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Causing Growth in the body. Ephesians 4:16. Eph. 4:16. Always good to reflect: where have we been, how can we grow. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, are gifts from Christ to help us grow (Eph. 4:11-12). To “equip” us—put tools into our hands.
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Causing Growth in the body Ephesians 4:16
Eph. 4:16 • Always good to reflect: where have we been, how can we grow. • Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, are gifts from Christ to help us grow (Eph. 4:11-12). • To “equip” us—put tools into our hands. • But we will only grow when “every part does its share” (vs. 16).
Faithfulness In Worship Is Only an Indicator • Worship is the tip of the iceberg concerning the condition of a church. • It is necessary, but in order for it to be profitable, much more needs to happen. • Many churches do not grow because people see Sunday worship as only responsibility—that’s all they make time for. • When this is the case, the church will sink!
Faithfulness In Worship Is Only an Indicator Collective Effort: 1 Cor. 11:33 Worship Hospitality Brotherly Love Bible Study Encouraging Kindly Affectionate Distributing to Needs Associating Doing good Visiting those in need Individual Effort: Rom. 12:9-21
As a ChurchWhat Can We Do to Grow? • In we come together Sundays and Wednesdays—but what are doing the rest of the time? • To answer this question we need self-examination.
James 1:27Pure and Undefiled Religion • Many go to church to “get religion.” • Many go through the motions of worship because that makes them feel religious. • James disagrees-James 1:22-23 • If we want to be religious, we must show it through the way we live: • Controlling the way we talk (1:26) • Visiting and caring for those in need (1:27; 2:15-16) • Good conduct (3:13) • Works done in meekness of wisdom.
James 1:27Pure and Undefiled Religion • This congregation needs to be more religious. • Not more religious just on Sunday… • But Monday through Saturday, as individuals. “If any among you thinks he is religious…” • What can we do better? • Start taking our religion home with us!
Brotherly Love • Widows in the congregation—most need of encouragement. • Are we visiting, encouraging, strengthening? • Many poor people may loose their homes, but widows have lost much more. • Members who need spiritual strength. • Are we concerned? Are we encouraging? Are we trying to help? • Sin is the fire. We need to be willing to pull our brethren out of the fire (Jude 23).
Brotherly Love • Brotherly Conduct • Cast off fleshly standards (2 Cor. 5:16) • Cast off selfish ambition (James 3:14-16) • Refrain from gossip, backbiting. • Use thoughts and mouths for righteousness, truth in love, encourage, etc.
Hospitality • Worship requires that we assemble. • Other good works require associating on an individual basis: • Sincere love of the brethren (1 Pet. 1:22). • Associate with humble (Rom. 12:16). • Kindly affectionate (Rom. 12:10-13).
Bible Study • Men’s class: Are we taking leadership seriously? • Women’s class: Are older teaching younger? (Titus 2:3-5) • Individuals: Heb. 5:12-14 • Are babes willing to grow? • Are mature willing to teach?
Evangelism • Matt. 28:18-20 • Is Jesus your King? • If so, are you spreading word of His salvation to those around? • We have good news, are we sharing it? • We have a treasure, are we sharing it? • Don’t be ashamed (Rom. 1:16-17).
Moral Conduct • Gal. 5:24: Crucified flesh with its passions • Are we fleeing (1 Cor. 6:18; 10:14; 2 Tim. 2:22). • Modesty • Speech • Recreation • Our sins will hinder our prayers: John 9:31
Excuses Hinder Growth • “Too busy” – but not for recreation • “Not enough money” –but not for recreation • “Too tired”– but not for recreation • “Live too far away” – but not for recreation • 1 John 5:3: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” Be Careful!Mark 4:18-19Cares of the world choke the word,We become unfruitful.
Goals to Pursue • Study to be approved • Can’t work without knowing what to do • Sunday, Wednesday for everyone—care enough to be there • Home studies—Individual initiative (Heb. 6:1-2) • Care for widows—everyone take initiative • Associate with one another—like a body • Evangelism—shod feet with the gospel • Teach children respect in worship