Summary: Discusses the biblical admonitions related to the Lord’s church
Church. The Way it’s supposed to be.
Five characteristics of a church that pleases God. It is:
1. Perceptive enough to withstand sweet talk
§ We will never deny that worldly wisdom is arguable.
Robertson -The art of persuasion is the height of oratory, but it easily degenerates into trickery and momentary and flashy deceit…
§ We will never deny that world wisdom is persuasive.
Watch infocommercial. Seems to make sense. Holiday Magic. Aside: if it seems to be too good to be true, it is.
If you have a question, ask somebody.
A school teacher lost her life savings in a business scheme that had been elaborately explained by a swindler. When her investment disappeared and her dream was shattered, she went to the Better Business Bureau. “Why on earth didn’t you come to us first?” the official asked. “Didn’t you know about the Better Business Bureau?”
“Oh, yes,” said the lady sadly. “I’ve always known about you. But I didn’t come because I was afraid you’d tell me not to do it.”
§ Know that worldly wisdom is deceptive.
Lit: to cheat by false reckoning, to deceive by false reasoning.
Essential truth: within the church.
2. Disciplined enough to organize correctly
“good order”. Reference is to a military line: unbroken, intact. We stand straight.
To have a church full of good order, requires a church full of disciples.
Many Christians are only "Christaholics" and not disciples at all. Disciples are cross-bearers; they seek Christ. Christaholics seek happiness. Disciples dare to discipline themselves, and the demands they place on themselves leave them enjoying the happiness of their growth. Christaholics are escapists looking for a shortcut to nirvana. Like drug addicts, they are trying to "bomb out" of their depressing world.
There is no automatic joy. Christ is not a happiness capsule; he is the way to the Father. But the way to the Father is not a carnival ride in which we sit and do nothing while we are whisked through various spiritual sensations.
-- Calvin Miller in The Taste of Joy.
3. Spiritual enough to exhibit strong faith
Reference again is to a military line: unbroken, intact. We stand firm. Link the shields and move forward.
Obstacles in the pathway of the weak become stepping-stones in the pathway of the strong.
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
Refuse to allow the hits of living in a sinful world to deter us from our ultimate goal: glorifying Christ.
4. Faithful enough to be firm
§ Primary issue is Lordship. As you have received Him as Lord, walk in Him as Lord. Who controls the church? Emphatic construction. THE LORD>
We are an autonomous, local church. Explanation of our system.
Pastor in a congregational church must be strong enough to lead but wise enough to allow the Lord to use His body to accomplish His will.
§ Primary direction is depth. Constant spiritual growth in the believers of the church is the necessary business of the church.
Rooting – once for all. Faith at the beginning takes root and begins to grow.
Built up and established – moment by moment…. Faith cannot stop. Trusting every moment.
Goal of worship. Goal of program. Increasingly more aware of Christ Jesus the Lord and His desire.
Extremes – Dead orthodoxy; uncontrolled spontaneity. Pleasing the Lord of the church.
5. Wise enough to be astounded by the blessings
Overflowing with thanksgiving. A church should recognize how it has been blessed.
Besetting sin of a small church – do it the way we’re comfortable. Blessed to move beyond. What can we do to accomplish our mission for Him in this world? Never a full answer. Progressive answer. Pilgrimage.