Forget the Resolutions: Raise the Bar for a “Constructive Revolution”!

The Feast of the Heart Vision and Mission are inspired by Francis Schaeffer’s concise and penetrating insight into what is most needed in any person or culture facing its own demise. ‘Death in the City’ points to a moral and spiritual death that subtly suffocates truth and meaning and beauty out of the city and the wider culture.” (On-Line Review)

And in our day, all subtleties are long gone: We are, as a culture, more morally and spiritually bankrupt and dead than at any time, and in any culture, in all of history! Especially considering from whence we came…

Please take special note of the operative words and their meaning that Francis Schaeffer and Feast of the Heart seeks to sink deep into the hearts of all of God’s people: Reformation. Revival. Constructive Revolution.

“At times men think of the two words reformation and revival as standing in contrast to one another; but this is a mistake. Both words are related to the word restore.

Reformation refers to a restoration of pure doctrine; revival refers to a restoration in the Christian’s personal life.

Reformation speaks to a return to the teachings of Scripture; revival speaks of a personal life brought into its proper relationship to the Holy Spirit.

The great moments of church history have come when these two restorations have simultaneously come into action so that the church has returned to a pure doctrine and the lives of Christians in the church have known the power of the Holy Spirit. There cannot be true revival unless there has been reformation; and reformation is not complete without revival.

Such a combination of reformation and revival should be revolutionary in our day, revolutionary in our individual lives as Christians.

May we be those who know the reality of both reformation and revival, so that this poor, dark world may have an exhibition of a portion of the church returned to both pure doctrine and the Spirit-filled life.” (Francis Schaeffer, Death in the City—emphasis added)

In line with the sort of (1. Reformation, 2. Revival, and hence…) 3. “Constructive Revolution” we’re running the good race for, beginning this New Year we’ll be chewing on Christian Community or Fellowship. We will be ingesting and actualizing this vital (life sustaining) topic for a few meals at the Training Table.

As an opening, and basic, foundational foray into this richly rewarding subject, Dietrich Bonheoffer in his must-read book Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community, created a line of Bible logic that goes like this:

  • “A Christian no longer lives of himself by his own claims and of his own justification, but by God’s claims and God’s justification. He loves wholly by God’s Word pronounced upon him whether that Word pronounces him guilty or innocent.”
  • “The Reformers expressed it this way: Our righteousness is an “alien righteousness”, a righteousness that comes from the outside of us (extra nos). They were saying that the Christian was dependent on the Word of God spoken to him. He is pointed outward to the Word that comes to him.”
  • “If somebody asks him, “Where is your salvation, your righteousness?” The Christian can never point to himself. He points to the Word of God in Jesus Christ, which assures him salvation and righteousness.”
  • “And that also clarifies the goal of all Christian community: they meet with one another as bringers of the message of salvation. As such, God permits them to meet together and gives them community. Their fellowship is founded solely upon Jesus Christ and this “alien righteousness”.
  • “All we can say, therefore, is: The community of Christians springs solely from the Biblical and Reformation message of the justification of man through the grace of God alone; this alone is the basis of the longing of Christians for one another.”
  • “Without Christ we should not know God, we could not call upon Him, nor come to Him. But without Christ we could not know our brother, nor could we come to him.”
  • “Thus God Himself taught us to meet one another as God has met us in Christ. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Rom 15:7)
  • “My brother is rather the other person who has been redeemed by Christ, delivered from sin, and called to faith and eternal life.”
  • “The more genuine and deeper our community becomes, the more will everything else between us recede, the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ and His work become the one and only thing that is vital between us. We have one another only through Christ, but through Christ we do have one another, wholly, for eternity.”
  • “Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ Jesus in which live and we may participate in if we choose to honor God and bless His people.”

Being “In Christ” (Ephesians 1, and following) is axiomatic to being “in community”—just as it is for a New Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) for living in a new reality of: a) no more shame and, b) being adopted into a new family.

The rub… The rub is whether or not we will fully participate in the new reality; whether or not we will grow up rather than being babies; whether or not we will be radically used of God; whether or not we will be full of joy and peace in the worst and best of times—or only partially; whether or not we will urgently and fully embrace the core concepts and lifestyles of REFORMATION, REVIVAL, CONSTRUCTIVE REVOLUTION.

Because whether or not we choose to be vitally committed to the fellowship of the Saints, investing in community of Believers (for the betterment of the world) each and every day… will act as a major determinant to NOT ONLY the nature of our faith in word and deed in the present day, but will determine the nature of our eternity as well (1 Corinthians 9:24–25; 2 Corinthians 5;11)!

Enjoy, employ… some “planks of the faith” in God’s inspired, inerrant, infallible Word on the subject of Christian Fellowship, Community below.

We will be looking at some ways to REVOLUTIONIZE the nature of our “running the good race” by means of our Christian Fellowship, Community in the coming feasts at the Training Table together.

And I will look forward to supping with each of you again very soon,


“Fellowship in the Church / Body”

Psalm 55 “But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,”

Psalm 119 “I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.” 

Psalm 133 “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.”

Matthew 23 “But you are not to be called `Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.”

Mark 10 “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Luke 24 “Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem  They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them…”

John 13 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I d you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 15 “My command is this: Love each other as I do you.”

Romans 12:3-13 “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching…”

Acts 2:42-47 “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts…”

2 Corinthians 6 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

Galatians 2:9-10 “James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.”

Galatians 6:2-7 “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”

Philippians 1:3-8 “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 2:1-7 “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”

Colossians 2:2-7 “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.

For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.”

Hebrews 10:24-25 “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 13:1 “Keep on loving each other as brothers.”

Resources on Community:

Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition

The Emotionally Healthy Church: A Strategy for Discipleship that Actually Changes Lives

Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

Covenant Community, by David McKay

WestminsterConfession of Faith, Chapter XXVI, Of the Communion of Saints


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