Sermon on Edification of the Church
1. There are strong churches and there are weak churches.
2. There are experts to show us how to make the church strong. Actually, all they do is make a weak and dying church look strong. Gimmicks. Titles, fundraisers, loosen up the dress code, special music, classes on social problems, appealing(?) sermons (tell stories, make no judgments), entertaining youth groups, etc.
3. What makes a church truly strong?
1) Is it huge cathedrals?
2) Is it emotionalism?
3) Is it so-called miracles?
[Though we will not exhaust the subject, this hour we will look at some things that will go a long way in making this a strong church, even though we don’t have a cathedral, or an expert, or a gimmick.]
DISCUSSION: HOW DO WE MAKE THE CHURCH STRONG?
I. BY MAKING IT STRONG SPIRITUALLY.
1. Fill it with a knowledge of God’s Word. Acts 20:32; 1 Peter 2:2.
1) Accomplished by: Regular preaching, Bible school, VBS, Gospel meetings, radio, TV, tracts, home libraries, church library, home Bible studies. 2 Peter 3:18
2) Plain Bible preaching is essential. Just the plain simple truth.
a. Plain Bible preaching causes men to have faith. Acts 14:1
b. Plain Bible preaching is the command to preachers. 2 Timothy 4:2
c. Continuing in the apostles’ doctrine is what preaching is to promote. Acts 2:42.
d. There is no room for anything but “the truth in love.” Ephesians 4:15
2. Make it a praying church.
1) This is the will of God for us. 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 18.
2) When we pray it avails much. James 5:16.
3. Make it a united church. No factions, bitter contentions or strife.
1) This is commanded by the Apostle Paul. 1 Corinthians 1:10.
2) Great unity was evident in the 1st century church. Acts 4:32-34.
3) We are to give diligence to be unified. We are to work at it. Ephesians 4:3.
4) We are commanded to protect ourselves from those who would destroy our unity. Romans 16:17, 18.
4. Make it a loving church.
1) It is to be a pure, fervent love. 1 Peter 1:22.
2) All our efforts are for nothing without love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-7.
5. Keep it unspotted from the world.
1) James calls it pure religion. James 1:27
2) Sacrifices are to be without spot or blemish. Romans 12:1-2
II. BY MAKING IT STRONG IN DEEDS.
1. Fill it with zeal and devotion.
1) A warning from Jesus. Rev. 3:14-19.
2) An example from Jesus. John 2:13-17.
3) We should be just as zealous for the church.
2. Make it an attending church.
1) Without the attendance of its members a church dies. Quietly. Lonely. Like removing a beating heart from a body, removing attendance from a church kills it.
2) Hebrews 10:25-31
3. Make its worship scriptural, warm, and spiritual. John 4:23, 24.
1) It must be “in spirit.” Acts 16:23-25.
2) It must be “in truth.” 1 Peter 3:21; Colossians 3:17. John 17:17; 2 John 9.
4. Fill it with personal workers who, above all, long to win souls for Christ.
1) These kind of workers will cause the church to grow anywhere at anytime. Acts 8:1-4.
2) Personal workers invite. Isaiah 2:3.
3) Personal workers are wise. Proverbs 11:30. We would expect the church to be filled with wise people.
5. Make it a cheerful, liberally giving church.
1) God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6,7. What does he think about a stingy giver?
2) The work of the church costs money and it is to be provided by its membership. 1 Corinthians 16:1-3. No bazaars, kettles at the mall, bake sales, car washes, love offerings, no requests from those not members (radio & TV).
3) Giving is to be done with liberality. Romans 12:8, ASV.
6. Make it a working church. Everyone has something to do. No one buries his or her talent.
1) We must start with a mind to work. Nehemiah 4:6.
2) We were ordained to do good works. Ephesians 2:10.
a. Train meant to go down the track.
b. Rocket meant to fly through the air.
c. Policeman trained to deal with crime.
d. Christian ordained to do good works.
3) We must be ready to do every good work. Tit. 3:1.
4) We must be zealous of good works. Tit. 2:14
5) An example for the ladies. 1 Tim. 5:10.
6) Caring for widows and orphans. James 1:27
7) Faith without works is dead. James 2:14ff
8) This must be done in humility. John 13:4-16
1. We can be a strong church though small in number.
2. We find God’s pattern for a strong church in His Word, not in the schemes of man.
3. We all must do our part. We all can do our part.
4. We should follow the example of David and “purpose” our behavior beforehand. Psalm 17:3.
5. Let’s be a strong church.