Wednesday August 8, 2012

erwin-lutzer.jpegOne of the great privileges of the Christian life is to learn from those who served Christ longer and have experienced more of His mission. The essays in the Mission of God Study Bible that make up the Letters to the Church are from some of our “older leaders” in the faith.

Today’s essay is from Erwin Lutzer, senior pastor of Moody Church, in Chicago, Illinois.

We are honored that he would contribute an original essay to this study Bible and are thrilled to share it with you.

by Erwin Lutzer

“Be alert and strengthen what remains, which is about to die, for I have not found your works complete before My God” (Rv 3:2). In these words from the lips of Jesus, we have the marching orders for the church of the 21st century; here we have commands addressed to us in our culture and in the midst of our successes and failures. Tragedy awaits us if we don’t listen to what Jesus has to say.

Jesus begins this letter to this first century congregation in Sardis with this diagnosis, “you have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead” (3:1). Here was a church that was thought highly of in the community, but when Jesus applies His stethoscope to the congregation He cannot discover a heartbeat. The good works of the church members were like grave clothes that masked the marks of death. They had form without power, a reputation without life.

For the rest of the article…