Life-Giving Church

What comes to mind when you think about church life? Perhaps the social and communal aspects of church appear at the top of your list—activities such as fellowships, potlucks, programs, etc. For some, it might be outreach, Bible studies, or prayer meetings. For others, it might be congregational worship and church ordinances. Though many of these should readily come to mind when we think about doing church together, the Apostle Paul appears to focus on the sanctification of the church body and the edification of the saints. As Paul closes out his first epistle to the Thessalonians, he includes a variety of imperatives that point to a selfless humble worshipful-oriented mindset. Life together does not revolve around certain individuals or programs, but the building up of the whole. For example, Paul instructs the church in Thessalonica to admonish, encourage, help, and be patient with one another (5:14). In the following verse, Paul commands them to “Seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.” The people of God should be known for their selfless acts of service and mutual care for the people within and without. There is no place for a self-centered consumer-based mentality which unfortunately dominates so much of today’s mainstream Christianity. For Paul, it’s quite the opposite. The picture he paints is a body of believers saturated in the Word, dependent on the Spirit, and devoted to the service and care of one another. This is my prayer for Liberty. When we think of what church life should look like, may 1 Thessalonians chapter five come into view. The church at Thessalonica thrived because they were committed to maintaining a healthy view of the church and their personal responsibilities as the church. Their lives revolved around the body of Christ and the proclamation of the gospel. It consumed their lives and impacted neighboring communities for the glory of God (1 Thes 1:8). In many respects, the church is a living organism that grows and flourishes, whose vitality is dependent on being “in Christ” and building one another up in the faith. May we guard ourselves against adopting a selfish mentality of doing church that exclusively seeks to meet our personal needs and wants rather than growing together in Christlikeness through the ways we relate to and serve one another. – Pastor Nate

Sunday at Liberty

9AM: Studying Revelation–2 Timothy 3:15

10AM: Pastor Rory–Life Giving Church–1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 (sermon notes)

No Evening Gathering

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