No church is an island. Churches should be connected to each other just as the one body of Christ. Denominations help serve that. I know we often think of denominations as dividing the church, splitting it up into vanilla, strawberry, cherry and so forth, different flavors.
I really think that denominations are not the ideal. What would be the ideal is that all the particular churches spread throughout the world were united simply under one organizational institutional banner, that of Jesus Christ. When we talk about the unity of the church, the first thing we need to say about the subject is that the body of Christ is one objectively.
How do we know that? Then he redeemed his church. We are united as one body because we are connected to one head, Jesus Christ. He's the head and we are members, he's the vine, and we're the branches. It's very important that we begin there the church is one. The church that will be unveiled on the last day when Christ returns will not be a mixed assembly, it won't be made up of believers and unbelievers.
There won't be any hypocrites there won't be any people who are only in name Christians but don't really trust in Jesus Christ. It will be a perfect church, a holy church, the full number of all of those whom God gave to Christ before the foundation of the world. Now, we look at the church visibly and it looks like a mess. Well, so was Israel. In addition, many young people generally hesitate to make any kind of serious commitment.
It is because they cannot trust institutions and leaders who have disappointed them. We can understand this. Nevertheless, commitment to a local church is not an option for a Christian. We need to help young people to commit themselves to a local church so that they may grow in faith in Jesus. Every one of us is a saint in isolation.
Spiritual Growth in Four Essential Steps
It is in the church that our real weaknesses, flaws and sins are exposed. That is why we need the Christian community, the church. We can experience the transforming power of the gospel in the church. Another important task of the church is to preach the gospel to the world.
The church should be a missional community. In fact, all Christians are missionaries. We are called to share the gospel with our neighbors. All Christians are sent by Jesus to bring the gospel to the broken world. To sum up, the church must preach the gospel, experience the power of the gospel, and preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. When we consider the identifying marks and gospel-centered nature of the church, we can be confident that we are indeed a church in the true sense of the word. Most UBF local churches are strongly focused on gospel preaching and practicing the sacraments.
But some small house churches do not seem to observe communion. As a church, we should observe communion at least once a year. Thus far, we have thought about the nature and purpose of the church.
Now we want to think about how to build up a healthy church. This is the emphasis of the book of Ephesians, which we will study in this conference. Through Christ, God reconciles all things to himself 1Co ; 2Co This is a perfect plan without any flaw. We were dead in our transgressions and sins, and we were by nature deserving of wrath ,3. But because of his great love for us, God has freely given his glorious grace and made us alive with Christ b; a. Everything should function out of love. God designed his plan and carries it out with great wisdom.
With all wisdom and understanding, God made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ b Though one has a great plan, and wisdom and love, without power, the plan cannot be carried out. God has great power. God created all things b. He is over all and through all and in all God exerted this power when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us It is for the praise of his glory ,12, God created a new humanity the church , through Christ, who is our peace.
9 Things That Worked in the Church A Decade Ago That Don’t Today
God has a vision for his church that all believers may become one in Christ. In chapters , Paul teaches us how to realize this great vision practically. Paul urges us to live a life worthy of the calling we have received He stresses the importance of being completely humble, gentle, patient and of bearing with one another in love, being eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit Humility is the first virtue mentioned. Humility is the foundation of all virtue, and it is most essential for unity. Behind all division and conflict there is pride. When we do so, the body of Christ can be built up and grows to maturity In the body metaphor, Christ is the head and each member is a part of his body.
Christ is perfect and he supplies everything his body needs.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life 2Pe Jesus is the source of life who enables us to bear good fruit Jn Jesus fills everything in every way Eph The head has no problem at all. But the body must be built up. We are all members of his body b; Each member is responsible for building up the body. What, then, should the members do? On the negative side, each one must fight against their own sinful nature, putting off the old self We must stop lying and deceiving each other We need to stop stealing We need to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice We should not get drunk on wine These things are like cancer.
If we find even a small tumor that is cancerous, we need to cut it out right away. Otherwise, it grows and spreads until it destroys the body. Positively, each one must put on the new self. Particularly, we should be made new in the attitudes of our minds and live in true righteousness and holiness As God is holy, we should be holy. We should speak the truth in love ,25 , work hard and be a blessing b,29b , be kind and compassionate toward one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave us We are called to live as children of light in this dark world , to find out what pleases the Lord , to live wisely , and to be filled with the Spirit, singing spiritual songs and giving thanks to God To have a healthy church, there should be healthy households, and especially healthy marriages.
A family is constituted by a marriage covenant Gen ; Mal The intimacy and unity that should exist between members of a family begin with a husband and wife joined together by covenant in the sight of God through vows. Wives must submit to their husbands and respect them, just as the church submits to and respects Christ Their relationship reflects that of Christ and the church.
As husbands learn to love their own wives unconditionally, and wives learn to respect their husbands unconditionally, they become one, fruitful and happy. Through their healthy marriages, children learn to obey their parents in the Lord When we think of Ephesians , four virtues are important to build up a healthy church.
When we hear these words, we feel very burdensome. In fact, we cannot put these things into practice with our own effort. That is why we need Jesus. Jesus, who is the head, fills us with everything that we need. When we come to Jesus, he helps us to be humble, holy, true.
- The MacArthur Topical Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to Every Major Topic Found in the Bible;
- 5 Hard Truths About Healthy Church Growth.
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Jesus enables us to love others, especially, forgive others. The church is made up of all kinds of different people from different backgrounds.
Inevitably, conflicts arise. In a church like UBF, made up of many different ethnic groups, these conflicts can be quite complicated. At the same time, the church is made up of all kinds of sinners, at various stages of spiritual maturity.
2. Appealing to people out of guilt or obligation
This is also a main cause of conflict. How can we resolve all kinds of conflicts? Only in the cross of Jesus. Jesus destroyed the barriers between God and people, and those among people.
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