The Church Outside
". . . they had placed them in the center, . . ." Acts 4:7
Cheap Christianity is all talk. It seldom gets us into trouble, but when talk becomes action, faith becomes dangerous. Once they put action behind their theology and begin to make choices that will make a difference, they then run into the stone wall of opposition.
The fact that Christians get into so little trouble on account of their relationship with Jesus, makes one wonder how much of it is all talk, and how much of it is talk backed up by action. New ideas always make enemies, and those who speak boldly of Jesus invariably get into trouble. As did Peter and John.
They did much more than talk. They healed a lame man in the presence of hundreds of people on the very threshold of organized religion. Their message was no longer verbose expression. Now, there was new life right before their eyes.
What a vivid contrast between talk and action. Between the old structures of the law and a relationship with Jesus. Inside the temple, routine and ceremonies were being performed. Outside the temple where men and women were struggling with problems and pain of the day-to-day grind, the disciples were healing the hurting.
Everyday outside the walls of the church people are fighting for a living, children are struggling in school, and people are thirsting for the love of God. The hurting were outside the temple, so Jesus stepped into the world of needs, and preached in the open air.
The church should never be divorced from the real world. It must always turn outward to where the people are. The way to fill churches is to get people out in the streets, to put shoes in their Christianity, and live with others messiness. Let the chains of Christianity be demonstrated in action. Let the works see resurrected people who are willing to live their lives on Jesus.
How far are you willing to trespass into the relational, economic, and spiritual territory of others to demonstrate the power that makes others new?