Giants of the Reformation (8)
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18.20
Institutes of the Christian Religion
John Calvin (1509-1564)
“Christ promises nothing except to those who are gathered in his name. Let us therefore define what that means. I deny that they are gathered in his name who, casting aside God’s commandment that forbids anything to be added to or taken away from his Word, ordain anything according to their own decision; who, not content with the oracles of Scripture, that is, the sole rule of perfect wisdom, concoct some novelty out of their own heads.”
Calvin’s advice applies to all kinds of gatherings – meetings, worship, Bible study groups, church courts, even family gatherings for a meal. We can only expect to know the presence of Christ in our gatherings when we set them up according to His agenda, and not our own. Jesus will not come to our gatherings to discover how we might like Him to do our business for us. He comes to our gatherings when we, submissive to His Word and one another, enter together for the sake of the Kingdom, and for the building-up of His Body. Worship and all Christian activities are first for knowing the Lord, and glorifying Him. The enjoyment we gain from the life of faith flows from those encounters with Him, and overflows from us by Him like rivers of living water.
How can we know when our various gatherings are beginning to swerve from what God has clearly revealed to us in His Word?
T. M. Moore
Organizing with the Spirit
The Lord Jesus is building His Church. His Word is the blueprint, His Spirit is the General Contractor, and we are all builders together of the Body of Christ. But are we doing our work God’s way, or ours? The Spirit has His ways of organizing our work, and we do well to understand as much as we can about His methods. This is the argument of Dr. Kent Miller of Michigan State University, and you can watch our Conversation with Dr. Miller, and download a free copy of his paper on the subject, “Organizing with the Spirit,” by clicking here.
The Fellowship of Ailbe is supported through the generous and faithful gifts of those who benefit from and believe in our work. Does the Lord want to use you in this way? Please look to Him in prayer over this question. You can contribute to The Fellowship of Ailbe by using the Contribute button at our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.All quotations from John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, John T. McNeill, ed., Ford Lewis Battles, tr. (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1960), Vol. 2, Book IV, pp. 1012ff.
Gathered in His Name
- T.M. Moore
- October 12, 2017
When we gather, is He with us?
Giants of the Reformation (8)
T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.