Summary: The Church in the world is to posses certain characteristics in order to be effective in the world and fulfill the eternal purpose of God. Part #2
“The Church in the World”
District Elder M. L. Maughmer, Jr.
The second phase of the metamorphosis is the maturation phase it is the phase where action happens. It is in this phase that growth happens. Understand that when we say growth we are not talking about numbers, but character. Many people feel that if the numbers are big then that is positive growth, because we confuse numbers with being saved and that is not always the case. Many times what people perceive to be growth is not a growth, but a swell. Swelling is caused by infection. The church in the world is not an infection; however it is to effect to world.
Character is one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual a feature used to separate distinguishable things into categories; also a group or kind so separated : the detectable expression of the action of a gene or group of genes: the distinctive qualities of : the complex of mental and ethical traits marking and often individualizing a person, group, or nation : main or essential nature especially as strongly marked and serving to distinguish, excellence and firmness: a person marked by notable or conspicuous traits, character is that which distinguishes you from everyone else.
We know that the church is a living organism that has been called out of darkness and has been commissioned to open the eyes of those that the god of this world has blinded, to be an unstoppable force that razes hell, preaches the gospel that is dedicated to leading many sons unto glory. Therefore the church must possess a certain character in order to effectively carry out what God had in mind before the foundation of the world.
The second phase is aptly called “The Church in the World”. The first thing we must understand is it is the church “IN” the world and not “OF” the world. Let’s look at what this actually means.
EXAMPLE: In our houses we have electricity. The electricity is in our house, but it is not of the house. It is a different entity from the house and the source of its power is from outside of the house, but because of its character it effects what is done in the house. That is how the church in the world is to be and is what God had in mind for the church. The church is in the world, it is not of the world, it is a different entity from the world, but because of the character of the church it must effect the world and what is done it the world.
WATCH THIS: The world spoken of here is not what we think of as the earth. It is not just the dirt which consists of many elements and minerals. However, the world is the influential principalities and powers which govern the mental capacity of mankind. Understand whoever or whatever has control of the mind has control of the soul. That is why the Bible says in Eph 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]”. These principalities, power, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness are the influential characteristics that try to control the mind therefore capable of controlling the soul.
The church in the world, this system of influential characteristics, is to be EFFECTIVE in the world.
EFFECTIVE: producing a decided, decisive, or desired result. It is the power to bring about a certain results.
The way the church is effective in the world is by its character. Remember character is that distinguishing trait that separates one for everyone else or a group from all others.
The church “IN” the world must posses certain character traits and the traits they must posses in order to be effective are as follows:
1.) They must be a light in the world. The purpose of light is to illuminate the way. The Bible says in Phl 2:15 “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world”. Therefore, the church in the world must be a light. Remember the church is a living organism, you and me, not a building. So it doesn’t matter how spectacular the church building itself is, if the people in that church are not being lights shinning to the dark world then the church is not being effective and therefore are not operating in what God had in mind for the church.
2.) They must be steadfast & unmovable in the world. The Bible says in 1st Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord”. The words steadfast & unmovable mean - firmly fixed in place not subject to change firm in belief, determination, or adherence, loyal and faithful. The church must stand in the world against what the devil is trying to do. We understand that he wants control of the mind. The church must posses the character to stand against the things he is doing to try to get control of the mind. Currently the biggest method the devil is using to get control of the minds of the world is the “Da Vinci Code”. The church must posses the character to be steadfast on the true unadulterated gospel.