What Kind Of Church Are We?

August 4, 2009

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31-32). Jesus has come for outsiders. He has not come for the sorted-out people but for the broken people (“the poor in spirit”) and the messed-up people. He has come to call sinners and welcome them home. God is the God who eats with his enemies. That is the staggering nature of God’s gracious character.

(Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, Total Church, 71)

God is not calling Concord to be a professional, middle-class, nice church. Concord is not a place where cleaned-up, put-together people gather for fellowship and encouragement. Concord is a family of redeemed sinners. And our mission should be to become the kind of Christian community that lives in full awareness of what we once were.

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord” (1Cor 1:26-31).

God called us as sinners. We found refuge, wholeness, security and acceptance in Christ, not because we were we-to-do and put together, but because of God’s great love for us in Jesus. And our mission is to give to the world what God has given us. The question is this: do the poor, marginalized, broken and rejected in this world find the acceptance that we have found in Jesus in our fellowship?

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