What Brings Health to the Church of Christ?

Posted by donna on March 2, 2016

Capture.PNG"... of whom the world was not worthy" (Hebrews 11:38)

We do all we can to be a movement of healthy reproducing churches across Canada.   Where does health come from? We all know it is not found in programs and budgets. We know it is found through the power of the Lord. The power is in the gospel which is able to transform lives. Yet, seemingly we see so little real transformational life in the church today. I hope it is coming; but it is not fully evident just yet.

Though under threat of Roman occupation, in AD 156 Lucius King of the Britons asked Eleutherus, ruler of the Roman Church, to make him a Christian. The people of Britain embraced Christianity fully until the time of the Roman Emperor, Diocletian.

In 286 AD Diocletian ascended the rule of Rome whose forces were invading Britain. In addition, Diocletian ordered the destruction of all Christian churches and priests including those in Britain. Alban, a Briton of note, and a pagan, gave shelter to a priest fleeing from the Roman persecutors. While in his house Alban observing the "unbroken activity of prayer and vigil, he was suddenly touched by the grace of God and began to follow the priest's example of faith and devotion." Alban renounced idolatry and embraced Christianity. (A History of the English Church and People, Bede, AD 731, pg.45)

When the Roman occupiers came to arrest the priest, Alban put on the robes of the priest and before a great crowd of Britons, was lead away to be tortured and beheaded never rescinding his newly acquired faith. Even his tormentors are quoted to be moved by his piousness. Alban died for his faith even though he was a brand new Christian. His obvious transformed life, public confession and resolve to stand bold in the face of horrible punishment and death moved Romans and Britons alike.

This all occurred in the English town of Verlamacaestir on June 2nd, AD 301. When the persecution ended, Christianity had spread around the land and the converts built a church on the spot of Alban's martyrdom.  The ruins remain to this day. By the end of the 4th century, Christianity had defeated and replaced the might of the Roman Emperors.

This brings me back to my initial question.  What brings health to the church of Christ? Men and women like Alban, often newly minted in their faith, without education, without the outward structures of the church, but aflame with the passion and devotion of the grace of Christ. We are living in a different age and a different time. Yet, the principle remains the same. A healthy church has people who have been transformed by the gospel, who are transforming their world for the sake of Jesus ... around the world, even in our secular nation.

Blessings,

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Willem Fietje

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