Summary: The importance of attending church and fellowshipping with other Christians.
LIKE A MIGHTY ARMY
(Importance of Christian Fellowship)
(We’ll Grow in 2007 "IF" Part III)
The third verse of the song, “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” goes:
“Like a mighty army, moves the church of God
Brothers we are treading where the saints have trod.
We are not divided; all one body we
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.”
If Grace Memorial Baptist Church is going to grow in the year 2007, we are going to have to follow the principle set forth in this old hymn. We have to be like a mighty army.
We are one body, and we must not be divided. We are one in the hope of Jesus Christ. We are one in doctrine, and we are one in love, or charity.
I’m not really sure what message the U.S. Army’s recruiting headquarters was trying to send, but in 2001 they started using the slogan, “An Army of One.”
Every time I read or heard that slogan, I scratched my head, because it just didn’t make much sense.
Were they trying to say that each soldier is an individual? Was each soldier supposed to make up their own rules, and do as they pleased? That would never work.
Were they trying to say that they were going to send the soldiers out one at a time? Were they saying that one man could be as effective as an army? None of those things would work.
For an Army to be effective, there must be a large number of men and women, and they must serve as a team.
Each soldier is expected to use the skills he/she has learned to support the rest of the team and to follow the rules of their government.
In November, the recruiters came up with a new slogan for their posters and commercials. The new slogan is, “Army Strong.” I think it makes a lot more sense than “Army of One,” don’t you?
There is no such thing as an “Army of One.” The same goes for Christians. God never meant for us to be “Lone Ranger” Christians. Christians are team members – members of one body.
1 Corinthians 12:26,27 says, “ 26. . .if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”
Our Scripture reading for this morning is from Acts, chapter 2, verses 42 through 46, and I encourage you to bring your Bibles with you to church, and follow along.
This is the third sermon in a series on growing our church in 2007. We’ll grow closer to the Lord and we will grow in numbers: “IF” we will commit ourselves to:
1.Study our Bibles
2.Humble ourselves and pray daily
3.Attend church and fellowship with other Christians
4.Witness to at least one lost person a month
5.Invite at least one person a week to come to church
This morning we’re going to focus on number 3 on our “IF” list – The importance of attending church and fellowshipping with other Christians.
Christians need to be around other Christians if we are going to thrive and gain spiritual maturity. That’s a fact.
We weren’t meant to stay to ourselves. God made us to fellowship with Him and with one another.
Some of you will remember seeing news stories of the orphanages in Romania shortly after the fall of Communism. These orphanages were huge warehouse-like facilities where they “stored” orphaned children.
They were so understaffed that they could barely care for the physical needs of the children, not to mention their emotional needs. The babies had most of their physical needs met – food, shelter, and some hygiene.
But they were seldom picked up or hugged or played with. Because of this, many of the orphans had what is known as “failure to thrive syndrome.”
They may have been many months or sometimes even a few years old, but they still looked and acted like newborns.
These children didn’t have a family, not even a foster family to hold them and encourage them to grow and thrive. So they remained physically and emotionally immature.
Christians can have the “failure to thrive” syndrome. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are spiritual newborns. And we can fail to thrive and mature spiritually if we are left on our own.
This is why it is so very important for us as Christians to be adopted into a loving and living vital body of believers. We need the contact and fellowship with other Christians.
Ephesians 4:14,15 says, “ 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—“