by Dr. Charles Stanley
Wednesday December 7, 2005
Strengthening God’s Church
The church seems to grow weaker each year. False doctrine, apathy, and a lack of discipline work together to diminish the local congregation’s influence in the community and the world. Paul reveals three simple ways to strengthen the church.
Be alert to false doctrine. There is no more effective church-killer than wrong spiritual beliefs. We are living in a cesspool of immorality and iniquity, but some philosophies mix a bit of truth with falsehood. Believers not firmly planted in God’s Word are susceptible to those lies. Standing firm requires that pure Scripture must be preached from the pulpit and studied by individual parishioners.
Appreciate God’s servants. Too often church members criticize their leaders more than encourage them. Certainly ministers and others in authority can make mistakes or fall into sin — they are human. But these Christians have devoted themselves to ensuring that people hear and understand Scripture. The congregation is responsible to show support and love; those who know the Lord most deeply will appreciate the pastor. God will not reveal Himself to those who can’t be bothered with caring for His chosen servant.
Accept one another. Since we are a fellowship of believers, we are to develop a spirit of oneness. Everyone is acceptable. This truth is based not on performance, but on the fact that each of us is God’s child with a unique role in this life.
The church’s great potential lies in its members. Begin today to practice these strength-building exercises.