church

by J.I. Packer

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” JOHN 3:3

Regeneration is a New Testament concept that grew, it seems, out of a parabolic picture-phrase that Jesus used to show Nicodemus the inwardness and depth of the change that even religious Jews must undergo if they were ever to see and enter the kingdom of God, and so have eternal life (John 3:3-15). Jesus pictured the change as being “born again.”

The concept is of God renovating the heart, the core of a person’s being, by implanting a new principle of desire, purpose, and action, a dispositional dynamic that finds expression in positive response to the gospel and its Christ. Jesus’ phrase “born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5) harks back to Ezekiel 36:25-27, where God is pictured as symbolically cleansing persons from sin’s pollution (by water) and bestowing a “new heart” by putting his Spirit within them. Because this is so explicit, Jesus chides Nicodemus, “Israel’s teacher,” for not understanding how new birth happens (John 3:9-10). Jesus’ point throughout is that there is no exercise of faith in himself as the supernatural Savior, no repentance, and no true discipleship apart from this new birth.
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“Churching the unchurched is an absolute fallacy – it is like purposing to let the tares in. It is absolutely bizarre to want to make unsaved people feel comfortable in a church.

The church is not a building – the church is a group of worshiping, redeemed, and sanctified people among whom an unbeliever should feel either miserable, convicted and drawn to Christ, or else alienated and isolated.

Only if the church hides its message and ceases to be what God designed the church to be, can it make an unbeliever comfortable.”

– JOHN MACARTHUR

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(aka how do I treat my brothers)

Let this excerpt from GTY serve as a flashlight to all who profess membership in the church of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Let us live in all Scripture, not *just* Matthew 18:15. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Acts 2:42 says this describing the life of the early church, "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together and had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods and parted them to all men as every man had need. And they continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and break bread from house to house, did eat their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." READ MORE

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