Summary: The only way to produce a mature disciple is by teaching the Word of God.
Today’s Main Idea: The only way to produce a mature disciple is by teaching the Word of God.
One of the strongest characteristics of FBC is our commitment to Biblical teaching. We began last week by looking at the Essentials of the church, looking to the things that the first Christians did in Acts 2. We examined EVANGELISM, last week as we studied the result of Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost. Today, we want to look at the SECOND ESSENTIAL. Following the proclomation of the gospel, Acts 2:42 describes what the Church did. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” So today, we will look at Essential Two: Teaching the Word.
I received a VERY ENCOURAGING LETTER from someone who has been visiting FBC:
Dear Pastor Paul,
Please be encouraged by your flock.
My wife and I are a young married couple (24) and were visitors in your church this morning. We have been looking endlessly to find a church around home over the past year. It has been very discouraging trying to find a solid Bible-focused church, with conservative theology, exegetical preaching, and also has an average age of under 70.
A co-worker of mine invited us to Faith Bible. Upon pulling in the first thing we noticed was everyone walking in carrying their Bibles. Many folks greeted us and welcomed us. We found empty seats near the back where we sat next to a gentleman and his family.
We opened the bulletin and saw you were teaching from Nehemiah - believe it or not many of the churches we've been to the pastor just pulls one random sentence Jesus said and just tells story after story to make everyone feel better. I am not convinced that is what Christ has called us to.
After the service, the man we sat next to thanked us for visiting. After a hand shake, he asked if my wife and I were doing anything for lunch; he proceeded to invite us over for lunch. I was rendered speechless at the love I could see in him. Unfortunately we had to get going home. But I will say, if I we were not already followers of Christ and we went to lunch with him and his family, we would have come to faith just seeing how evident the love of Christ was in him.
I decided to send this to you, because I want you to be encouraged as a shepherd that members of your flock are walking in the light. We were excited leaving, and looking forward to coming back.
I include that letter here because it is one of the nicest letters I’ve ever received from a visitor. The testimony from this letter demonstrates the importance of teaching matched with kindness and fellowship.. Sometimes we can be discouraged by little problems and challenges in the church. This letter reminded me that we have a great church and should be thankful for the people that are a part of this church family!
This should encourage us to STAY COMMITTED to the WORD of GOD
There is a debate about whether or not the Church should be emphatic about Truth since we are living in an age of moral relativism.
Even the POPE is following this idea...
Pope Francis wrote a lengthy letter to a newspaper, La Repubblica, in which he said:
“God forgives those who obey their conscience,”
Even unsaved, theologically ignorant newscasters recognized the unorthodoxy of this statement, which ran on every news outlet.
In this interview, the Pope was asked whether “the Christian God forgives those who do not believe and do not seek faith.”
He replied, “The question for those who do not believe in God is to follow their own conscience. Sin, even for a non-believer, is when one goes against one’s conscience.”
Now there are many doctrinal problems within the Catholic church - an institution that promotes a gospel different from the gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. However, this statement represents a new departure from the truth of Scripture, even for the Catholic church.
Jesus did not come to save us from our CONSCIENCE. He suffered to save us from SIN
Isaiah 53:6 (ESV) “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
So, we as Faith Bible Church, and every other Bible preaching church, need to continue to hold to unapologetic biblical teaching and not cave in to the pressure to make our message more accommodating to our post-modern, believe-whatever-makes-sense-to-you, world.
But HOW do we teach the truth?
We need to be more than just vending machines spewing out true sayings from the Bible.