Essays for King Jesus

Authored By

  • perspectives
Published On
Saturday, June 5th, 2021

In today’s highly partisan environment it is easy for American believers to be carried away with the passionate belief that politics can be the solution to our nation’s problems.  If only we could elect the right official or enact the right law, all would be well.  If only we could prevent this or that inappropriate behavior by using the coercive power of government, we would be blessed.  Unfortunately this view ignores the Two Kingdoms concept found in Colossians 1:12-14 and elsewhere.  The kingdom of darkness serves Satan’s wishes, while the kingdom of light belongs to God’s dear Son.

There are several places in the New Testament that tell the citizens of the kingdom of God’s dear Son about their responsibilities toward government.  Perhaps the key passage is Romans 13:1-7.  To grasp this passage well, we need to consider it in its context by looking at all of Romans 12 and 13.  As we look at the two chapters, keep in view whom Paul is addressing.  In all of chapter 12 and in chapter 13 after verse 7, Paul is speaking to fellow believers in general.  He makes it clear that God wants to work with his people to develop the character of Christ in them.  They are to offer their bodies to God, cease to conform their thinking to the thinking of the world, and to be transformed by the renewal of their minds.  In this process of transformation they are to use the gifts God has given them to serve Him and the church.  

In the second half of chapter 12 Paul gives specific lifestyle directions, all of them possible only because of God’s grace to His children.  A key aspect of these directions is Paul’s insistence that we live at peace with all men.  This includes persecutors, those who curse us, and those who have done evil toward us (vv. 11-21).  All of this chapter has been addressed to believers.

  • steps leading to arched church door

Authored By

  • Allen Roth
Published On
Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

How does a twenty first century Anabaptist go about planting an Anabaptist church in a city?  Is it even possible?

First of all, let’s remember that Jesus Himself promised:  “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18, emphasis mine).  In the Great Commission, the resurrected Jesus stated clearly, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples…teaching them to observe [obey] all things that I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28:18-20 NKJV).  He promised to be with us as we make obedient disciples everywhere on earth among all the people groups.  He would not command us to do the impossible!

Secondly, the apostles demonstrated that they understood His command to mean planting new churches, beginning in cities across the Roman empire.  The names have become so familiar we don’t even think of them as cities:  Rome, Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi, Antioch, Thessalonica, Lystra, Derbe, Iconium, Laodicea, Smyrna, Philadelphia and many more.  If the early Christians, with no previous church history and in an empire hostile to them, could plant new churches with the aid of the Holy Spirit, can we not reasonably expect to do the same?

  • communion juice and bread

Authored By

  • Marlin Sommers
Published On
Saturday, April 3rd, 2021

What happens at the Lord’s supper? What is the nature of this important Christian practice? Understandings vary widely. One view of the supper, which I consider both extreme and oversimplified, is that the loaf and cup become literally the body and blood of Christ. Another extreme and oversimplified view claims that the supper is only an act of remembrance.

Let me hasten to say that it is only the extremes that I reject. I believe the loaf and cup are the body and blood of the Lord, just not literally so. Similarly, the supper clearly is a memorial act, but it is not only that. In the supper we encounter Christ. We can refer to the supper as the Lord’s table because it is a place of fellowship provided by Christ. Another common name for the supper is “communion,” which is another word for fellowship sometimes used to translate the Greek term koinonia in 1 Corinthians 10:16

Paul’s teaching about the Lord’s supper as fellowship in 1 Corinthians 10 gives us a key to a richer, more adequate picture of how we encounter Christ in the supper. But first, we need to think a bit more about the two oversimplified, extreme views and why they distort the Lord’s supper.