Sermons

Summary: In this focus on developing a healthy church, Pastor Terry begins a series focused on developing CORE within the Body. What is CORE? Check it out.

2009, I believe, is going to be one of the most interesting years for the Church, and for the individual members of the Body of Christ.

I don’t get into these internet “prophets” as a general rule, but I have been particularly interested in what some have had to say regarding the current and upcoming state of affairs in regard to the national and global economy. What interests me the most is, at least on the surface, how contrary some of them seem to be with each other.

 One will say that this is a season of purification and judgment.

 Another will declare that God is revealing the weakness of mammon in order to magnify the strength of the Church.

 This one will say we are just beginning to walk into the worst of things while that one is reporting prosperity is about to flow again.

 One trumpets a fearful warning to “Check your Faith” while another gleefully shouts “Let faith arise”.

Some, who tend to try to discredit the Gift of Prophecy anyway, might say “See there, contradiction!! How can they all be hearing from God and declaring such different messages”?

Truth is, their messages aren’t that much different. On the surface, it may seem they’re miles apart, but I can see a consistent message.

Do you believe God is at the center of what is going on in the World today? If you have a secular world view, maybe not, but if you have a biblical world view, that answer is a solid “YES”!

To those with ears to hear and eyes to see, God uses the circumstances of life to reveal His sovereignty, His authority and His glory.

That is no less true in the current world circumstances, our national crisis, our local situation and right here on the corner of Grand and Louisiana.

In the Church at Ephesus, God used some conflicts around marriage to unveil a greater spiritual revelation about Christ’s relationship with the Church. Today, I believe God is using these hard economic times to reveal the significance of the Church in the world today.

What I believe, on a broad level, God is saying in this season is that He is removing the excess.

Excess can easily take our eyes off of God

Excess can weaken our reliance on God

See, God wants the Body of Christ to be healthy….

Vss. 26-27

that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

I believe in the importance and significance of the local church.

Thank God for Christian Radio

Thank God for Tele-Evangelism

Thank God for the global impact of Cyber-Evangelism

Thank God for the networking of Para-church ministries

They all have their place in the purpose of the Kingdom, but their focus must be to point men and women to the local church.

If you and I are to be a part of a healthy church, we must never lose our individual focus on Its importance and significance – to us as members of it – and to relevance to world around us.

1. I believe that the local Church is divinely instituted and is the chosen instrument of God for the furtherance of His work upon the earth.

Consider with me Ephesians 4:11-16

• Who was Paul addressing? A Local Church

• To whom were these gifts given? To the Church

• For what purposes?

o Equipping – mending a broken part, to bring or return to a state of wholeness

o Ergonomitry (Ergon=work) “the creation of maximum comfort, efficiency, safety and “ease of use”.

o Ministry = Diakonia compassionate, loving service especially within the community of Faith.

 Diakonos = Deacon - at a very granular level we are all called to be a deacon (servant)

2. I believe that a Healthy Church is a place where every believer can find a place to express their gifts and talents as a means of witness and edification.

Vs 16

from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

a. I believe that through what is going on around us God is bringing the Church back to its “core”.

i. We’ve traded Theology for the Theater

ii. We’ve traded the Sanctuary for the Sensational

iii. We’ve sold godliness for “good times”

b. I do not look at the spiritual horizon and see doom and gloom, but The Church must, this church must, I must return to the core.

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