Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Perfect Church is Not Perfect

Looking for the perfect church? It doesn't exist for two reasons: First is because churches are made of people who are at best still undergoing sanctification. That is, we have been saved from the penalty of our sin, but we are still in the process of learning how to live like it in a world that remains fallen.

But the second reason is similar to the first: Sanctification provides the rest of the world with a practical view of the nature of God. It's one thing to say that we are graciously forgiven. It's another thing to handle ongoing sin as though we are graciously forgiven.

We may be called to glorify God individually in how we handle our sin, but it's a mistake in light of original sin to think of sin as being a purely individual phenomenon. More importantly than how the individual handles sin is how a church body handles sin.

Therefore, if you are looking for the perfect church, look for how a church handles sin and submit yourself to the church that will help to purify you in a practical way - not because the church is perfect, but because the people therein have been through their own struggles with sin and have submitted to the same pattern of corporately ministered mortification of that sin.

Stay away from any church that makes you feel good about yourself and ignores your sin. That provides the temptation to worship the church rather than Christ. Submit rather to churches that demonstrate humility in overcoming struggles with sin with honesty, repentance, grace and reconciliation.

HT: Resurgence

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