Monday, January 04, 2010

R12

Today kicks off Living on the Edge’s R12-True Spirituality campaign. Maybe campaign is not the right word- they’re not asking for money, not pontificating any grand goals- they are only asking for churches and/or small groups to pick up their free curriculum based on Romans 12 and lead Christians into becoming disciples of Christ.

Personally, there are a few hills that I would die on with regards to my personal theology and doctrine. One, is that everyone is called to participate in the spiritual growth of the church by applying their unique spiritual gifts, not just leaders/pastors (Eph 4). Two, the ‘ones’ of Ephesians 4 are non-negotiable with respect to Church doctrine. Three, the Church Universal as known only by God, is called to be united and Jesus himself prayed for unity in the church (John 17). This unity cannot happen without numbers one and two above. And finally four, this unity is demonstrated by Christians living out their faith as disciples of Jesus Christ as defined by Romans 12.

I credit Romans 12 as the starting point of my conversion. I grew up religious. I was active in my church. My “spiritual resume” resembles Paul’s of Philippians 3. But I could not call myself a disciple of Jesus. It was one Sunday and I was sitting in Mass and the sermon was based on Romans 12. I had a Bible and I read it. I knew the popular stories and read the Gospels, Psalms, and Proverbs regularly. But I never dug into Romans; it was a hard read and the theology is hard to follow. So this was the first time I remember hearing these verses and my heart broke. This did not describe me. This did not describe my friends. This did not describe my church. And from there, I began a search for true discipleship of Jesus that culminated two years later as I was baptized into Christ in front of a new body of believers.

Since, I have used Romans 12 as the starting point of every Bible study with a non-believer or casual church-goer. And I had the pleasure of reading this passage to my congregation as the teen I mentor was baptized into Christ a month ago.

I was turned on to Living on the Edge a couple of years ago, catching a lesson on my commute to work. It was serendipitous timing- I was running late that day so heard a different program than I usually listened to. I was immediately turned on. I liked the preaching, I liked how sin was called out as sin and not excused, and I liked how the preaching was geared towards the expectation of Christians living Christ-like lives. I now turn to these lessons for most of my small group material. I read the books and apply what I learn. And when they first released this curriculum a year ago, I fervently prayed for this message to reach the ears and hearts of every believer.

I’m not one to regularly sing praises or endorse things so highly, but this is something I believe strongly in and I hope and pray it is something that can be of benefit to you. Ultimately, to God be the glory.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

Fatha Frank said...

You're most welcome. I pray you find the resources helpful for either your own personal growth or to enable the growth of others.