Transformed Lives – A House Church – Part Two

When we became born again the Bible states that we became new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). When we repented of our sins we were transformed into a “new creature” as we died to self and rose to new life in Christ. This is more than having Christ ‘in us’ as we teach happens when we are saved. This is us living ‘in Christ.’ This means His focus becomes our focus; His will is our will; His command is our obedience. We are His and we walk in His will, His plan, His purpose for our lives. We are transformed.

Without transformation that starts with repentance, the crucifixion of self, and, yes, even some of our cultural values and habits, there will be little redemptive power left to touch and transform our societies with the Gospel. Christianity has never been cheap; it was always meant to cost us our very lives.

For almost two thousand years people have tried to come up with a compromise between the claims of the Kingdom and the spirit of the world. Unfortunately, some of the sad consequences of aligning ourselves with the world in order to be fashionable and modern have become an institutionalized part of the way we thank and “do church.” Some have become part of our heritage and cherished traditions, and may now be painful and difficult to rethink. However, Paul’s message on the subject is short and simple: Since I became a disciple of Christ; I as my old self no longer exist, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)

It is not only fairly easy, but also quite common, for Sunday morning Christians to live by double standards. Many have a secret second life hidden away for years from their friends and the congregation they are a part of. Many harbor petty sins for decades without anyone knowing. This is due in part to the fact that out of the 168 hours that exist in a week, Christians in traditional, meeting-oriented churches typically spend only three or four hours together. This is simply not enough time to effectively transfer life and Kingdom values, to develop deep relationships, to make disciples, and to lay down our lives for each other. Thus we go on living as the world lives and no one notices and even fewer care.

Around the world today we are seeing “house church” movements spring up. House Church Christianity is a necessity in some nations; a choice in others. But, either way, house church Christianity will greatly reduce the number of Christians leading a compromising lifestyle – one that tries to make the best of both worlds – because it involves us deeply in everyday community and healthy ongoing accountability. And, though it will cost us dearly, if our lifestyles changing like this can help save real people from a real hell, it is worth it.

A “house church” is not just a small number of Christians “doing church” in a home as apposed to a rented storefront, building, or community centre. A house church is a living organic expression of the Church that Jesus is building. It is not the ‘regular church’ expressed in a smaller form – but a whole different way of viewing and functioning as God’s people. It is God’s people being the Church and not just “doing church” or “going to church.” Because of this lives are transformed and a community can be influenced and impacted by the Gospel.

More on this another day…

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