Galatians 2:19-21 (Message) What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.
Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.
Have you ever thought about why you believe, what you believe? Why be Christian? Why not take up another religion and pursue its truth and rituals. What makes living as a Christian any different than living as a Muslim or Jewish person? Why not believe only in the power of me (Humanism)?
The simple answer for me is, God loves us so much that God is not seeking another religious person, but rather people who desire to live and operate out of a true relationship. That was the whole purpose of Christ. To mend the broken, defiled, and ritualistic religion we held about God.
As we pursue this new ministry in Christ, I have asked our group to push the reset button on our faith. Completely resetting everything we thought we knew about God and centering our lives on Christ. When I came across this quote by Karl Barth in 2006, it altered my faith outlook. Karl Barth in the book Dogmatics in Outline said:
“He, the One, lightens, and the Christian moves in His light. What distinguishes the Christian is that [the Christian] stands in this cone of light which proceeds from Christ. But this existence in the light is not a selfish purpose, but the Christian moves in this light, in order to be a light.”
As a Christian, everything I do, say, think, and the choices I make has its center, starting point, and purpose in Christ. This causes us to not start our faith in doctrine, religious practices, rituals, and other traditions we don’t understand, but rather begin with the one who John 1:1 says was there in the beginning. Christ is the beginning, the end, and everything in between. This is the firm foundation Lifework Christian Ministries will have from the outset. We are not starting with bylaws and other formal doctrinal messages. We have to begin with Christ.
The mission is to provide an atmosphere of unity in Christ among a culturally diverse and progressive community of people through preaching, teaching, and living God’s message of reconciliation and mission in the community and throughout the world. (2 Cor. 5:17-21)
This unity. Reconciliation. Diversity. Mission. This ministry can only be accomplished with Christ at the center of all aspects. So as we step out of the boat at the end of September, we must keep our eyes focused on Christ, our purpose.
So while you are supporting this ministry financially by clicking donate on the side, please continue to pray for God’s purposes to be fulfilled in and through us. This is a major season of transition for us and we need your support.
If you are interested in joining the movement send me a message here or on Facebook.
Grace and Blessings,
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