Coherence Week 4 Notes
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How are believers in Messiah supposed to live?
Social/economic classes strongly dictate how we behave. Gender roles require specific behavioral trends. Political alliances force us into specific types of behavior. Racial and ethnic roots also strongly influence our behavior. And yet the Gospel, which transcends all of these aforementioned areas (Galatians 3:28), has something very different to say about how we should live.
But in my experience, instead of the Gospel influencing how we should live, we let our social class, gender, education, politics and ethnic distinctions influence the Gospel we present. We have the influence in the wrong direction.
Our final Coherence class outlined how we are to live: as individuals and in society. In our modern world, we neatly separate our worlds –individual vs. congregation vs. work – and our behavior in each differs wildly. In addition, Western culture strongly emphasizes the individual at the expense of society. This cultural norm has a negative impact: we tend to downplay service in the congregation (I’m just there to look …) or we withdraw from congregations when our “comfort” is threatened. We live to be served rather than serve.
While we don’t want to suggest individuals are not important – a dominant emphasis on the individual is unhealthy. Ironically, in the ancient world the exact opposite was true – the individual did not matter apart from society (the family/tribe etc). In the ancient world, destiny was tied to the family - so that an emphasis on the individual was unthinkable.
The key balance between these individual/corporate issues is discipleship. One cannot claim to be a disciple if they only care about the individual: Yeshua invested a lot in society so we want to do what He did. One cannot claim to be a disciple, even with substantial ties to society, if they neglect the call to holiness: Yeshua did not let society dictate what was important if it contradicted Scripture.
To be a disciple is not just living a holy pious life – but it also means that we maintain this holiness in service to others. If we maintain the standards of discipleship that Yeshua and His followers taught, we will have coherence across the board: with God, ourselves, our family and our society. And that, my friends, is essentially what discipleship is all about: resting in God by adopting His mission and His character.
For those who want to become Ministry Servants, pay special attention to the last few slides that list the steps to become a Ministry servant. We pray that you will be used mightily by our Lord and Savior.