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THE CORE MESSAGE 31 января, 2011

Posted by Alyosha Kolodiy in Blogs, Библейские уроки-Bible lessons, Библия говорит - Bible Speaks, Брощюры, Трибуна братства - The brotherhood tribune, eMagazines, Today's Devotional.
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Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you-unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I received; that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures» (I Corinthians 15:1-4).

«For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes» (Romans 1:16).

«And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in trembling. My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God» (I Corinthians 2:1-5).

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the core message!! We do not have to dress it up, nor enhance it in order to draw souls to God. The Gospel itself is «the power of God unto salvation». It has self-inherent power to convict men of their sins, and awaken them to receive faith unto salvation.

When the Gospel first began to invade the world through the apostles’ preaching, lives were radically changed. So much so that the religious leaders of the day cried out,»These who have turned the world upside down have come here too» (Acts 17:6). Their fear, motivated by satan himself, induced them to seek various methods to disrupt and/or annihilate this «Jesus cult», and their «controversial» message. Soon, men rose up to oppose the apostles, to malign their character, undermine their authority, and introduce subtle differences so as to change the Gospel being preached.

This angered Paul, as well as troubling his heart over those to whom he preached the Gospel. «I fear», he wrote, «that as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it» (II Corinthians 11:2-4).

Paul’s fears were not unfounded. This very thing occurred with the believers in Galatia. Paul wrote, «I marvel that you are so quickly turned away from Him Who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ» (1:6-7).

Sadly, today is no different than then. I fear we also too easily «put up with it», allowing perversions of the blessed Gospel to flourish and spread uncontended. Some of us have been so taken with the cogent persuasions of those who peddle these false gospels, that we fail to notice that we’re being fed lies and heresies. Paul warned Timothy (and so us thereby) that «in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared as with a hot iron» (I Timothy 4:1-2). We are a generation adrift. We have allowed the core message to become lost and diluted, even exchanged for a more «favorable» message. We have been manipulated by the wiles and philosophies of immoral men, who have taken their traditions over the Word of God. We are warned to «beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ» (Colossians 2:8). Their success is due in large part to inattention to the truth (Hebrews 2:1), and our willingness to heed silver-tongued preachers who are really devils in disguise.

Paul once preached in this same way. His most popular sermon (in Athens, on Mar’s Hill) was a masterpiece. Yet, it met with utter failure. Why? Paul tried to reason with these men, appealing to them on the basis of human wisdom. The message, while spectacular to the mind, never reached their spirits. Paul left there utterly depressed and left to wonder. This experience left an indelible mark on Paul, and forever changed the way he would share the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Entering Corinth, weak and aggrieved, he vowed to never preach using human wisdom again. He would preach the core message of the Gospel, and let that do the work of convicting and redeeming. He would just relay the message and allow God’s Holy Spirit to do the rest.

Despite what anyone may tell you, the Gospel of Jesus is very simple. It is the good news of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection from the dead. By His death He atoned for sin. By His burial ,He buried our past forever, and by His resurrection, conquered death and hell completely. Moreover, He took us with Him. We have been united with Him in both His death and in His resurrection (read Romans 6:1-11). The core message is that we have died to sin and have been raised with Christ to newness of life. Sin has been dealt with and His Spirit has been given to us, empowering us to live righteously. This is the core message!! Let us not be moved away from it. Rather (in the words of St. Paul), «As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving» (Colossians 2:6-7).

And again, «These things command and teach…give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine…Meditate on these things; give yourself completely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine (the core message). Continue in them, for in doing so you will save both yourself and those who hear you» (I Timothy 4:11-16).

Thank you!

~John Grace~

Pragmatism In The Church — From: The Desk of Gil Rugh (with Russian translation) 8 мая, 2009

Posted by Alyosha Kolodiy in Трибуна братства - The brotherhood tribune, Today's Devotional.
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In the past, the question of Church standards was answered with, “What sayeth the Scriptures?” Today that question has been replaced with “What works?” Are people being reached? Are people being helped? Are people getting saved? These have become the standards, rather than the Scriptures. How big your church is determines whether you are a good authority on what ought to be done. The current practice, rather than the truth, becomes the standard.

A man who pastors one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States is a man of mixed-bag theology. As far as I can tell he is a believer. This man is conducting a pastor’s conference at Dallas Seminary and Fuller Seminary and he is conducting a pastor’s conference for Robert Schuller. Now, tell me, What gives theological integrity to that mixed-bag? Dallas Seminary, Fuller Seminary and Robert Schuller can all use the same man to do a conference for pastors to tell them how they ought to conduct the ministry before God? Something is radically wrong! But hey-he has built one of the largest churches in the country. What more do you want?

What about theological integrity, for starters? Are we talking about drawing a crowd, or are we talking about building the Church of Jesus Christ? If you want a crowd, put on a rock concert! But crowd-pleasing is not the foundation for the true Church. People point out, “Well, isn’t he a believer?” Yes, that’s the first step. But is he a believer with theological integrity? Is he a believer with moral integrity? Those issues have to be resolved.

Pragmatism presses in upon us. It affects us. We look around and see other churches and say, “They are growing. Maybe we ought to do this.” We can make adjustments. We can change the lectern. Fine. We can change the time of service. Fine. But we cannot change the fact that we are called to minister the Word of God.

ISTOCK~2Прагматизм в церкви
автор: Джил Раф

В прошлом, говоря о стандартах принятых в церкви задавали вопрос,»Что говорит об этом Писание?».
Сегодня этот вопрос заменен на «Что работает?» Достигаем ли мы людей? Помогаем ли мы людям? Спасаются ли люди?
Эти вопросы в наши дни, определяют стандарты вместо Писания. То, насколько многочисленная церковь, определяет
обладаешь ли ты достаточным авторитетом, чтобы говорить о том как все работает.Текущая практика заменила Истину
и стала стандартом.
Человек, который авляется пастором одной из быстрорастущих церквей в Соединенных штатах -это человек с определенным
«теологическим ассортиментом» -набором богословских истин. По которым, можно сказать, что он верующий.Этот пастор
к примеру, возможно проводит лидерские семинары в Даллаской Семинарии и Семинарии Фуллера, а так же возможно он ведет
пасторкие конференции для Роберта Шуллера.Теперь скажите мне, что придает богословскую чистоту, его
«теологическому ассортименту»? Разве только то, что Даллаская семинария, Семинария Фуллера и Роберт Шуллер могут
использовать его для обучения своих лидеров тому, как служить Богу? Что то критически неправильно!
Но ведь он пастор одной из самых быстрорастущих церквей в стране.Что вам еще надо?
Как насчет богословской чистоты для новичков? У нас задача собрать толпу или мы все же говорим о возрастании церкви Иисуса Христа?
Если вам нужна толпа, пойдите на рок концерт! Но угождение толпе это не тактика истинной церкви. Люди удивляются:
«Разве он не верующий?» Да, но это первый шаг. Является ли он верующим обладающим богословской чистотой? Обладает ли он
моральной чистотой? В этих аспектах необходимо иметь твердость.
Прагматизм давит на нас. Он влияет на нас. Мы смотрим на другие церкви вокруг нас и говорим:»Они растут! Может и нам делать тоже.» Да нам необходимо совершенствоваться.Мы может заменить проповедника. Мы можем изменять время собраний. Но мы не можем изменить тот факт, что мы призваны служить в соответствии со Словом Божьим.