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Opening THE Book with Rev John K-S February 2022

REV JOHN K-S 05-2021Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston


What is the Church? Is the Church important? What does the Bible teach about the Church? At a time when membership and attendance are declining in the UK, does it matter?
The Church tends to be ignored or criticized by many people. But it’s worth pointing out that schools, hospitals, social care, the laws of our land, even Trades Unions, sprang out of the life of the Church. Most of what the Bible teaches about the Church comes from the Book of Acts and the Letters of St Paul, St Peter and others in the New Testament.
What is clear is that Jesus called people not only into a relationship with himself but also with other believers. St Peter wrote, “As you come to him, the living Stone (Jesus) – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood...For you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God...Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God.”
St Paul compares the Church to a human body, “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” In other words, to become the people God created us to be and to continue Jesus’ ministry in the world, we need one another. It’s not possible on our own.
St Luke gives us a picture of the early Church in the book of Acts: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together... and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Yes, the Church is important!


published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine


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