Monday, February 14, 2011

Growth in Christ Through Relationships

Jesus said, "You search the scriptures they testify of me" The living Word is greater than the written word. We search the scriptures looking for doctrines, commands, plans, etc. What we are looking for are its. We need to be looking for He, Jesus Christ.

First century followers of Christ did not always have Old Testament scriptures. They certainly didn't have the New Testament scriptures because those were still being written. On top of that many people were illiterate. With the emphasis we currently put on personal study of scripture how then were these people such an impactful generation for Christ? The answer is relationships.

These followers of Christ were taught by those who were in Christ before them. Acts 2:42 says, "They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." The apostles' teaching was Jesus Christ. Jesus was taught as a living, personal, and interactive being. The apostles' teaching style was personal and interactive, like that of Jesus.

Their fellowship wasn't in name only like much of today's so called fellowship is. Biblical fellowship is friendship and companionship that involves participation and contribution. That is what they were devoted to. These weren't people listening to stale non-participatory sermons. They were filled with joys that brought on questions. They ate together and they prayed together. At this point the Judaizers weren't interfering and they had no systems or traditions to blind & deafen them. They purely got to enjoy Jesus Christ and each other with no bonds or barriers. That is the beauty of how the Christian life ought to be lived.

God's plan for growth in Jesus Christ was never for an individual to just study scripture by himself. God's plan is that we are built together through mutual participation and sharing of His truth (see Ephesians 4:25 & 1 Corinthians 14). His plan is for those who came before us to teach us how Jesus loves so we can "love as Jesus loved."

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