Saturday, May 21, 2011

Life Together III

One of the surest proofs of our desperate need for ongoing sanctification is our ability to turn the great blessings of God into burdensome duties. God enjoins His people take a day off once a week and we immediately begin to fret, moan and argue about all the things we can’t do and can’t get done. God assures us that children are a very great blessing and we immediately run the cost/benefit analysis in order to calculate how raising offspring will negatively affect our future, freedom and finances. Similarly and sadly, many Christians have twisted the inestimable blessing of Christian fellowship into an irksome duty to be performed and endured. But Bonhoeffer reminds us:

“The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer…It is easily forgotten that the fellowship of the Christian brethren is a gift of grace, a gift of the Kingdom of God that any day may be taken from us, that the time that still separates us from utter loneliness may be brief indeed. Therefore, let him who until now had had the privilege of living a common Christian life with other Christians praise God’s grace from the bottom of his heart. Let him thank God on his knees and declare: It is grace, nothing but grace, that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren.” (Life Together, pages 19,20)

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