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Summary: When the body of Christ is functioning according to the will and purposes of God we show the world the perfect plan God intended for you and me. We also set the example for those who come behind us.

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The Church is NOT by Accident

Suggested reading; Early Christians Speak, Dr. Everett Ferguson, Abilene Christian University Press

Thirteen Lessons on Church History, Morris Womack, College Press Publishing Company

Introduction

In Genesis Chapter 2 we read, “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” (English Standard Version)

Before the first sin and even before we learn the name of Adams wife (Chapter 3), we see God instituted the family. God knew we would have tremendous domestic and social needs, therefore marriage and the family (the husband and his wife) were already in place as early as Genesis Chapter 2.

Certainly of no less importance, the spiritual needs of mankind would also need to be addressed. For those of us living today, the Church helps fulfill those spiritual needs.

We must acknowledge that the church had its visible beginning on the Day of Pentecost (Acts Chapter 2). Prior to the physical establishment of the Church, it existed in the mind of God. The timing, structure, preparation and purpose were already fully established in the mind of God.

The Church is not an afterthought of God!

Ephesians 1:22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (NKJV)

The Church has been fully instituted by Gods will and purpose; it has a vital relationship with our risen Savior who is its head. The Church is the fullness of Christ, please today realize that importance as we together look at the Body of Christ, His church.

Opening Statements

We are only one generation away from apostasy!

We are but one generation from abandoning faith in God!

When we look at the Old Testament, one of the conclusions we must draw it the fact that people who followed God didn’t always remain faithful for very long. The same can be said about our country and culture.

Allow me to share some recent (April 2006) quotes from a Barna Research article titled; Americans Have Commitment Issues, New Survey Shows.

“More than seven out of ten Americans (72%) claim they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is important in their life today. But a survey examining some of the other commitments that adults make – and avoid – suggests that people are inconsistent in their spiritual perspectives.”

“Fewer than one out of every five adults firmly believes that a congregational church is a critical element in their spiritual growth and just as few strongly contend that participation in some type of community of faith is required for them to achieve their full potential.”

“Only 17% of adults said that “a person’s faith is meant to be developed mainly by involvement in a local church.”

“These figures emphasize how soft people’s commitment to God is,” Barna explained. “Americans are willing to expend some energy in religious activities such as attending church and reading the Bible, and they are willing to throw some money in the offering basket. Because of such activities, they convince themselves that they are people of genuine faith. But when it comes time to truly establishing their priorities and making a tangible commitment to knowing and loving God, and to allowing Him to change their character and lifestyle, most people stop short. We want to be ‘spiritual’ and we want to have God’s favor, but we’re not sure we want Him taking control of our lives and messing with the image and outcomes we’ve worked so hard to produce."

We need to do all we can to see that the Church in not diminished further!

The Church is not an accident; it is part of His will. Church leaders and members of the congregation must make sure that the will of God moves forward. When the body of Christ is functioning according to the will and purposes of God we show the world the perfect plan God intended for you and me. We also set the example for those who come behind us.

Timing

God only has perfect timing!

Consider the following;

Government - The Roman Government had changed from a Republic into the Roman Empire with a universal government. Her citizens were protected throughout the know world. Under the leadership of Augustus Caesar, Rome’s first emperor, peace and order were established. (Source – Womack, listed earlier)

Language - The Greek language also was universal and this was the perfect language for the New Testament. It became universal in large part because of the conquests of Alexander the Great. Precision and versatility make Greek the perfect language to convey the real meaning of the Gospel.

Travel Infrastructure – By the start of the Church in Acts, Romans roads extended through much of the known world. This allowed commerce as well as missionaries a much easier route to get from providence to providence in the Empire.

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