit Church’s Sunday School Classes each sunday until you find A BIBLE STUDY CLASS that fits (as opposed to seeking a PREACHER that fits)— there, in Bible Study, will you find the TRUE COMMUNITY OF GOD. Time out NOW, for the ‘hap-hazard’ way in which Christians handle the Word (& WOrlD) of God.
The ‘Thesis’ statement of Romans, part 1; the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th occurrences of ‘pistis/faith’ in this letter/book.
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.”
The very heart of Paul’s Theology— The Church’s Christology is here! I even dare you to put down those pre-established Sunday School curriculum studies and take a look here in these verses of Romans for ‘new life’; for revelation— for a fresh Word from God for our times. For— In times like these you need a Bible, In times like these O be not idle, Be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock…
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