Sermons

Summary: Jesus loves the church and He wants to see if strong, growing and healthy.

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INTRODUCTION

• SLIDE #1

• I want you to think about FCC for just a moment. When you think of FCC, do you see FCC as a strong vibrant church or do you see a church that is on life support?

• This is an important question because the church is special to Jesus and it is up to each one of us to do what we can through the power of the Holy Spirit within us to do all we can to help make sure that FCC is a healthy church.

• By the way, this is not just about building a healthy church, it is really about building healthy Christians because the church is the body of Christ and we are that body!

• Now as you have pondered that question, by what criteria did you come to your conclusion?

• What did you base your thinking on? How do you know if the church is a strong church or a weak one? Is it only a numbers game?

• If the offerings and attendance are high, that must mean the church is strong?

• Maybe, maybe not.

• It is just about the numbers or are there some other things we can look at to determine if the church is a healthy one?

• Today as we look at the book of Colossians, we are going to look at some ingredients that go into building a healthy church.

• As you read the book of Colossians it is easy to see that Paul has a great love for the church he once persecuted!

• As we dive into the text today, it is my prayer that I along with the leadership team of FCC and the staff are striving to help build FCC into a strong vibrant church that is full of growing, maturing, loving Christians!

• If FCC is going to continue to have an impact on the Sierra Vista community, it is essential that we all strive to keeping FCC a healthy church.

• Let’s begin by looking at Colossians 2:1-2.

• SLIDE #2

Colossians 2:1–2 (ESV) For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,

• SLIDE #3

SERMON

I. A healthy church focuses on building a strong heart.

• The church was important to Paul because it is important to Jesus.

• Sometimes I think it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the church is the bride of Christ and that it is important to Jesus.

• In Colossians 2:1, he says that he has been through a great struggle on behalf of the church.

• The word struggle comes from the word that we know today as “agony”.

• He tells us in chapter 1 verse 29 that he labors hard for the church, to see it be strong.

• Jesus does want to see HIS church weak, wounded and useless.

• A person is only as strong as their heart; a church is only as strong as its heart.

• A healthy person does cardiovascular work to keep the heart strong.

• Paul speaks in verse 1 about how he is hurting inside because he so badly wants to see the folks at Laodicea and Colossae to be strong of heart.

• We use the word heart to also mean determination, or staying with something.

• We see athletes that we will say they have no heart because they fold in the midst of pressure.

• One way to strengthen the heart is through encouragement.

• Paul wants to see the hearts of those in the church encouraged.

• The word encourage literally means to “COME ALONG SIDE OF.”

• Because a person can be called alongside for many purposes, the word has a wide range of meanings including,” to entreat”, appeal to, summon, comfort, exhort, or encourage.

• In the present context, however, it could be translated “strengthen” because the Colossians were inundated by false teachers and needed strengthening rather than comfort.

• WE must remember that during this time in the church, the New Testament had not been compiled so the main source for the church for biblical truth was the Apostles.

• This is one of the reasons the false teachers were able to come in and get such a strong foothold.

• Paul wanted the people to know that what they had been taught was truth.

• When used figuratively in the Bible, the word heart is usually more general and refers broadly to the inner person, the center of life. It often equates specifically to the mind.

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