After Pentecost (Acts 3 and later), Christ-followers were first involved in something called “the Way” (Acts 24:22). After the gospel progressed to the non-Jewish world with the planting of the church in Antioch, the world called Christ-followers “Christians” because they were made up of both Jews and Gentiles who exhibited a radical devotion to be like Christ (Acts 11:26).
A covenant is an agreement we make with someone else. Whenever we have an agreement within ourselves to disobey God in a certain area of our lives, we have made a covenant with death that needs to be broken. Death in this context is speaking about something that separates us from God. Let’s see what Scripture says about breaking a covenant with death.
I have been a pastor for over 30 years, during the past three decades I have ministered to hundreds of pastors and visited numerous churches where I have often noticed that key marketplace leaders who love the Lord have a hard time connecting to a local church.
Often, many people view the resurrection of Christ merely as a historical event that supplies us with Christian doctrine without understanding the vast implications it has for believers. The following points will attempt to make the implications of the resurrection of Christ much more real and practical to us.
1. They are true worshippers in private
True worship leaders are effective because their public worship is an overflow of their deep private worship. They are able to help bring the congregation into deep worship because it is already something they walk in.
Since my connection to Christ in 1978, I have observed many models or concepts people have regarding how they connect to the body of Christ. The following are some of the popular concepts I have observed regarding how believers define the church for themselves.
The Protestant Reformation correctly brought the Scriptures back into the hands and vernacular of the common people. Because of this, those who did not understand the Latin version (the Latin Vulgate translated in the 4th century by St. Jerome) could read Scripture in the common tongue (the King James Version of 1611). Thus, the pendulum swung from one extreme to another: from professional clerics interpreting the word for the people to individuals with no theological training interpreting the word without the church’s hermeneutical aid.
As a pastor for more than 30 years I have seen many people serving in ministry burned out in the name of Christ, then fall away from their purpose. This is even very common among senior leaders, but it can be avoided. In the past several years, I have personally experienced my mind being tired, requiring me to pull back for several months lest I burn out! The following are signs that show whether you are on the verge of burnout or breakthrough:
Many today desire to realize the purpose of their lives. Pastor Rick Warren capitalized on this by writing a book that has sold more than 50 million copies entitled “The Purpose-Driven Life”. Many believers in Christ are obsessed with understanding their purpose. This has resulted in millions of Christian books being sold related to this subject.
Most people agree that the nations of the West are headed in the wrong direction regarding morality and culture. While it is very popular in some circles to blame presidents, congress (or parliament) as well as local elected officials, the Word of God makes it clear where to place the blame.
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