The Determined Power of God’s Word
The most urgent need in the gathering of the local church today is the reigniting of the fire of God’s Word. Primarily, the distraction of the church happens when the center of its focus and energy are on issues that are important but not necessarily essential. The church is to occupy itself with the Gospel-driven life that exposes the world to justification by faith alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone, for God’s glory alone, and by Scripture alone. However, the church mistakenly engages itself in fixing the cultural problems by employing political solutions. The outcome is typically an outward behavioral modification. The Gospel, however, boasts of producing a heart transformation through the power of Christ crucified, risen, and ascended. The result of the political solutions, unfortunately, has led to the weakening of the church rather than the strengthening of the church body in becoming more and more like Jesus Christ.
The Gospel we proclaim for justification is the same as the Gospel we declare for ongoing sanctification. However, the emphasis on evangelism will be different from the focus on continuous growth, although the work of the Holy Spirit is the same. The Gospel always enlarges where moralism fails. The question remains, where is the church to employ its resources.
In following Paul’s second missionary journey into Europe, Luke provided the solution for reaching the community for Jesus Christ. He does this by emphasizing Paul’s resolve when he entered into the two cities in the Macedonia region. Once again, where God is at work, the enemy seeks to sideline the ongoing endeavor. The most significant aspect of Paul’s ministry should be the same for the church today – center it around Jesus Christ and the Scriptures.
The guiding principles:
- The message of the Gospel is never servant to the responder – Acts 17:1-9
- The responder is always servant to the message – Acts 17:10-15
The practicing principles:
- The church gathered is to be centered in the truth of Scripture
- The role of Scripture in private worship is the control for the worship on Sunday