Summary: What should faith look like in a church body?
Many times over the years I am asked what kind of church do I want to pastor or what kind of church is Gap Creek. Sometimes that question is asked because to be a great church requires a lot of change. Most churches are unaware of what needs to change in order for them to go from a good church to a great church.
My response often catches people off guard because it’s so simple and yet so under utilized. I just want us to be a church of faith. Not in a religious sense but in a real daily practice. Many times people will say we are a people of faith and what they mean is we practice religion. I want to be a person who exercises faith.
Where faith is a way a life that means we trust God no matter what the circumstance. Faith means believing what we cannot see so even if the way looks filled with trouble the life of faith says God is bigger than the situation.
"Faith enables us to understand what God does. Faith enables us to see what others cannot see. As a result, faith enables us to do what others cannot do." Warren Wiersbe
I want us to be Faith Church a church that really believes God and trusts God.
Paul was in prison. He faced a capital crime and there was a strong chance he might be executed. He did not think so, but there was a possibility. He was not sure if he would ever see the Philippian church again, so he sat down and began to write to them. What would you say if you were writing to a group of God’s people for the last time? One of the subjects that concerned Paul was the subject of this passage: the marks of a great church. The Philippian church was a great church, and Paul wanted it to remain great. Therefore, he reviewed with them the marks of a great Christian church.
What then makes a church great? I mean if the church across town is doing program and people want that then does every church in town need to do that? Do buildings make a church great? If we were running 1,000 in worship would we be great then? What if we had no debt or what if we had all Senior Adults or all young adults or what if we sang nothing but those types of songs would our church be great then?
I don’t believe any of those things make a great church. I believe what makes a great church is the faith that the church has no matter what size they are. If we were a church of 40 or 4,000 Jesus smiles when we trust Him to do what we cannot do. So let me give you today the marks of a great church.
I. A Testimony of Consistency (v.27a)
A church of faith is consistent in their testimony regardless of the situation. No matter what we face we stay on a constant plane emotionally. We don’t worry over the little things we trust that God will make a way.
“Einstein said that the reason he could construct the theory of relativity was because there is one thing in the world that is unchangeable. That one thing—the speed of light—is the only constant in this physical, material universe.
Light travels at the rate of one hundred eighty six thousand miles per second—seven times around the world at the tick of a clock.”
A. Our Citizenship—“conduct” The word “conversation” or “conduct” is significant. A.T. Robertson points out that this word is used only twice in the New Testament (Acts 23:1; Phil. 1:27) It means conduct and behavior, but more accurately it means the conduct and behavior of citizenship, of a person who is the citizen of a great nation. The Philippian church knew exactly what Paul was saying: they were citizens of heaven. They were to speak the clean and pure language of heaven
• bear the title of Christian, and do so proudly.
• allow no infiltration of worldly influence whatsoever.
• live and conduct themselves as a heavenly colony within a polluted and dying environment.
We are citizens of Heaven and therefore must look, act, and talk like representatives of God’s Heavenly land.
The Bible says in1 Peter 2:11-12, “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (NIV)
B. Our Standing—“worthy of the gospel of Christ” The word worthy means to fit, correspond or be suitable. No church and no believer within the church is to bring dishonor to the gospel. If a person professes the gospel he is to live worthy of the gospel. His conduct and behavior is to fit and correspond to the gospel he professes.