REPENTANCE LONDON TEACHING DAY 30 MARCH 2008 Session
REPENTANCE LONDON TEACHING DAY 30 MARCH 2008 Session 3 How Do We Repent? The Scriptural emphasis Personal vs. Corporate Repentance 100 90 80 70
% 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Personal Corporate C. S. Lewis on community You know that among human beings, when they get together in a family, or a club, or a trades union, people talk about the spirit of that family, or club, or trades union. They talk about its spirit because the
individual members, when theyre together, do really develop particular ways of talking and behaving which they wouldnt have if they were apart (This corporate behaviour may, of course, be either better or worse than their individual behaviour). It is as if a sort of communal personality came into existence. Of course it isnt a real person: it is only like a person. -Mere Christianity page 95 The Good Infection Expressions of the Communal personality Corporate Culture Group Dynamic Team Spirit Community Climate Ethos
The ultimate Corporate Entity: the Body of Christ Jesus earnestly prayed that they may become perfectly one (John 17:23. ESV). One in mind, heart, and purpose Together, they redefine normal as they form a societal sanctuary. What is normal? In the Church, its normal to be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose. Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one
another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had (Philippians 2:2-5, NET). Normal, it seems, is to be likeminded. More specifically, it is to be Christ-minded. Thus, the Church uniformly conforms to Jesus mindset. Hegels Observations of Communal Personality Thesis Synthes is Antithesi
s Corinth Case Study Thesis: And you are proud! Not proud of sin, but most likely proud of their superior compassion for the offender. Antithesis: Synthesis : Godly Sorrow
Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Our History Thesis: Man-Centered Performance Focus
Uniformity Preach C.R.A.N.K. Synthesis: One Another-ism Selfless Service Unity Expository Preaching Antithesis: Suspicious of
People Suspicious of Good Works Individualism Preach Grace Repentance Turning from Self to Christ Self Self Self Self
Self Self Self Self Self Confident Congratulatio n Important Justified Serving Satisfied Seeking Involved
For Christs love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. - 2 Co 5:14-15 NIV Repentance Turning from Individualism to Community If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort form his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being likeminded, having the same purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in
humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude (mindset) should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:1-4 See Also: Acts 2:42-47, 4:32-37 Repentance Overcoming a western worldview Alexis de Tocqueville, in Democracy in America (1835), described Americans as highly individualistic and believed that this individualism was inseparable from the new American concept of egalitarian democracy
Selfishness originates in blind instinct; individualism proceeds from erroneous judgment more than from depraved feelings; it originates as much in deficiencies of mind as in perversity of heart. Selfishness blights the germ of all virtue; individualism, at first, only saps the virtues of public life; but in the long run it attacks and destroys all others and is at length absorbed in downright selfishness. Corporate Sin & Repentance If an individual sins, he or she must repent If a corporate body sins, it must
repent So how does a community sin? And how does a community repent? So How Does a Church Repent? Recent Misguided efforts: Line-in-the-Sand Reconstructions Call for Rebellion Establish a Rival Church Method Most often employed by us Evangelists:
Optimism coupled with calls for personal repentance Four Common Biblical Elements of Corporate Repentance 1. A Prophet deployed by the Holy Spirit 2. Humble Leaders 3. A Solemn Assembly of the entire body 4. Renewal of a Covenant with God 1. Prophets Who Reprove Prophets Who Reprove We cant see the forest for the trees Were all frogs in the same kettle seek someone
who hasnt become acclimated to your group dynamic Thats one reason why all prophets are first set apart or consecrated OT Prophets exposed the waywardness of the nations, especially Israel and Judah John the Baptist was consecrated in order to reprove and prepare Israel for the Christ Pauls letter to Corinth serves as a Corporate Reproof Jesus letters in Revelation are Corporate Reproofs (see Revelation 3:20), calling for Metanoia
2. Humble Leaders Model Godly Sorrow David (2 Samuel 6-7 via Nathan) Asa (2 Chronicles 14-16 via Azariah) Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17-20) Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29-32) Manasseh (2 Chronicles 33) Josiah (2 Chronicles 34-35) Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1-13) Ezra (Ezra 7-10) King of Nineveh (Jonah 3) 3. The Solemn Assembly These Solemn Assemblies Permitted a
Corporate Response to God's Reproof... Leviticus 26 (the prescription & prophecy) 2 Chronicles 15:9-15(Asa), 20:3-13(Jehoshaphat), 29-30(Hezekiah), 34:29-33(Josiah) Ezra 9:3-10; Nehemiah 8-10 Joel 1:13, 2:12-17ff Each assembly involved Godly Sorrow, Confession, and Rededication. We, as a church, gather in a solemn assembly to express our communal godly sorrow, confess our personal responsibility for corporate sin, and prepare to rededicate ourselves collectively to Jesus. The Solemn Assembly A model for a New Covenant Solemn Assembly might include:
Prior to the Assembly: Time of fasting and prayer by all members - and a call for personal repentance Set time for the solemn assembly - perhaps a Saturday or Sunday afternoon (ask a nearby church to help with childcare to facilitate 100% participation) Reproof from Scriptures that captures the climate/culture and even the dysfunction of our church (e.g. Rev 2-3) Reassurance of solidarity we all got us into this and were turning back to God TOGETHER (no one left behind) All members confess to their own role in promoting or perpetuating the corporate dysfunction/sin (Godly sorrow) After a short break, read scriptures that describe where the church will be heading (Metanoia facing forward) 4. Renewed Covenant The Solemn Assembly Concludes with Covenant Renewal:
Each member prays and commits themselves to communion in this new direction Ratify the communion via Communion by breaking bread (proclaiming our communion with one another and with Christ 1 Cor 10:14-17, Phil 2!!!). Punctuate the entire assembly with grace through the Cup as our sinful past is washed away by Jesus' blood (1Cor 11:25, 1 John 1:6-10)!!! Celebrate repentance with a feast!!! That Times of Refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord!!! Closing charge
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