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Summary: Strong churches are like strong homes, they don’t “just happen”. It takes work to make them strong. Let's look at some ways from the scriptures.

Strong churches are like strong homes, they don’t “just happen”. There are some very important ingredients – key parts. I feel the starting point to understand and remember, “It’s God’s church and it’s God’s plan.”

1. Ephesians 5:25; The church is the object of Christ’s love.

2. 1 Corinthians 3:9-11; Christ is the founder, foundation and cornerstone of His church. Ephesians 2:20

“The church is the body of which Jesus is the head” Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18

3. The church (this church) is commissioned and commanded to preach the gospel to the whole world. Mark 16:15

a. This church has a great task or job. “telling lost sinners how to be saved.”

b. Many things hinder us from accomplishing this task.

1) Self-centeredness, thinking too much of one’s self.

2) Unconfessed and unrepented sin (tolerance of sin)

3) A spirit of worldliness (do it the world’s way)

4) Lack of commitment, irresponsibility, and apathy, coldness of heart, unconcern, unfaithfulness.

5) Failing to love one another in Jesus name.

4. However, there are some things that are a must in building a strong church.

5. The book of Acts has been called “the handbook for the New Testament church.”

- A pattern, an example.

I have some honest questions:

#1 Do we really want a strong church?

#2 Are we willing to pay the price for a strong church?

#3 If every member of our church was like you, what kind of a church would we have?

Attendance, inviting others, giving

I. A Strong Church is Great in Prayer and Power Acts 4:31-33

1. This church will be no stronger in prayer and power than its people.

2. Power in prayer. 4:31

3. Power in speaking God’s word, 4:13, 4:31, bold, confidence, courage, cheerful

4. Power in witnessing. 4:33

5. Power in soul-winning 1:8

6. Power in evangelism

II. A Strong Church is Great in Grace Acts 4:33

1. Saving grace. Ephesians 2:8

2. Serving grace. 2 Corinthians 4:8-18; ministry, serving and suffering

3. Sharing grace – giving grace. 2 Corinthians 8:1-7

III. A Strong Church is Great in Fear Acts 5:5

1. Does this church fear God?

a. Deuteronomy 4:10, Ecclesiastes 12:13

b. Hebrews 10:30-31, Romans 3:10-18

2. We are not to fear man. Matthew 10:28

3. The fear of God needs to take hold of us

a. Causing us to examine ourselves

b. Change our priorities Proverbs 8:13

1) If you fear God, you will hate evil, pride.

4. The fear of God strengthens a people and a church.

a. Proverbs 1:7, 10:27, Ecclesiastes 8:11-13

b. Psalm 25:14, 34:9-11, Proverbs 1:22-29

IV. A Strong Church is Great in Persecution Acts 8:1-4

1. Persecution will help you to know who you really are.

a. Will help you to know what is really important to you.

b. Acts 4:17-20, 5:27-29, 40-42

2. Shadrack, Meshach, Abednego – Daniel 3:11

3. God uses persecution to accomplish His will and work.

a. Word “scattered” – same word in 1 Peter 1:1

b. Means “seed sown by the sower”

4. Christians in a bible preaching church and who are living a godly life should expect persecution. 2 Timothy 3:10-13

V. A Strong Church is Great in Joy Acts 8:5-8, 2 Timothy 2:3

1. How can we know a “great church”?

a. Christ being preached

b. People in one accord – unity

c. Souls – saved – lives changed – homes strengthened

2. Our opportunity to build a stronger, greater church, has never been better and more needed.

a. More problems and needs in the lives of people.

3. We just need to “do it”

a. 2 Corinthians 8:11; “now therefore perform the doing of it”

b. Acts 20:28-32

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