Summary: This sermon is the second of five in the series on The Church Health Review which encourages God’s people to participate in The Church Health Review event and instrument.
This message concerns our coming Church Health Review (CHR). Next Sunday, Monday evening and Tuesday evening will be a pivotal point in the history of FBC Ashland. What happens next week and in the weeks beyond that will have everything to do with the brightness of the present and future of this great church. This CHR is probably more important that any revival emphasis or renewal event we could ever have at FBC.
For that reason I am urging your prayer preparation and your personal participation. Don’t be missing in action, absent from attendance, derelict in your duty or obsolete from the opportunity to share your perceptions, insights and input during Sunday School next Sunday at 9:45 A.M. Lets have a total attendance of over 200 and I even challenge you to get 230 by the time we meet at 10:05 here in the Sanctuary. That will help us to dig deep and lay a foundation on rock as our text tells us to do. So let’s read from Luke 6:46-49 about “Foundations for a Healthy Church.”
I. Have a Vision About Where We’re Going
In the fairy tale, Alice in Wonderland I believe it was the Cheshire Cat who said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” It could be we’re just living a fairy tale if we don’t come to a vision of where God wants us as a church to go. And the reason being, a part of the foundation of a healthy church is to have a vision of where we’re going as a community of Christians. If we as a Body of Believers do not clearly know where we’re going – how in the world will we ever get there or even have an inkling if we are headed in the right direction?
God has a desire - for “The Common Made Holy” and we talked about that last week. God desires to have a host of sons and daughters who would bring glory to Him. God also has a unique design for this church, and He wants it to be and do what He purposes right now and in the future. And finally, God has specific directions He wants this church to go in now and in the future. He must reveal that in and through His people during and after our CHR. In this day and hour we can no longer “play church” as members of God’s kingdom and leaders of Jesus’ church. We need to know and define who we are, our purpose and what we are about, our strategy to be and do who God says we are. Churches and leaders need to know where we have been, where we are now, and where we believe God wants us to go if we are to be a healthy church. We must come to a place where we depend on God to reveal His vision – a picture of what God wants to do through FBC Ashland.
II. Have a Definition of A Healthy Church
So what is a healthy church? According to the CHR, a healthy church is a biblically functioning community of believers committed to Jesus Christ. And as such, I believe we can discern God’s will best when we share in a context of total care and total honesty. With God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, and our response to Him as our compass, we will find God’s vision and then it will become our responsibility and privilege to follow God’s direction for FBC Ashland both now and into the future. So what are the foundations for a healthy church upon which we can build God’s vision and become a biblically functioning community of believers committed to Jesus Christ?
III. Have an Understanding that Jesus Is Lord
For that we look to our text to hear what Jesus has to say and I think he makes 2 points in this passage of Scripture. He makes the point that “Jesus is Lord” and that the “Foundation for a Healthy Church is laid.” Notice in v. 46, Jesus asks the question: “Why do you call ME Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?” Who is Jesus to you & to me? LORD! The Greek “kurios” and in English we understand it to mean master, owner, boss, order giver, teller (not a bank teller, one who gives money, but one who gives us directions, who tells us what to do). In fact, Jesus says to His disciples in the most intimate, close, and deep time of their earthly relationship at John 13:13, “You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am.” Jesus says clearly that “I am your Lord.” And He must be as someone said, “Lord of all or He is not Lord at all!” He “owns the cattle on a thousand hills” and He says that “the silver and the gold is mine” – He is Lord. If He is Lord then we are His servants. If He is Master, then we are His slaves. The Bible calls us “bond slaves” which means people who have been set free from bondage, but who have chosen to remain as slaves to their master from whom they were set free to serve Him because we love Him and are loved by Him. And because He is Lord we need to listen to what He has to say.