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What’s In A Name?

Posted by Paul Kemp on

For years Christ Church has been known as Fellowship Bible Church.  We have enjoyed the rich heritage of being a part of the Fellowship Family of Churches and we love everything the name communicates—“We are (and always will be) a fellowship of believers who are deeply committed to the timeless truths of Scripture.”

Over the years, however, there has been a subtle but seismic shift in the way we read and understand Scripture. The Scriptures are far more than a collection of heroic stories with a few rules and regulations mixed in for good measure.  All the stories (and even the rules and regulations) seamlessly tell one grand story—the story of God’s redeeming love for us in Christ.

If you read the Scriptures yet miss the story, you may reject Scripture out of hand or find yourself lost in the details.  The beauty of Scripture is found in the person of Christ.

You begin to feel the heartbeat of Scripture as you listen in on a couple of Jesus’ conversations.  The first conversation takes place with a group of religious leaders, who although they knew Scripture well, had missed the point.  Jesus offers them gentle correction:

You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life (Jn 5:39–40).

It is not the Scripture that gives us life.  It is Christ that gives us life. The purpose of Scripture is to lead us to Christ, so that we might come to him and have life.

The second conversation takes place between the resurrected Christ and a couple of grieving disciples who are having a hard time processing the brutal execution of their teacher and friend.

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. 

He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” 

They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 

“What things?” he asked. 

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel…

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Lk 24:13–27).

All of Scripture points to one climatic moment in history, “The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” These events not only dramatically changed the course of history; they dramatically change us when we come to Christ in faith.

When Paul and Jesus describe the Christian life they speak of the believer as being in Christ, and Christ being in the believer.

Jesus promised his disciples,

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.  On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you (Jn 14:18–20).

Paul wrote to the believers in Colossae:  

God has chosen to make known… the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col 1:27).

In the very next verse he describes his life mission: 

We proclaim Christ, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ (Col 1:28).

Two chapters later, he describes a vibrant church as one in which the message of Christ permeates the life and ministry of the church: 

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Col 3:16–17).

When Paul wants to describe maturity in the Christian life he uses phrases like, “Christ formed in you (Gal 4:19),” and “attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Eph 4:13).”

We have chosen the name “Christ Church” because we want to unashamedly point people to Christ and be His Church in a world that desperately needs to witness his grace and hear his message.

Our mission is “To lead people into a deeper love for Christ, His Church and Our City.

We passionately believe:

  • Christ is the heart and center of the biblical story.
  • Christ is the heart and center of the christian life.
  • And His Church is the heart and center of God’s redemptive plan for Our City and the World.

 

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