Be the Church
True spirituality (religion) that is pure in the eyes of our Father God is to make a difference in the lives of the orphans, and widows in their troubles, and to refuse to be corrupted by the world’s values. (James 1:27, TPT)
Jesus Christ did not come to this earth to establish another religion. He came to re-establish God’s relationship with you. Jesus came preaching “The Kingdom of Heaven”; not “the church”. The Kingdom of God is inside of your heart where God longs to dwell if you accept Him.
To grow in your faith, it’s more important that you spend time with Jesus in prayer, fasting, MEDITATION, reading the Bible than being busy going to church or being BUSY. Showing compassion in goood works is a result of personal intimacy with Jesus.
True Christianity is not about religion, creeds, rules, being busy with performance-driven anxiety, denominations, but about experiencing new LIFE. As Jesus Christ of Nazareth came as God in human form died on the cross and rose again, we who believe, must die to selfish sinful nature to have the life of Christ. To eat of the tree of life is to overcome the world through living faith in Christ.
Live by the Law of Faith
What is religious anxiety and how do you deal with it? Religious anxiety would be living a life of devotion to God out of following rules, 10 commandments, obligations to attend church, having an achievement mentality. Jesus Christ came to undo the religious mindset of trying to achieve anything, obey laws or obligations out of earning what God has always promised as a free gift, salvation. Jesus did not come to create denominations, religions, laws that no one can keep or force you to go to church every week. No! These things produce anxiety when they come from a performance driven mindset. They also produce shame, guilt, self-condemnation and judgement on ourselves because we always fall short of God’s standards.
Do you know that God loves you! He loved you before you were born! He loves you because He is love! The solution to religious anxiety is the freedom from following the law of the Holy Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Gal 5;22
The law of the Spirit of God says that love is enough! What is this kind of love? Love is compassion in action, love suffers innocently. Love gives expecting nothing in return. Love is a response to the sacrificial lifestyle Jesus demonstrated in His life, death and resurrection. This is true freedom, to live out of the desires of a new heart born from above by the Spirit! Live by the law of faith, instead of traditions of men.
“for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23)
Jesus Christ’s Focus Was On The Kingdom Of God
Grace, unmerited favor, you can’t earn it, it is given and so therefore we are not to be like the Pharisee (extreme religious conservatives of that day). You see they were not simply keepers of the law, they were inventors of new laws and do not seek to set captives free (Matthew 23). They were not simply cultural traditionalist, they counted on the traditions to set them free (Mark 7). They were not lovers of the Lord but lovers of themselves and lovers of how they looked in the eyes of other people (Matthew 23, Matthew 21, Mark 12). These things are all true and for the most part they are also true of all false religions, all false converts, those who make a confession of faith without being born again. This can even be the case of those who have repented and then set out on a journey to try harder, to do better, to live by some code of conduct that is a struggle but an improvement over their previous code of conduct.
Look, it is about a covenant relationship based on trust and faithfullness, without the relationship with our creator through Jesus Christ we could not know the law of liberty, we would have no authority over our sin, we would not be born once of flesh only to die to flesh and be born of spirit. This is the relationship, it is God calling us to be His and our acceptance of His work that makes us His and once we are His we cannot be unchanged.
The Book of Acts Gives Us God’s Model For God’s People
The book of Acts provides a useful insight in peeling back the layers of tradition, showing the origins of much that we today call “church” is really just a community of believers living life together under the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is no coincidence that the Acts Model lifestyle we see in the first century church is also the best preparation a Christian can make to sustain life and continue in ministry even in the hardest of times as well as in the best of times. By “Act model” I am referring to the entire book of Acts, not just chapters 2 and 3.
The Protestant church has no idea how Catholic and westernized they still are. The Acts model is not a gentile form of Christianity. Very few Messianics or Pentecostals or Evangelicals follow the model Jesus and the Apostles gave them… unwittingly. We are all following the traditions of the elders.
The Acts (of the Holy Spirit) is God’s model for His church in every generation and culture (because neither God nor His Bible ever changes). The Apostles simply practiced the life style and doctrine that Jesus taught them. This model goes beyond the community concept found in chapters 2 and 3, the model includes the entire book of Acts.
The book of Acts is more than a history lesson or doctrinal teaching, it is a Holy Spirit inspired life style. Restoring that which the Apostles established will require a restoration process of repentance and reformation.
For all that Martin Luther restored and reformed, he did not bring this reformation … this Apostolic life style called “The Way” throughout the book of Acts. Remember this. The full title for this book is ‘the Acts of the Apostles.’ But a better title would be… The Acts of the Holy Spirit in the church Jesus founded. This Christian life style MUST work in every culture and century to be valid. Since these are of the Holy Spirit and since the Holy Spirit is with (in) each of us today, we can accept this Christian model (lifestyle) as being applicable in our (any) culture today.
The glorious Bride of Christ tends not to meet in ‘cathedrals’. She does not shut herself away from the world behind four walls. She is out amongst the poor and needy – preaching the pure gospel, helping the widows, praying for the sick. Just like Jesus was not hidden away, she is not hidden away. A lot of people think that “House churches” are the most biblical form of church structure. (I am a fan of House churches myself). But we need to realize that the true church was born in the open air. She was born in “Solomon’s Porch”. She was born in the ‘Courtyard of the Gentiles’. A lot of people do not understand this – and so miss something very significant. The Bible says that the early church in Jerusalem met every day in the huge temple courtyard – a massive open-air space about the size of five football fields. There were “porticos” all around the edge – and “Solomon’s Porch” was the one where the apostles would stand and preach. Where do you think all those miracles were done? Where do you think the ‘Gate Beautiful’ was – where the lame man was healed? Where do you think Jesus drove out the money-changers? Where do you think Jesus Himself preached when He was in Jerusalem? -In the ‘Courtyard of the Gentiles’.
The early church was an “open air” church and a “house meeting” church. There was no such thing as ‘cathedrals’ or church buildings for centuries. She fed the widows, she clothed the orphans, she preached a pure gospel to the poor. She did miracles in the open air. -Andrew Strom Quote From His 9/10/2010 Newsletter Revival School
Religion & Philosophy Will Not Give You A Personal Relationship With God
The creator (GOD) provided a way for mankind to know him personally. But mankind rejects this way because it does not suit their desires and wants. “The Way” that God provides is considered inconvenient and difficult because the average person does not want to walk the hard road when they can easily choose the easy path in life instead. The sad part is that for the sake of cruising life’s easy road, they are missing out on getting to know their creator and experiencing his awesome Peace, Joy, Love and Power in their lives. They also miss out on an eternity with God in heaven when they die.
Two very important points that we would like to share with you on Christianity (Following of Jesus Christ as personal Lord & Savior)
Jesus Christ is the living word of God made flesh and He came to provide a final payment (Atonement) for the SIN of man so that man could reconnect with God the father. By receiving His payment as our own through repentance (Requesting forgiveness for our sinfulness and turning away from our sin) and believing on Jesus Christ as our personal Lord & Savior and that He paid the price for our forgiveness in full by His death and resurrection. This is the only way we can receive the gift of grace and mercy from God the Father.
We must be born again to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. That is the miraculous work of regeneration performed by the Holy Spirit of God . When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and repent from our sins, The Holy Spirit comes to live within us and He reveals the truth of God’s written word to us. He also renews our minds and changes our hearts to become more like Jesus as we live for Jesus Christ and serve Him.
Being “Born Again” IS NOT a religion! It is an experience that God wants all who desire to know and serve Him to encounter.
Because The Holy Spirit lives in us once we are born again, we become living temples of Almighty God!
In the Old Covenant of the old testament, the Holy Spirit lived in the Arch of the Covenant which was kept in the Holy of Holies of the the Temple and was maintained by the Levite priests. The Levite priesthood high priests were the only ones who could touch the Arch of the Covenant. Anyone else dared to do so would die. Now The same Holy Spirit lives in the followers of Jesus Christ (Christians).
There is 1 (One) God who created the universe and everything in the universe. This 1 (One) God is in 3 (Three) separate persons with 3 (Three) separate purposes. But realize that each person of God has a specific purpose and role. GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON & GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. The wonderful news about this is that God indeed does have a body, and that body is human and will one day dwell with humanity - heaven on earth!
RELIGION VS RELATIONSHIP
|Religion||Relationship with God|
|I obey the rules so that I am accepted by god.||Through God’s grace and mercy I am accepted and I want to obey His commands.|
|My motivation to attend church services and participate in my religion are based on fear, obligation & inseaunity.||My motivation to continually pray, study the Word of God, worship God, fellowship with my brothers and sisters in the faith are based on gratefulness, admiration, joy & love.|
|When things do not go the way I want them to, I get angry at god or oneself based on the belief that anyone who is good deserves comfortable life without major issues or problems.||When things do not go the way I want them to, I struggle with the circumstances. But I know that all that happens is for a reason and that God is there by my side to strengthen me so I can persevere through it all.|
|I am committed and pledge allegiance to my religion because it is the basis of my life philosophy and defines my identity.||I am a servant of God and a follower of Jesus Christ and I identify with my brothers and sisters who believe the same. God’s word in the Holy Bible defines who I am.|
Further Resources on Building Kingdom Community
Want to Start Your Own Organic House Church?
We are family, born again children of the heavenly Father. How then can we know each other and grow with one another? Let us use any tools and means necessary to be His local body and community. Let’s meet together, online or in person. Praise and worship Jesus together. Teach one another. Pray for one another in love.