This is the latest post at the Renovation Church Blog by our exec. dude based on what I taught/we discussed last night as a launch team. Please Read
by Matt Burlew on September 20, 2010
Last night at our launch team gathering we discussed Renovation Church’s identity as a city church of Missionaries Like Jesus- a church in the city that offers the grace of God in Jesus Christ to all comers. Who can come to Renovation Church and who belongs at Renovation Church? We always look to scripture for our answers and in scripture we see that the grace of God is offered to the Weak, to the Ungodly, to Sinners, and to Enemies of God.
Romans 5: 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
It is a great lie that only “good people” go to church, that only “good people” should be in church, that one must be “good” first to come to God, or to a church. It is a lie.
The passage above lays out how God worked and is working today. God sent Jesus to die for the weak, for the ungodly, for sinners and for His enemies. In a bad relationship, God made, and makes, the first move.
Matthew 9:10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
There are no “good people” in any church anywhere.
At Renovation Church, we strive to be Missionaries like Jesus in the city of Atlanta. We strive to befriend, love, care for, and welcome those who recognize their need for a savior because we recognize this need in ourselves. Renovation Church is made up of the weak, the ungodly, sinners, and enemies of God. That’s our default as human beings. And we cannot reconcile our lives to God without Jesus. Jesus made that reconciliation possible and He invites the weak, the ungodly, sinners, and enemies to himself. Jesus always does the work and his work is always effective. Our work to make ourselves “good” is always ineffective.
So who belongs at Renovation Church? Who is welcome and invited? Abusers, and the abused, liars and the lied to, cheaters and the cheated, thieves and victims, skeptics and religious bigots of every color, class and age. The very same kinds of people that Christ spent time with, healed, changed, died and was resurrected for: the weak, sinners, the ungodly, his enemies. If you are one of these (and who isn’t?) you belong and are welcome. Christ has done and will do the change in our lives and reconciliation with God that we cannot- and that without the merciful of grace of God we would not.
Christ makes the weak, strong, the ungodly, Godly, the sinner, clean, the enemy, his friend.
Phillipians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.