Monday, October 04, 2010

The Church of Moscow, Idaho

In our sermon text this morning, God continues to draw a line between His people and the Egyptians. Between the people of Yahweh and the people of Pharaoh there is a huge difference when the plagues come in all their fury. In the early New Testament Church we know that many congregations met in homes throughout any given city. So on any given Sunday morning there might be many congregations gathering for worship much like we find in our own day in city like Moscow or Pullman. What’s interesting however is that the New Testament often refers to all of these congregations as making up the one church in that particular city. If you had asked a man from Jerusalem which church he went to, he would say, “the church of Jerusalem.” And if you asked where he went on Sunday morning he might tell you whose house he went to. This means that when God looks at the church, he looks at us on a number of different levels. He sees the church catholic around the world, but he also sees us in specific geographical regions. In the opening chapters of Revelation, the Lord addresses letters to seven churches, churches in seven different cities. He rebukes them for unbelief, encourages them in faithfulness, and confronts them where they have been unfaithful. The state of the church in Corinth was the state of all the assemblies and congregations in the city of Corinth. The Lord did not see fit to specify which particular house church was involved in which sin. He spoke to the entire city as the church of that city. This means that we need to learn to see ourselves in the very same way. There are Christians meeting in congregations all over this city. And the Lord considers us all to be part of the same church. We are only one gathering of the church of Moscow. Whether our church government acknowledges it or not, we are covenantally united to our brothers and sisters in the Baptist congregations, the Lutheran congregations, and the Roman Catholic congregations, and all the others. We are covenantally united because we are all in covenant with the Lord Jesus. And if we are united to Him, then we are one in Him. This does not mean that there are not important differences between denominations, anymore than there may have been different levels of faithfulness in the tribes of Israel huddled in Goshen or the house churches in Corinth. But in the big picture, the difference was between Egypt and Israel, between Christ and the world, between life and death. Therefore put away all pride; do not say you are of Paul or Apollos or Wilson or Leithart. You are of Christ, and in Him is all the fullness of our salvation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very good. I agree. God bless