Friday, May 11, 2007

Bethany: Where Jesus Felt at Home

This is an excerpt from an Ebook, Bethany, by Frank Viola.

How does a church give the Lord His proper and rightful place?

1) To receive Christ properly is to give Him the place of honor, supremacy, and centrality.

I have often made this statement: Sectarianism and elitism are like body odor. Everyone else can smell it except those who have it. Make not mistake about it: Jesus Christ is not at home in a church that is elitist or sectarian.

I will simply say this that Jesus Christ will not take second place. He is not at home in any church that doesn’t give Him the place of absolute supremacy and centrality. He wants to be more than a guest. He wants to be Master of the house.

2) To receive Christ is to receive all that He is.
…preaching ministry…healing ministry…ministry of blessing…ministry of suffering…ministry of teaching…ministry of helping the poor and the oppressed…ministry of building up the body…ministry of reaching the lost

To properly receive and welcome Jesus Christ is to receive all that He is. He’s a whole Person. We can’t say we want one part of you, but not the other parts.

3) To receive Christ is to receive all who are a part of Him.

Let me articulate a great temptation for house churches today. It is the temptation for us to become cloistered, ingrown, and insular.

Bethany, receives all whom Christ has received. And they are welcomed.

To do otherwise is to say, “Lord, we’ll take your hand and your arm, but we don’t want your foot or your leg.”

In short, the Lord is looking for a place where He is completely received and fully welcomed. Not Christ plus something else. And not Christ minus a part of Christ. But Christ all and in all.

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