In this week’s podcast, Matthew is on the road with Jeff Johnson, host of the upcoming Media Gratiae study on the Church. We recorded this week’s episode in a small Tudor-style house outside Oxford, England on day 11 of a 14-day filming trip.
In the beginning of the episode, Matthew and Jeff share where we have been and why we traveled to each location. After that, they get into the heart and purpose of the project. From the time of Media Gratiae’s inception, we have sought to present a biblical view of God. Now, we are working to present a biblical view of the Bride of Christ.
The project consists of four elements: a feature-length documentary, a book, a 12-week multimedia study, and a 12-week workbook. Each works in conjunction with the other to explain God’s purpose for the local assembly of Christians.
Jeff and Matthew discuss why they were willing to travel the world exploring how the doctrine of the Church was established by Jesus Christ and His apostles, how that doctrine was misunderstood and misapplied, and how it was recovered. In our current spiritual climate, the local church has been undervalued and underutilized. This should never be the case for the sincere Christian. God never designed the Christian life to be lived alone but within the context of a local fellowship.
While the study will not be released until late 2019, the main arguments of the study are presented concisely this week’s podcast. We pray it will turn your hearts to begin asking important questions regarding how your local body approaches preaching, worship, discipline, and fellowship.
There are not resources to link to in this week’s episode because the study will not be released until later this year. You can keep up with the progress of the study by signing up for the Media Gratiae email list or following us on our social media platforms: YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
0:00 This week Matthew is joined by Jeff Johnson. Long-time listeners will be familiar with Jeff as he has appeared on the podcast once before. We filmed this week’s podcast outside of Oxford, England on the international filming trip for our next big project. Matthew spends a few minutes introducing Jeff and the project we are working on.
2:00 Matthew and Jeff discuss where we have been on this filming trip and share why each place is important to the study. The places included Tunis, Rome, Lyon, Switzerland, Wittenburg, and England.
10:00 What exactly is this project and why are we making it? You have heard us mention the documentary, but that is only one aspect of the film. There are three others. There is a book titled The Church: The Pillar and Ground of the Truth. In both of these aspects, we trace how the doctrine of the Church has developed over the centuries.
13:00 Jeff further explains why the local church is vitally important to every Christian. He also briefly shares what makes and marks a healthy church.
14:00 Matthew begins focusing on the other two elements of the project. The first is The Church: Her Nature, Purpose, Authority, and Worship. There will also be a 12-week video teaching series that accompanies it. The idea behind these elements is that a group within a church would read a chapter of the book through the week and then come together to watch a lesson taught by Jeff and discuss it.
16:00 Jeff gives his prayer for the project as a whole. Primarily he prays God uses it as a resource to show Christians the beauty of the local church. Being involved in a local church is not optional for the Christian. We are commanded to be involved in the lives of other believers around us. We should submit to church leaders and hold those leaders to the biblical standard.
19:00 When it comes to how a church approaches teaching, worship, discipline, and other biblical practices, what does it use as the standard? Are its attempts to honor God antithetical to His revealed will? God doesn’t lay out every detail for how a church should operate in Scripture. But He does give principles we must follow. Jeff explains how the church he pastors applies some of these principles.
22:00 Jeff and Matthew discuss the essentials of a worship service and what has historically been called the “accidentals” of the worship. The essentials are things that transcend time and culture. The accidentals are things that can be unique to a particular church situation.
25:00 There are people who need to be challenged regarding their view and practice of church. We pray this project will challenge some wrong views. But we do not want to beat truth into their hearts. Rather, the goal is to show the beauty of the bride of Christ and help them see her through the eyes of the Bridegroom.
29:00 Jeff was recently in Cuba where he was internally rebuked because he saw a Christian who was so excited about Sunday. Jeff says the man looked as though it was Christmas morning because he had the opportunity to meet with God corporately. We pray this study gives us that same excitement to meet with God in the midst of a local body of Christians.
32:00 Jeff and Matthew stop to thank everyone who is and has been praying for this project. Please continue bringing this project before the throne of our Father. Pray that it will be pleasing to Him and beneficial to His bride.
Below the video we link to every sermon from the conference. We pray you will find them as beneficial as we have.
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