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If Jesus is not the head of this church, we will not be successful for God.
We can be filled to rafters with people in this building.
We can have millions of dollars in our bank account.
We can help the poor and the disadvantaged/ even do miracles in the streets, but if Jesus is not the head of this church Ė we will be worthless to God.
Jesus said: ďMany will say to me on that day, ĎLord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?í Then I will tell them plainly, ĎI never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!íĒ Matthew 7:22-23
If Jesus is not the head of the church - if we are not obedient to Him - then we can be as successful in worldly measures as we could possible dream to be, and Jesus would still reject us on the day of judgment.
So, principle #1 Ė Jesus must be the head of our church.
Principle #2 is found in Titus 1:3.
ďand at his appointed season he (Jesus) brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior.Ē
What Paul is saying here is this:
Jesus gave Paul the words he was preaching.
Paul was divinely inspired.
Paul did not give us his personal opinions.
When he preached/ wrote, he was communicated the explicit instructions of his Savior.
Now I believe that - when I prepare my sermons - I am guided by the Holy Spirit. I spend a great deal of time in prayer and in the Word and I am convinced God helps me to put together sermons like the one youíre hearing today.
But MAKE NO MISTAKE - I am nowhere near to being divinely inspired like Paul was.
When I speak from this pulpit, I can make mistakes.
Have any of you ever heard me make mistakes from this pulpit? (my wife raised her hand)
Of course you have.
In the past Iíve sited the wrong scripture passages.
Iíve mispronounced Biblical names (although I find comfort in the fact that probably no one else would have gotten them right anyway).
Iíve even misstated a historical fact or two.
I make mistakes.
Thatís the reason God wants you to examine the SCriptures daily in order to make sure what Iím telling you is true (Acts 17:11)
I make mistakes.
When Paul wrote and taught what he wrote and taught about God, he made no mistakes.
Writing about Paul, the Apostle Peter warns us ďÖour dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave himÖ. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.Ē 2 Peter 3:15-16
In other wordsÖ Paulís words were Godís words.
No preacher or teacher or church leader has the authority to say:
ďI know thatís what Paul saidÖ but I donít agree with that!Ē
Iím sorry Ė only ignorant and unstable people are foolish enough to say that.
They distort and twist Paulís writings to their own destruction.
And you do not want to listen to someone who is that foolish.
You donít even want to be in the same room with those folks Ė lighting might strike!
Principle #2 Ė a successful church will base itself solely on Godís Word.
Whether itís Peter, Paul or Jeremiah. If itís in the pages of Scripture a successful church will put its faith in those words as having no errors and no mistakes.
The 3rd principle for a successful church is having itís own house in order.
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