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Posted: March 13, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Just a Thought: It begins with individuals

Just a Thought: Let the church rise up!

You have heard it said, "You may be the only Bible some people ever read." And it is true: As the church, our lives are the record of truth as to the power and proof of the Word of God as we live out and practice obedience to the principles and promises of God’s Word.

It was D.L. Moody who said, "A Christian is the world’s Bible, and some of them need revising." One writer cautions: The problem today is not that Christian’s are being ignored; it is that they are being closely observed. As Christians, we may be the only church some people ever experience. We are the body of Christ, and in being such, we are the very physical representation of Christ in this world.

We are commissioned by Christ Himself to be going about as His witnesses (Acts 1:8) and in and with His authority and power teaching His word (Mt.28:18-20). As the church we must prevent ourselves from getting the "club" mentality. We are not the holier than thou club, but the church is to be holy. Each individual of the church is to be mindful they are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16,17) and as temples, we are to keep our selves clean.

Paul was appalled at not only the activity going on in the Church at Corinth, but even more by the church’s attitude, which not only allowed the practice of sin, but condoned it.

He wrote; "Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?" (1 Cor. .5:6) The idea Paul is playing on here is that leaven (in Jewish literature evil influence) must be searched out and cast out or it will corrupt the whole. The idea is that of the Jewish ritual of lighting a candle and searching the whole house to ensure there is no leaven in the house the night before Passover, because the Passover bread was to be unleavened bread. (This is where our ritual of "spring cleaning" comes from).

Because we are the only Bible some will read, the only church some will experience, the only Jesus some will ever encounter, the church needs to rise up and in some cases clean up for the occasion. And it all begins with us as individual members. Let’s rise up together.

Dr. William Burnham is pastor of Point of Grace Church in Covington. He can be reached at burnhamw@charter.net.

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