Friday, October 25, 2013

October 24, 2013

Growth in Christ requires community...

Hebrews 3:13

but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Personal Challenge...

One of the differences that I have discovered in Eastern Christianity versus Western Christianity is the perspective of community versus individuality. Growing up in Western Christianity I became well established in the individualistic point of view: I had a personal relationship with Christ, He saved/died for me, I am blessed...fill in the blank. While all of this is true it can create a faith that revolves around me, my needs, and ultimately my wants. This can lead to some skewed ways of thinking and behaving in our local church family. In my experience so far in Eastern Orthodoxy I am learning to think of my faith in terms of the community of believers. So many of our prayers, both individual and corporate, use we and us rather than me or I. We view the working out of our salvation, our faith, our journey to theosis, as something that can only be done in the community of faithful believers. The gifts that are given to us are to be exercised in building up the community. And the list goes on an on. This verse reminds us that we are all responsible to exhort our brothers and sisters daily, even to the point of being a responsible part of helping each other avoid sin. Glory be to God!

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