Why are we here?
The Church is here to be the body of Christ. I remember when I was in Jr High the WWJD fad was really popular, even kids who weren't in church participated. The sentiments behind the product, because yes it was a product to be sold, was to help local churches to give their people an extra hand every day remembering that we are the Body of Christ. Anytime you were in a situation where you had to make a decision the idea was to see your silicon bracelet or shirt or necklace or whatever and remember to ask yourself "What Would Jesus Do?" in the same situation. It worked for some people, but it mostly became a fad like the fidget spinners were in the spring of last year. Everyone wanted something with WWJD printed on it so that they could say that they were "cool" with the Christians. Eventually it went the way of other fads, though some times you'll still find a WWJD bracelet at some Christian retailers.
So What Would Jesus Do?
This week I have noticed that we as Oaklawn have come under attack on Facebook, some of our friends in particular. I decided to pen this blog post this morning after some thought and prayer overnight regarding the issue. Our purpose as Oaklawn Baptist Church, just like the Church (big C), is to be the Body of Christ. When Christ came to die for the people of the world, He spent three years (ish) teaching the people about how to live their lives. These same teachings can be applied to us, even if they weren't directly spoken to us. Christ, in one of His many rebukes of the Pharisees, told the Pharisees that He did not come to call the righteous, but the sinner. (Matt 9:10-13). We have to remember that we're all sinners (Rom 3:23, Rom 3:23). Each and every one of us have a past, some more so than others. When we as Christians come across someone who needs Christ, we're not called to ask them first if they're a saint, we're supposed to share Christ as the healer, counselor, and redeemer that He is. When someone decides to place their trust in Christ, they're not instantly transformed into some perfect being that never sins again. We all still sin. However, we do have a new path forward. The Holy Spirit is pretty good at revealing sins and problems to a believer, who is then to go and bring it to Christ and seek help (Matt 11:28-30). Remember, Christ did not come for the righteous, but the sinner. When someone decides to place their trust in Christ's perfect sacrifice for their sins, they're finally admitting that they are not good enough to do it on their own. And you know what, none of us are. Every day I still struggle with my own sins, but every day I continue to have the ability to stand before Almighty God and be loved by Him and worship Him (Eph 3:11-12, entire context: Eph 3). Everyone who chooses to trust Christ's sacrifice for their sins is covered by the perfect blood of Christ (Heb 10:10-17). We are going to continue to struggle, we are going to face persecution, Jesus never told His disciples that it would be easy, in fact He told them that they would face persecution for His name (Matt 5:10-12), but notice that He also says that those who face the persecution are blessed.
If you today are one of the ones being attacked, reach out to Christ or reach out to a fellow believer to help you endure.
If you're struggling with a sin, again reach out to Christ or another believer who can help you identify and avoid it. We're here to be the Body of Christ, and Christ does help the sinner, broken, sick, and lowly.
If you have been attacking someone for their sins, maybe it's time to see that the Church (big C) is full of sinners, whether some want to admit it or not, and we're all trying to get through this world together. Reach out to Christ, or to me personally and find the path forward that leads to eternal life, and understanding of the great love of God.