The New Creation in Action – The Local Church
Our world needs renewal. That’s not news. Every facet of our life – relationships, business, environment, communities – is not as it should be. The big questions are: Why is that the case? And what is to be done about it?
The Bible shows us in Genesis chapter 3 how humanity separated ourselves from the God who made us and now the whole creation needs renewal. The rest of the Bible is God’s mission to renew and restore the world, and to reconcile his precious children to himself. That’s the message of the gospel: God himself came to this fallen world and lived like you and me – as a human man – and experienced all the things we experience. He went to the cross, and walked through the ultimate futility of the fall: death.
He walked out of his grave. The empty tomb is the evidence that God is renewing this world. Jesus is the first fruits of the new creation – the renewal of the whole universe.
And the worldwide church is the body God has made of redeemed people through whom he is showing off the new creation – “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor 5:17)
What does that new creation look like? And not just in an abstract, worldwide sense… what does it look like in a local church? That’s what we’ll look at over the next few weeks:
- The local church is a place where the redeemed people of God worship him.
- The local church is where we live the “Fruit of the Spirit” – where we learn to live, love, and think like those who are indeed new creations.
- The local church is where the comfort of the new creation resides for hurting people.
- The local church is a place where the word of God, which was written to the church, is proclaimed.
- The local church is where God draws his people for relationship through the covenant signs of Baptism and the Lord’s Table.
- The local church is where God’s people gather together to send ourselves out for service to the world.
- The local church is a house of prayer.
- The local church is the launchpad for evangelism. It’s an embassy of heaven – we are God’s ambassadors through whom he appeals to the world to be reconciled to himself.