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A Healthy Church

March 13, 2017

Paul was commissioned to be an apostle for the purpose of bringing people to faith. His ministry was salvation centered. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul declared the gospel was the first thing he preached on reaching the city Corinth. The book of Acts shows that in every city Paul preached the gospel at the first opportunity. Paul’s gospel emphasis is evident in the letter to Titus.

The starting point of every church is the preaching of the gospel. A healthy church builds on the gospel. When the people of God gather together their purpose is not primarily evangelistic. The Sunday morning service is not outreach. But the church must be preaching the gospel. The gospel must be heard from every pulpit. The gospel must be the message of the church to the community. Every church must have a deep concern with the salvation of souls. Salvation is a major objective of every healthy church.

A healthy church preaches truth for the purpose of changing behavior. Sanctification is a major objective of every healthy church. Truth does not exist in a theoretical world of disattached knowledge. Truth demands a transformation of life. The law of gravity is not just a bare fact. It obliges. Gravity requires every person to behave in a certain way. The law of gravity forbids stepping off the edge of a high building or leaning to far over a cliff lest there be catastrophic consequences. The gospel is not just a truth to be known, it is truth to be obeyed. The same is true with the doctrines of the inspiration of the Bible, the reality of Satan, the promise of Jesus’ return and all other doctrines of the Bible. Truth can not, it must not, be separated from daily living. A healthy church teaches and learns Biblical truth for the purpose of changing the way Christian’s live.

The truths of the gospel include a hope that directs the ministry of the church. Paul preached because he expected of eternal life. 2 Corinthians 4 and 5 demonstrate this. Paul was not overwhelmed by his troubles nor deterred by threats because his hope was heaven. Paul labored to please God because he knew he would one day stand before his Savior. A healthy church shares the Pauline perspective. The focus of a healhty church is not earthly but heavenly. Success is not measured by worldly standards. Risks and rewards are not determined according to human judgment. The goal is not worldly power and influence. The goal of a healthy ministry is eternal good and heavenly blessing. A healty church has a heavenward orientation.

God’s promise of eternal life is communicated to men through proclamation. The message of the gospel and the reception of faith come through the preaching of the Word of God. Recent years have seen an increase of those who do not want to hear preaching. They call for more dialogue. Fewer seem to want to listen. More want a part in the conversation. Conversation is good in its place, but God commissioned His servants to go out and proclaim the gospel. Teaching and preaching, the herald’s monologue, is the way given for making God’s Word known. A healthy church is committed to the preaching of the Word of God.

The message proclamed in a healthy church is the Word of God. The healhty church hungers to hear the Word. Some hunger to hear about the Word, many hunger to hear carefully selected ideas from the, but the healthy church receives the Word. Abandoning the Word for well crafted appeals calculated to appeal to the masses may draw crowds, but it will not produce a healthy a church. The Word of God is the incorruptible seed by which men are saved and it is the pure milk by which the saved grow into Christlike maturity. A healthy church places the Word of God at the center of all its ministry.


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