Subscribe via RSS Feed

A New Kind of Church for a New Kind of World, by Frank Viola

The spiritual DNA of the church will always lead its members toward authentic, viable community. It will always lead Christians to live a shared life through the Holy Spirit that expresses the life and values of Jesus Christ.

In this way, the church becomes the visible image of the Triune God. By sharing in the communion of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit, the church puts God’s love on public display.

Postmodern people long for authentic community. Only the church of Jesus Christ can fulfill this need. Human community, without God as its centrality, is a counterfeit that’s guaranteed to fail.

Commission

Another unique characteristic of the church from the first century through the fifth was that it not only cared for its own, but it cared for the world that surrounded it.

The pages of history are filled with stories of how the early Christians took care of the poor, stood for those who suffered injustice, and met the needs of those who were dying by famine or plague. In other words, the early Christian communities cared for their non-Christian neighbors who were suffering.

Not a few times a plague would sweep through a city, and all the pagans left town immediately, leaving their loved ones to die. That included the physicians. But it was the Christians who stayed behind and tended to their needs, sometimes even dying in the process.

One of the Roman emperors, a pagan, publicly lamented that the pagan temples were losing customers because “the Christians not only take care of their own needy, but ours as well!”1

The book of Acts and the epistles of Paul, Peter, James, and John abound with examples and exhortations of how the church cared for the world. This particular theme is peppered throughout the New Testament documents. (Quoting all those texts would demand another article.)

In short, the early church understood that she was carrying on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. She well understood that He was the same today, yesterday, and forever (Heb. 13:8).

Pin It
Page 5 of 8« First...34567...Last »

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Ministry, Pneuma Review, Summer 2008

About the Author: Frank Viola has helped thousands of people around the world to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and enter into a more vibrant and authentic experience of church. He has written many books on these themes, including God’s Favorite Place on Earth, From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God, Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity, and The Day I Met Jesus: The Revealing Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels. He blogs regularly at frankviola.com. Twitter www.FrankViola.net

  • Connect with PneumaReview.com

    Subscribe via Twitter 1332 Followers   Subscribe via Facebook Fans
  • Recent Comments

  • Featured Authors

    Amos Yong is Professor of Theology & Mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. His graduate education includes degree...

    Jelle Creemers: Theological Dialogue with Classical Pentecostals

    Antipas L. Harris, D.Min. (Boston University), S.T.M. (Yale University Divinity School), M.Div. (Emory University), is the president-dean of Jakes Divinity School and associate pasto...

    Invitation: Stories about transformation

    Craig S. Keener, Ph.D. (Duke University), is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is author of many books<...

    A Keener Understanding of the Bible: The Jewish Context for the Book of Revelation

    William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major w...

    The Church’s Wounded Tradition of Exorcism and Deliverance