As we have already said, all Communities exist on the basis of shared values and ours is no exception. Not only do we need to have our core values, they need to be coherent. We value faithful worship. It is a non-negotiable. We value godly community and that means, among other things that we will endeavour to keep the spirit of unity by always speaking with one voice in our town.
there are two more core values, from the list of many, that we will endeavour to uphold.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. “(Romans 12:2)
When Adam embraced the lie “thou shalt not surely die”, he accepted a false view of reality. As a consequence, mankind, by nature, no longer accepts God’s view of reality – which is to say that mankind no longer accepts reality. He suppresses the truth and in his insanity embraces an unreal world view.
The command to be transformed is a command to submit to the gospel of God by which our head is “reshaped” according to all that is true, real and good. Though we in Christ, have been delivered from this corruption of our minds, to the degree that we still embrace the pattern of this world, we are yet to be transformed.
Transformation, in the main begins with evangelism and discipleship. If we are to think God’s thoughts after Him, we must submit to His Word. We must be fed on a diet prescribed by Him. Our heads are going to be filled with something and that something is going to shape us.
That is why God calls us into community. It is in church, through faithful worship, that we enter in to the heavenlies and are transfigured on the mountain of God. In community we learn to love, surrender and forgive. We learn to embrace grace and truth. It is also the place that we learn to sacrifice.
“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:6-8)
A transformed mind allows us to see ourselves as we really are. Members of one body. As our minds are renewed we are alerted to the fact that we are called to nurture and uphold the other members of that body. God has gifted each of us. He has placed us in the body and therefore, you have a much needed gift in the ongoing work of transformation.
God does not do His work in a vacuum. It occurs through gifted members who each contribute with joy, whatever gift they have.
Servant ministry makes Jesus visible and it is a non-negotiable of our life together as God’s people.
You cannot truly submit to lifelong discipleship and service in God’s Kingdom without being seriously affected. As we enter the heavenly place each Lord’s Day, in order to feast at a table prepared by God, by His grace, let our non-negotiable desire be:
To engage in fruitful service, to submit ourselves to His word as a community in worship so that we might be transformed into His image, discerning the good and perfect will of God for our lives and for the lives to which we have been joined.