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2. God has established a standard of excellence for His church. God’s standard of excellence can be seen in the Book of Acts and in the Epistles. Many churches have forsaken God’s standard of excellence revealed in the Scriptures by buying into slick market-driven public relations approaches. We have a pattern for excellence. We need to take these Biblical principles and use them in a way that people today can understand. The size of the congregation is irrelevant. The standard of excellence fits all sizes of congregations.
3. The early church engaged its culture-a pagan culture. They did not do it by holding on to previous traditions and religions. Of course there were some people that did not want to change things. That is what the Jerusalem conference was about in Acts 15. They applied the standard of excellence: prayer, dependence upon the Holy Spirit, the power of God working and yielding through them as they engaged a culture. They did not care who got the glory. They worshipped. They equipped believers. They broke out of their shells. They went outside where the people were; in the work place, in the marketplace, and they engaged their culture. God has a standard of excellence. The Church of Jesus Christ desperately needs to rediscover that standard. If we do, the glory of God will come. If we do not, we will hobble around substituting shields of brass for shields of gold.
The Standard Of Excellence Removed
2 Chronicles 12:9
1. Shishak, the pharaoh of Egypt, attacked Israel and stole all the shields of gold. The standard of excellence was removed from the people of God because they had forsaken Him. In verse 5 God said, “Because you have forsaken me, you will fall”. They were invaded from the outside because they become infected from the inside. They forgot God. They forgot that God is in control. We find this warning over and over in Scripture.
2. After Rehoboam rose to power and established the kingdom of Judah, he forgot God. The standard of excellence was removed. At the end of Solomon’s reign his glory and greatness dwindled. His kingdom was divided. Enemies hovered around Jerusalem. Five years into the reign of Rehoboam, Shiskhak of Egypt robbed Israel of its former glory. There are lots of churches that stood and watched their former greatness dwindle and their own kingdoms divided for the same reasons. Now they are still polishing brass. They are trying to shine up the outside to make it look as if nothing has changed. Rehoboam needed advice for what to say to the people. He received advice from two groups.
2 Chronicles 10:6-11
3. Contradictory counsel is still around. There is a tension in many churches. Should we be “contemporary”, or “traditional”, or fundamental, etc…? Do we need to change everything or never change anything? Here is the answer. The Christian message never changes. How we package it doesn’t matter. Who are we depending on? God will remove His standard away if we forget Him.
The Standard Of Excellence Replaced
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