Sermons

Summary: The church’s greatest need is to have members who are Spirit-filled and therebye empowered to become world-changers.

The Greatest Need of the Church

II Corinthians 3:12-18

IF I WAS TO ASK YOU WHAT YOU THINK THE GREATEST NEED OF THE CHURCH IS, WHAT WOULD YOU ANSWER? Some church surveys have provided interesting answers, such as:

- Better facilities

- Friendlier people

- Better preachers

- Shorter sermons

- More love and caring

- Better music

- Outreach programs

- More emphasis on missions

- Trained lay workers

- More involved people

- Loyalty

- More money

Now, these are all important to any congregation, but they are not the GREATEST need of the church. The greatest need of the church all over the world today is that all of its members be filled with the Holy Spirit!

The Lord Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing.” Christ is in believers in the person of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, if we are filled with His Spirit, He works fruitfully through us. If we are not filled with the Holy Spirit, we are unproductive.

It’s almost impossible to exaggerate how dependent we are on the Spirit of God. For example, we need Him to convict us of sin before and after our salvation. We need Him to give us understanding concerning spiritual things. We need Him to empower us to witness. We need Him to guide us in life’s decisions. Its no wonder that evil spirits have tried to counterfeit the work of the Holy Spirit and confuse His work.

There’s probably no subject in the Bible upon which there is more confusion today than that of being filled with the Holy Spirit. There are many fine Christian people who seem to equate the filling with some purely emotionally ecstatic experience.

There are others who because of excesses observed or heard of in this direction have all but eliminated the teaching of the filling of the Spirit. They just don’t recognize His importance in their lives.

Satan places two primary obstacles before men:

1. He tries to keep them from committing their lives to Christ, because that is the doorway to the life of victory.

2. If he fails in this, he then tries to keep people from understanding the importance of the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Once a person gets converted, Satan seems to have two different approaches. He tries to get men to associate the filling with emotional excesses or the opposite swing of the pendulum—to ignore the Spirit altogether.

Understand this: The Holy Spirit is the agent for change in the life of every non-believer and every Christian. It is He who transforms us when we place our faith in Jesus Christ. It is He who makes us more Christ-like.

One day after church, the pastor asked his little boy what he learned in Sunday school. The lad said, “I learned that God loves me more than anything else in the whole world.” “What else did you learn?” asked his dad. “I learned that when I’m bad He spanks real hard.” “What else did you learn?” “I learned that after He spanks you He picks you up and hugs you and holds you close and says, ‘Son, it hurts me more than it hurts you. Say, Dad, are you God?’” The pastor said, “No, son, I’m not God but I’m sure glad you got us confused.”

That’s what Paul meant when he wrote II Corinthians 3:18: “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”

God is as we are in this world. He has no hands but our hands to do His work today. He has no feet but our feet to take the message of His love, He has no tongue but our tongue to speak of His saving grace. We are the only Bible that most people will read. What if the type is blurred or the ink is smeared? What if our hands are busy with other works than His? What if our feet are taking us to places we ought not be? What if our tongues are silent when we should be declaring His glory?

We are called to be like Christ in every realm of life---in our home, our church, our school, our office, and our factory. If we do not let Him live in us and through us, then He will not be known in our world.

If you were to take a complete concordance of the Bible and look up the verses that speak about “being like Jesus” you would be absolutely amazed! We are called upon to emulate Him, to follow His example, to live as He lived.

Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” The Holy Spirit wants us to be like Him---to have His temperament, His compassion, His forgiving heart, and His desire to do only that which pleases the Father’s heart.

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Bradley Hinson

commented on Jun 21, 2014

Christians need to be Christians. To practice what they preach. A return to anointed preaching, based on the full and final authority of scripture and scripture alone. No more have it your way Burger King gospel, health and wealth gospel, gospel of prosperity, etc.

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