We Need Christ


Martin Luther (1483-1546) strongly challenged the church of his day over un-biblical practices like forgiving sins for financial contributions or the veneration of artifacts, that were drastically clouding over the Good News. It’s recorded that Luther’s spiritual father at the time pleaded with him to take it easy and not push so hard for reformation.  “But Martin, if we get rid of all these things – the practices so many common people cling to – what will we give them in their place?

Luther replied firmly and intently, “Why, Sir, we will give them Christ! Yes, we will give them Christ!”

Churchianity is today ripe with our share of un-Biblical practices. Traditions. Rituals. Spiritualism. Relativism. Cultural relevance. Religion.

What we need is Christ.

I did not come to you with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:1-2).


About Richard L Rice

Just an ordinary, balding, blind guy, making my way to Heaven by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus alone. Richard L Rice has been an ordained minister since 1986, and pastored 6 churches. A graduate of Multnomah School of the Bible (Portland, OR) and Abilene Bible Seminary (Abilene, KS), Richard is the author of numerous books, including commentaries on Matthew, Romans, the Minor Prophets, and the Pastoral Epistles of Paul. He is the pastor of a congregation in Portland, Oregon, and serves on the faculty of the Berean School of Ministry in Tala, Kenya. He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife Kimberly and son Daniel. Further details about him can be found written on the pages of his blog.
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4 Responses to We Need Christ

  1. Leonas Lines says:

    So true. And now, I shudder to think what Luther would say if he knew a Muslim was invited to pray to Allah at a concert in Luther’s church in Germany. Watch this video: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152153792271668

  2. Paul Quixote says:

    Here’s the thing that tends to trip me up. Is the Church at odds with Christ? If so, why? What human or group of humans exactly was incompetent enough (capable, even!) of letting it be? I realize, yes, humans are imperfect or flawed, that much is self-evident. But this is His Church we are talking about here. And which He said the gates of Hades (as we are to believe) would never prevail against. Trips me up.

    Peace and blessings, Pastor.

    • Thank you for both reading and commenting.

      Jesus told a parable about the kingdom of heaven being like a wheat field, recorded in Matthew 13:24-30. A man seeded his field with wheat, but in the night an enemy entered the field and purposely seeded the ground with tares (weeds). Growing tares look exactly like the growing wheat, largely indistinguishable until both plants reach maturity. When the servants questioned what to do, the owner of the field said to let both plants continue to grow until the harvest, then he would instruct “the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.'”

      Biblical theology differentiates between the “universal” Church and the “local” church. The universal Church is composed of all those, through the history of time, who have entered the kingdom of God through the new birth by faith alone in Christ alone (Jn 3:3).

      The local church is made of all those who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, plus all those who call themselves Christians or seekers or whatever term they like today but are not saved. These unbelievers attach themselves to the local church for a variety of reasons (culture, tradition, good works, I actually knew a man who used local churches as a great place to pick up lonely women, etc). To use your words, the local church is very often “at odds with Christ”, while the universal Church is His bride and lives only to adore and serve Him.

      It is the “universal” Church which stands triumphant; the local church is full of wheat and tares, distinguishable only to the Master (2 Tim 2:19) who will one day separate the two. Until then, the wheat and tares grow up together; the wheat for the master’s barn, the tares planted by the enemy to corrupt and destroy the wheat.

      I hope this helps.

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