Don’t expect a Max Lucado book on this subject, but material would not be hard to find. One chapter could be the Jerusalem Conference (Acts 15) where the church discerned the invitation of grace to the Gentiles. 1 Corinthians 5 could be chapter 2–the day the church at Corinth gathered to remove a man from fellowship for public and unrepentant sin. It was a tense and difficult meeting that worked eventually for good. (cf 2 Corinthians 7:8-12) One of the things that I like best about being Baptist is our emphasis on congregational government. “In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled”(1 Corinthians 5:4) has the sound of strength–of important/difficult decisions being made by the people of God. Have you been to a business meeting lately? Sept 25 will be a GREAT opportunity. Part of the agenda will be a “State of the Church” address. I have so many things to tell you. I am counting on the Lord’s help and your support, just like 1 Corinthians 5.
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I prayed for you and your church this morning.
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Eph 1:16-23)
….I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph 3:14-21)