Handling Conflict in the Body

Conflict is something that most people tend to avoid. However, conflict is a fact of life. Many have made the point that conflict, even within the Church, is a sign of life; evidence of the fact that people really care. Avoiding confrontation is often a recipe for even greater conflict and pain. Therefore, the important question we need to ask is: how do we manage conflict appropriately within the fellowship of the church.

The Preservation of the Gospel

Outside factors and circumstances always have the potential to gradually shift our focus toward seemingly good things but away from what is truly the best for us. Having a community of believers around us is vital in keeping the Gospel central. Although backgrounds, cultures and spheres of influence greatly differ among believers, the message and the mission of Jesus Christ never changes.

Jacob Shuey
What's the Difference?

All around us, different people offer messages of hope or paths to truth. Each has their unique spin on how one must believe or what one must do to please God or to find inner peace. However, the Gospel of Jesus alone holds the power to give us the “transformed” life that we all so desperately need.

Jonas Wharton
Faith and Works

In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he addresses several issues within the church. However, his central admonition remains true for us today: do not stray from the gospel of grace. Faith in Jesus (and nothing else) is what brings about the transformation that leads to the Spirit producing good fruit in our lives.

Chris Horsman
A Word to the Church

Peter's word to the scattered and persecuted church in exile is a powerful word to the church today: be humble, be alert, and stand firm. We are called to live in the temporal world with an eye fixed firmly on the eternal. Our hope is found in the power and authority of Jesus alone.

Word to Elders

One of the greatest gifts to the local body of Christ is a group of godly Elders. Elders are called to care for the body, lead the organization of the church, and humbly and eagerly serve. However, the most important role they have is to be an example to the flock. Elders, deeply aware of imperfection and sin, say with the Apostle Paul: "Follow me as I follow Christ."

Stones

Jesus, who was crucified, is risen! This incredible declaration has become one of the most divisive statements made over the last 2,000 years. Peter reminds us that Jesus Himself is the Cornerstone of our faith, but He is also a stumbling stone to many. When we embrace Him, we are made into living stones and built into the living church!

A New Way of Life

The suffering of Jesus is a reminder that we too will suffer when we stand for righteousness and truth. While the degree and severity of that suffering will vary, the unified promise of Scripture is that we will indeed experience suffering in this world. We are called to remain steadfast in doing good while trusting in the hope that a new day is coming.

Righteous Suffering

There is little doubt or disagreement that the world is broken. Our response to that brokenness is what sets followers of Jesus apart from the rest of the world. Responding to suffering and pain with righteousness and hope speaks a loud testimony of the grace of Jesus.

A Marriage Mystery

The difficulty of the marriage relationship has its root in Genesis 3. A desire to dominate and control, or a proclivity to be dominated or controlled, is deep within each of us due to sin. God's plan is dramatically different: a mutual submission to one another that weaves our lives together and parallels the beauty of Jesus' love for the church. The marriage relationship has a unique opportunity to display Jesus to the world.

Freely Submit

The freedom that we are given through Christ is complete and all-encompassing. When we use that freedom to submit to the authorities over us, even when they are unjust, it is a powerful testimony to a watching world. Understanding who we are in Christ and our imperishable inheritance in Him gives us the grace to image Jesus by humbly serving those around us.

A Living Temple

God commanded the construction of both the tabernacle and the temple with great detail and beauty because it was the place where He would meet with His people. Now, through the grace of Jesus, God is building a new temple—this time with His people! The church is intended to be the living temple in which the world is able to meet with God, and we are a kingdom of priests helping others connect with Him.

So...now live!

Armed with a living hope, we are called to enter into new life. The futility of our former life has been replaced by new desires and new appetites. Holiness, however, is not a foregone conclusion in this life. We are called to enter into the process with grace-driven effort, striving toward the hope that we've been given by grace through faith in Jesus.

Salvation Present

The hope we are given as believers in Jesus is an inheritance that will never fade away. This restoration of right relationship with God is the culmination of the longings of the prophets and the direction of the law, the pinnacle of the hopes of heaven. It's not just a past event or a future hope, but a present reality that is available to us only by faith.

Elect Exiles

Strength to live as exiles in a foreign land doesn't come from self-esteem, good parenting or a well-organized life. Peter reminds a scattered and persecuted church that strength for living will only come through an understanding of God's work in our lives, the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in us, and the holiness that comes through the sacrifice of Jesus alone.