Step Away From the Righteousness

I think we had a couple of really good services last night. The services are finally starting to balance out, which is something I’ve really hoped to see. In the past, it’s kind of felt like a waste of energy to have the two services – a lot of people came to the first and there were just a handful in the second. But after messing with the times a couple times and trying to be consistent on the similarities between the services, the attendance is starting to be a little more even.

 

We’re still working through Philippians – week #7 – did the first nine verses of chapter 3. Paul mentions two kinds of righteousness. So we talked about what righteousness means, how we all try to get it, and why becoming a Christian doesn’t just mean giving up your sin, it also means giving up your righteousness. This was a timely message for the church – we’ve got a lot of people that have been coming faithfully for a long time and would probably say that they’re a “Christian” now, though they probably couldn’t tell you exactly what that means. Which is pretty much the problem that Judaizers introduced to the first-generation church – what counts and what doesn’t count as true salvation. Great text – Paul discounts all the main reasons why lots of people count themselves as “saved”: race (I’m an American, therefore I’m a Christian), culture (I’ve been in the church a long time, therefore I’m a Christian), knowledge (my knowledge about the Bible is growing, therefore I’m a Christian), activism (I stand for what is right, therefore I’m a Christian) and piety (I obey rules, therefore I’m a Christian). Then Paul says he saw something that made these trophies crumble into a dung heap: the righteousness that is in Christ.

 

Though I haven’t felt like we’ve grown very much numerically this semester, we’ve seen really awesome things happen. The Lord knows what He’s doing far more than we do, He’s a much better pastor than I am, so I’m trying to trust that it’s all for the best. Actually this semester is only halfway done, so we’ll see how the second half goes. But there’s one neat thing that some of us talked about last night. Last semester we had a bunch of people coming from a university about half-an-hour away (the university we’re hoping to start up near next month). There were actually more students coming from there than the universities a few blocks in either direction of our building. This semester, though, that’s changed. Most of our students now are from extremely close universities, and we don’t have many (maybe ten or so) coming from the far university.

One Comment on “Step Away From the Righteousness”

  1. April Ragan May 21, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

    Just finished reading through all the posts on your main page. I have to say that I am humbled and encouraged by your ministry there. As an American Christian, I am afraid that too many of us have become complacent towards the needs of other nations, the needs of unbelievers throughout the world. This has been an eyeopener for me, and I appreciate your willingness to serve the Lord.
    May God bless you richly! I will bookmark this site and visit regularly in order to pray intelligently for you as you work to serve the Lord in China.
    Love in Christ,
    April Ragan

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