Posted on Wed, Jan 31, 2018
Pastor Bob Norton
In the Old Testament one of the defining moments for God’s people is the Exodus.
The Egyptian Pharaoh has been keeping the Hebrews enslaved, and God thru Moses gives the command, “Let My people go!” (Exodus 6:10) This call to freedom starts the movement of God’s people toward the Promised Land. This is God’s mighty act to create a people for Himself. Eventually, a new nation emerges from the wilderness to serve the Lord. In the New Testament, one could say that God’s command is similar with a “Let
My people GROW!” In 2 Peter 3:18 the admonition is clear, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” The Book of
Acts tells of the numerical growth as 120 gather for prayer, then 3,000 believe and are baptized at Pentecost, and a short time later we’re told that the church has grown to 5,000 men plus women and children. And now the Church of Jesus Christ spans the globe and numbers 2.2 billion men and women, boys and girls. And the
Church is still growing as new disciples proclaim the good news. Spiritual growth in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ happens also as disciples become ministers. Lay ministry is rooted in the Bible and evident down through the Church’s history especially emanating from the Reformation as Martin Luther and John Calvin emphasized the Priesthood of All Believers. We are all called to be “ministers” for we are all to serve the Lord. As we discover our spiritual gifts and find our ministries the church comes alive growing both numerically and spiritually to the glory of God. One biblical passage which says it well is Ephesians 4:11-16. Paul writes, “God gives pastors and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12). God’s method is people. People ministering to people. People reaching people. And the church grows to the glory of God. I love the story of legendary coach Bud Wilkinson who coached football at
the University of Oklahoma and was in Dallas for a series of lectures on physical fitness. A TV reporter interviewed him about the President’s physical fitness program and asked: “Mr. Wilkinson, what would you say is the contribution of modern football to physical fitness? Coach responded, “Absolutely nothing.” He went on to say, “I define football as 22 men on the field who desperately need rest and 50,000 people in the grandstand
who desperately need exercise.” May this not describe the Church of Jesus Christ! Professional clergy desperately in need of rest and the people in the pew passive and spiritually obese to the point of being overly educated beyond the level of their obedience. The church in the power of the Spirit is the people of God ministering and growing in grace moving on to spiritual maturity (v. 13), speaking the truth in love (v. 15), and this makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love (v. 16). A growing, thriving local church is the hope of the world. Truly, in these days the Risen Christ awakens the Church with a cry of command, “Let My people GROW!”
This issue of our Church of the Resurrection newsletter describes a multitude of ways that God’s people at
COR can empty the grandstands, get on the field, and become ministers… growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to the glory of God! As we enjoy God in ministry the church comes alive!
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