About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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Living Church


In 1978 I preached a Sunday morning message to a local Pentecostal church congregation.  I asked those in attendance this two-part question. 


"If you no longer had this building to gather in, and, if you no longer had any regularly scheduled meetings, would you still have a church?"  


This question is always relevant, but because of recent government Covid restrictions imposed on church, it's even more relevant today.  If these restrictions irritate you, know that as culture becomes more anti-Christ in nature, things will only get worse for church.  You should get used to it, but more importantly, you should start living church instead of just attending church. 


Many local congregations who call themselves church can't provide a positive answer to my question.  If they suddenly lost their building and could no longer meet in regular scheduled meetings, there would be no church because the church's existence depends on a building and meetings.  I believed this to be true in 1978 and the resent Covid restrictions have proven it to be true today.  Public health statistics show how many people have died due to Covid, but they fail to show how many churches have died due to Covid restrictions.  If  a church can't survive government restrictions, I question the Biblical legitimacy of that church in the first place.    


I'm not discounting buildings and meetings, but they are not church.  They are mere tools to help us collectively accomplish God's will.  According to 1 Corinthians 12:13 church is comprised of believers who have been baptized, or immersed into, each other's lives.    


"For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink."


Ephesians 4:16 speaks of this baptism this way. 


"From him the whole body [church], fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part."


Church is more than attending meetings in a building we mistakenly call church.  As a sweater has been knitted and fit together with various threads, so a local expression of church consists of various and distinctive personalities that are knitted and fit together to form one unified body of believers.  Church is about the Holy Spirit immersing you into the lives of those to whom Jesus has placed you alongside to accomplish His will.  There is a dual functionality when it comes to Christian ministry.  You minister on your own and you minister with those you have been baptized or knitted into.    


If being knitted with a few others in supportive and functional ministry is your experience in church, you are blessed.  If this is not your experience, I pray that you find your place where you are knitted alongside others in Jesus' present-day, physical human body, so that both you and church can be what you and church are meant to be.   


Church is all about living church, not just attending church.   


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