A Church on Mission is A Church with Tension

Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

How does the local church remain on mission and handle the messes of ministry that direct engagement, discipleship, and discipline involve? Consider two statements from God’s word:

•Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: But much increase is by the strength of the ox.

•Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

A church on mission is a church in tension. We can desire it so clean we see none come to Christ or we can prefer it so permissive it becomes puffed up. We can do better as Bible-believers.

When we have people in process of coming to or becoming like Christ, we’ll have problems. Satan is relentless and the old you and new you are at war! The flesh and Spirit hate each other.

Add differing views of what church is or should be, what Christians are or should be, personalities, life-experiences, changing views toward sin, levels of spiritual maturity... and problems will occur.

Handling the tension between toleration and tough love calls for commitment. Some want to leave, others want to look the other way, some like things a little looser, others like it locked tight.

Our response then must be a radical commitment to love - at times tough and at others tolerant.

Sometimes genuine love requires patient discipleship - people need time to learn, grow, adjust. Other times love calls for the pressure of discipline when unrepentant sin remains in the church.

When serious sin is present conflicted Christians need the wisdom and power of Christ. Calvary speaks and reminds us how to respond to what Jesus accomplished at Calvary (From 1 Co. 5:6-10).

1.Know - The Background (6). Sin, like leaven is not good. The gospel came at a high price (2 Co. 5:21, Exo. 12:13-21). Sin is a problem that Christ takes no delight in. Neither should we.

2.Purge - The Be (7). To know how to be, know what you are. You’re unleavened - holy. Christ made you that way. Now live like it (Heb. 10:19-25). Stumbling is not the same as lifestyle.

3.Keep - The Blessing (8). Believers celebrate purity out of love for Jesus: For what He’s done (passover) and what we’ve become (unleavened - 1 John 3:1-3). There’s no going back!

We’re freed from, not to sin. In Christ, our calling points to what Calvary accomplished: A consecrated life and a compelling community seeking progress. (2 Co. 6:14-7:1, 1 Co. 1:1-3)

(v. 9-10) When we’re committed to the mission things get messy. So, we look to Calvary, the wisdom and power of God and recommit: To love, holiness, and removal of sinful influences.

Handling the tension between toleration and tough love also calls for sincere commitment to each other: A radical love that patiently disciples, and when necessary, adds the pressure of discipline.

Some seek to keep church so clean none come to Christ, others prefer it so permissive it becomes puffed up. A church on mission is a church with tension.

We can do better as Bible-believers when we remain on mission while handling the messes.

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