Dr. Rick Holland is Senior Pastor of Mission Road Bible Church and the author of Uneclipsing the Son. The following are my notes from Dr. Holland’s first session at the BOLD Church Conference on October 1, 2012 (paraphrased).
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:19-25)
The overwhelming responsibility of telling a man—everything you need to know you can find at this address—does this describe our churches?
Every Christian should be an ecclesiologist. Every Christian should know what the Bible says about what the Church is. Everyone should be able to answer questions about what the church is and what the church isn’t.
If the church is the bride of Christ, I wonder if sometimes Jesus is offended by how some people treat the Church as we would be if some men came up to our wives and slapped them across the face?
Some people wrongly equate the gospel with the church. You ask someone if they know the gospel and they’ll say, “Well, I don’t go to church.” This isn’t necessarily a bad connection, but going to a church and sitting in a seat doesn’t make you a Christian.
Where does our authority for the way we think about the Church come from?
You know these museum churches—I call them this because the church is really supposed to be a hospital for the soul—where we treat the building as something God’s supposed to be impressed with? There’s more about the covenant people of God in the Old Testament and the church in the New Testament coming together in worship that goes way beyond a building.
Hebrews is fundamentally a book of comparison. Jesus is compared to everything the people thought was important—angels, the Law, prophets… Compare Jesus to anything and He’ll always be found to be better and more fulfilling. And this builds and builds to chapter 10, which is the beginning of the “so-what”. And the write shows how all these things, how Jesus is the once-for-all sacrifice, the High Priest, etc., fuel the Christians involvement in church. [Read more…]