True Anointing

And this is the promise He made us; eternal life.  I write you these things about those who would deceive you.  as for you, the anointing that you received from Him remains in you, so that you do not need anyone to teach you.  But His anointing teaches you about everything and is true and not false;  just as it taught you, remain in Him.  And now, children, remain in Him, so that when He appears we may have confidence and not be put to shame at His coming.  If you consider that He is righteous, you also know that everyone who acts in righteousness is begotten by Him.                                                        I John 2:25-29

” If we are anointed with the Holy Spirit, why do we need church?  The Spirit can teach me at home just the same.” or ” Since the Spirit teaches us, why read the Bible or pray, I’ve already united with Him, right?”

Crazy questions?  Then why is it that lay Christianity is as weak as it is, here in the U.S.?  Is it because we make excuses for our weakness with crazy questions like this?

 “So that you do not need anyone to teach you…” As St. Augustine said in HomilyIII, “Do not suppose that any man learns ought from man.  We can admonish by the sound of our voice; if there be not one within that shall teach, vain is the noise we make.”  This is why christian unity is so very important.  Only the “true” anointing will lead to all truth.  anything less leads to deception and ultimately….death.  The Holy Spirit is stirred to action by the truth He hears, likewise He is grieved and quenched by our unwillingness to learn or by sin in our lives.

John finishes out this section by reminding us to “remain in Him”.  We do this by following the leadership of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Yes, it comes from Bible study and it comes from prayer.  That is how we “show” ourselves abiding in Christ.  The Holy Eucharist is how we know that Christ abides in us.  And the body that was broken, and the blood He spilled for our redemption, allows us renewal of our covenant oath.  Christ is the faithful One, we are the ones that stumble.  Through His Body and Blood, and the love of the Father, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, is it any wonder Paul wrote, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”



Questions on fellowship and worship

Recently Mark  asked some questions in my last post and I thought I’d answer them in this way.  But first for those who missed it, here are his questions:

I have a few questions just to help me clarify your perspective.

Do you think it’s ok to attend a fellowship (the bible says: do not forsake the “gathering” of the saints) or MUST we attend a church building?

If it’s ok to have fellowship, then can a fellowship gather in non-church buildings like a home?

What is the minimum size for a fellowship? 10? 100? 2? 3?

Can people fellowship over coffee?

Mark, thanks for the questions!  Here’s my take on them:  Fellowship or Gathering?

I think that these two things you mention in your questions are two different things.  They only seem the same by our 21st century definitions.

Fellowship in first century terms is a”participation in” being a partaker or partner.  The way we use the term today is like “get together” or sharing.  If we “participate in” one another or “partake or partner with ”  one another what does that mean?  or what does that look like?

Well, it would certainly be a partnership of belief, a participation in God’s written word, which has the power to change lives if listened to and obeyed.

So might I suggest to you that the very Word made flesh calls us to communion with God through Himself and with one another.  Fellowship and communion have the same basic root word in Greek.  This is why I’ve come to believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  Non-believers can have fellowship with one another but just what are they “partaking in” or participating in or uniting themselves with?

We as Christians, are participating “in” Christ in the words of scripture and in the Word made flesh, (Holy Communion).  Which leads me to say that there is a time for discipleship(instruction) and this can be informal such as over coffee, or in your breakroom at work.  But this is not the same idea as shared in Hebrews 10:25.  That letter was written to Jewish converts to Christianity and as they were being persecuted, they wer being tempted to forsake Christ and return to Judaism.  So they were called to find strength together in worship and in practice, holding fast to their faith, as verse 23 states.

So to really sum up; true “church” is celebrated where Christ is.  Can that be at my house?  Certainly!  The early church met “house to house, breaking the bread and obeying the apostles teaching”  Acts 2:42-46.

Where 2 or 3 are gathered there am I in the midst.  Is it ONLY at my house?  No!  The church building is a sign to the world, a witness that “the Lord rewards those who diligently seek Him.”  Both are useful and necessary in our spiritual journey, so I would encourage you to do both!

Thanks for bringing this up.  It’s a great subject for a post!