One role the church often seems to neglect is discipling its members. When a person makes a decision to believe in Jesus Christ, we need to be there for them and guide them to grow and learn about their faith. A new believer should also seek godly counsel with those who are more mature believers. We all need to learn and to teach. As a church family, we need to grow together with our brothers and sisters. Continue reading “Students and Teachers of the Word”
We are saved by grace. Not by works. Does that mean once we are saved we don’t need to do anything? As Paul would say, “Certainly Not!” I think there is a reason that God doesn’t just take us up to heaven the moment we are saved. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit, but we are also guided by Him to do good works.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Without Christ, we can do nothing. With Him, we can endure all things and we can “bear fruit.” Bearing fruit means living according to God’s will, doing good works according to His purpose, having strength in our weakness, ministering to others, lifting up our brothers and sisters in Christ, letting our light shine so that others can see Christ in us.
We as a church body and members of the body have many responsibilities, I think. One thing we are lacking is discipling new believers. I think many new-born Christians ask the question, “now that I am saved, what do I do next?” Hopefully we don’t stop at just showing people how to be saved, but show them how to grow as a believer. I have previously written posts about what it means to be saved and what it means to pick up our cross. I think that is a good place to start. The last post was about being a part of a church and why go to church? This is where we can fellowship with others and learn how to grow. As we read God’s word, pray daily and seek godly advice from others, we can become more mature followers of Christ. Continue reading “I am Saved…Now what to do?”
Why do we go to church? I saw a post on Facebook about how people don’t need to go to church every Sunday to worship God as long as they believe in God, or something like that. The statement is partially true. It is not a sin to miss church, I don’t think, but if you are able, you should be there. You need the church body and the church body needs you. It is not a ticket to heaven, either. We are saved by grace through faith, not going to church. But, being part of a church is an act of worship and it brings you into a family that will encourage you, teach you, strengthen you, pray for you. These are things to look for when finding a home along with sound biblical teaching. Also, though, we should not go there expecting to be fed all the time. As we go, we need to look for ways that we can serve the church and do all those things for others. The church is not a place. It is a people. It is you and me. It is believers. It is the body of Christ. Continue reading “Why Go to Church?”
When I first read Hebrews 13 and the notes from a study I had (you can look up The Summit Church or J.D. Greear for his study of Hebrews; the bullet points below summarize part of this study), it seemed this was about worship. It is. But it is also about the character of the church. Or, perhaps part of worship is the character of the church. To start with, what is the church? It is not a building and not where you “go to” to fulfill your duty as a Christian, though that is an important part of your spiritual life. That is a time to fellowship with other believers and worship God, but our act of worship should be non-stop throughout our week and our life. That is a study in itself, but not for this post. What the church is, though is you and me. It is Christ’s bride. It is the body of believers. It is those who follow Him. Continue reading “Character of the Church”