Without a strong church we can never achieve an effective Kingdom…that is, the Kingdom of God will not be overpowering darkness. It takes the synergy of many local bodies to over power darkness in any geographical region. This is what Jesus said is the destiny for the Church and thus the Kingdom.
Matthew 16: 18b “…upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”
How is a strong church formed? Any strong church is formed by the cells within that church or the “members” of that particular body. When I say members I mean in the biblical sense, not as those who have “joined” a church and we call them members. I mean arm, leg, eye, ear, nose as in body members, since a church is compared to a physical body.
I Corinthians 12:14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be?
20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
These members or cells of the body must be healthy. To achieve a strong church and an effective Kingdom, We need healthy Christians
Here’s the progression we need to see…
Healthy Christian | Strong Church | Effective Kingdom
So now we can conclude that becoming a Healthy Christian is important…
So what is a Healthy Christian?
How do we get a Healthy Christian?
Number 1: A healthy Christian is a growing Christian
Not a perfect Christian, but a growing Christian.
What does it mean to grow?
Become more mature
Become more capable
Become more complete
1. To increase in size or ability.
a. To expand; gain: The business grew under new owners.
2. To develop and reach maturity.
1. As a part, member, cell, of the Body of Christ we are called to grow
We are called to never stop growing…We are called to be a cell, a member of the body who is getting
Stronger in the Lord,
Stronger in gifting
Stronger in knowledge
Stronger in the fruit of the Spirit
Stronger in faith
If you are not growing you are not fulfilling your call, your mandate. It’s only as you grow that the church can grow.
If you stop growing, refuse to grow, you hinder the church and the Kingdom and place yourself in the danger of pruning.
Ephesians 4: 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,
16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Spiritual Growth is profitable for all of life.
You might be thinking that spiritual Growth is not so important, after all, “I’m out making a living all week, I’ve got big things to do, I just need my sins forgiven.”
But God has a different view on spiritual growth!
I Timothy 4: 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
Matthew 6: 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. NIV
Psalm 92: 12 The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Planted in the house of the LORD, They will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green, 15 To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
FACTS ABOUT GROWING
1. IT’S NOT AUTOMATIC
“You have been Christians for a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others, but instead… you need someone to teach you… When a person is still living on milk, it shows he isn’t very far along in the Christian life… He’s still a baby Christian!” Heb. 5:12-13
Growth won’t happen just because you “got saved” or attend a church fellowship. You have to take responsibility and work with God to bring about the growth. Just as it is with the physical body, you won’t grow if you don’t give the body the right ingredients for growth.
2. IT IS A PROCESS
“Learn to be mature.” Prov. 8:5
“Continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18
We can so easily get disappointed in our lack, so disappointed in what we don’t know, so impatient, yet this is so unnecessary. God has promised to meet this seeker. Just jump in and start with the simple thing…read the Bible, start with the New Testament and watch the Holy Spirit begin to teach you. You will be surprised at how much you’ll learn just from reading this amazing book. Don’t be discouraged and omit the process. Before long you’ll begin to get a grasp on the truth. It’s not reserved for rocket scientists or seminary grads.
3. IT TAKES DISCIPLINE
“Take the time and the trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit.” I Tim. 4:7b
“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. I Tim. 4:7 NIV
“Discipline yourself for the purpose godliness. “(NASB)
Christian growth is not just to “come your way”, nor will the Holy Spirit force it upon you. Growth in the things of God, in Christian character, in the fruit of the spirit will all take hard work and personal effort. Some are waiting for God to cause you to grow, when God is waiting for us to seek to grow. When we care about something and see the benefit of it we invest enough time and energy to accomplish it. So it is in spiritual growth.