So a large part of my time involves studying different aspects of theology, which I have to say is an awesome privilege to have (even if Grudem could do with a few more jokes in his books). But it is great to have time to look at doctrine and work out how this works in my life.
Today I have been looking at Sanctification [growth in likeness to Christ]. This is a brilliant doctrine to study and it is so obviously applicable to all Christians in a very obvious way. It is a progressive work which starts at the point of regeneration and there begins a battle between the Spirit and the flesh.
But what really grabbed my attention today was how Sanctification is a corporate process. It is something that happens in a community, “let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habbit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” [Hebrews 10:24-25]
So this got me thinking about another aspect of my study, which is looking specifically at transformation and the role of the local church with regards to the process. One thing that is a sure killer to Hebrews 10:24-25 is the pursuit of casual relationships. Relationships that have no deep level to them, no real knowledge of people and their circumstances and no real understanding of what God has, and is doing in their lives.
Do we love people, know people and speak truth to people so that their lives would be centered around Christ? This is a big challenge to me as I think about an answer to my study, but it is also a big challenge when I think of how I am and how I can make this a reality in my life.
Then there is this idea of community to think about. How do we develop and live in gospel communities where we are acting Hebrews 10:24-25 out daily? Sunday alone will not ensure that we are helping and equipping each other to live Christ centered lives, nor will a mid-week meeting. How do we ensure that we are living constantly in the light of gospel, and that we love and care for the body of Christ in doing the same?
The New Testament is clear that we are united as one when we become Christians, that we are a holy priesthood, [1 Peter 2:9; 1 Thess 5:11; Eph 4:1; 1 Peter 2:5, Eph 4:16; 1 Cor 12:12-26; Gal 6:1-2]. So lets strive to make this a reality and we must lean wholly on God’s Spirit to change us, help us, empower us as we learn how he wants us to live.
Just some thoughts.