Summary: This was written for the church I was an associate pastor in before we planted our new church. Because of devotion in service to the Lord, He gave them their own building, and this is the first sermon preached in that new building.
by Pastor Bruce Ball
Senior Pastor, CrossWinds Bible Church
(former Associate Pastor of Grace Christian Church)
Please allow me to deviate a bit from my usual message topics. Today, I want to talk to you about this church, and what it has done, what it is because of that, and what it will be doing in the future. Our church is not a large church, but it is a very great church. It is a powerful church for God! We study the holy Word of God. We pray over the Word of God. We talk about the Word of God. And, we simply try to follow the Word of God.
This morning is a very special morning. Not just for Grace Christian Church, but for the entire community in this area, and for the entire community of God.
This morning marks the first service in our new church building. This church started as a brand new church plant 2 years ago, this past August. Since then, it has remained faithful in its focus on the Lord, and its goal of making sure everything we do is biblical in nature.
To make sure that it is biblical in all it does, a church must commit to a variety of different areas. In my opinion, among the most important are the five mentioned here:
1. We have kept vigilant in the duty (and the desire) to pray.
2. We have devoted ourselves to loving our fellowship with others and having the desire to share God’s word of salvation with them.
3. We have been diligent in helping to spread the gospel by our generous missions giving and our personal testimonies in our lives.
4. We have been keenly aware of the need to invite the Holy Spirit into our church,
5. and we have always tried to seek God’s face and His desires for this church.
I will expand more on these areas in a few moments. For now, though, I want to say that I truly think God has blessed us by allowing us to move from the office space we held services in, to this wonderful building that He has supplied. We must always remember that we are here for a season. This is the first of many steps that the Lord God will bless us with.
So, if the Lord has loved us enough to bless us with this move, what must we do from this point in time? We are going to be talking about our future in a moment, but first, let us read the main text of today’s sermon. Please turn to LUKE 5:1-11 and read with me.
LET US OPEN IN PRAYER
A moment ago, I quickly outlined five areas of prime importance that a church must follow if it is going to be a strong biblical church for God. Let me expand on them now.
FROM THE BEGINNING UNTIL NOW:
1. We committed ourselves to prayer
This body of believers are just wonderful Christians who do love to pray!
I have told you before that when Diana and I came to our first service here, the very first thing we noticed was the depth of love for praying that existed in this church.
We have been told over and over in scripture to pray.
NIV - ‘Pray continually.’
NLT - ‘Keep on praying.’
KJV - ‘Pray without ceasing.’
This church does, indeed, believe in the supernatural power of prayer to the Father! We know
that no matter how much one prays, it is never enough. We simply cannot pray as much as we should.
2. We kept in fellowship.
The second thing we noticed when we first came to this church was its genuine love for others. You went out of your way to really make us feel very welcomed. You made us feel as if we were actually wanted here by each one of you. You truly made us feel as if we had found our ‘home’.
But we need to be very careful when fellowshipping with other Christians. I knew a man at another church who told me that he loved to fellowship with others, but they did not seem to want to fellowship with him. I asked him why, and he said he thought he only had one talent – the talent of criticism.
I told him that the Bible tells us that the man with only one talent went out and buried his: I told him that it might be better if he did the same.
We have also been commanded to love one another in Christian fellowship.
KJV - ‘For your fellowship in the gospel, from the first day until now.’
NLT - ‘because you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.’