What Makes an Ideal Church?
I Thessalonians 1:1-10
JESUS CHRIST loved the church and gave Himself for it. Complimentarily, it is called His "bride." With resoluteness of purpose, He declared He would "build" His church. The object of reference is not a building but a body. It is a body of redeemed believers intended to be obedient to His will. Appropriately, the question is posed "What makes an ideal church?"
I Thessalonians 1 is a study in the trait of an ideal church. First, notice is position. On the chalkboard of your mind draw a large circle. it represents the will of God. Now place a dot in the center of the circle. This represents the church. Remember, the church is made up of Christians. Thus, the dot is representative of you. The church, you, are in the circle, the will of God. Now, outside the circle draw an "X". It represents Satan. Draw a dotted, straight line from the "X" outside the circle to the dot inside the circle. This represents a Satanic attack upon the believer and/or the church, the will of God. In effect, for any Satanic attack on the church to occur, it must be within the permissive will of God. That means, there is a purpose in it that will result in God enabling the church to be victorious.
The Bible represents the believer as being in Christ, in the hand of the Father, and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Thus, the security of the believer is depicted.
I. AN IDEAL CHURCH HAS PROPER CONCEPTS (Vs. 1, 2)
A. Resources. "Grace to you and peace..." "Grace" referred to here is not saving grace but sustaining grace. Grace is God giving to a person everything He requires of that person without the person deserving it. Grace is Paul with a thorn in the flesh. Steven being stoned. Peter in prison. John being banished. A college student stretched by doubts. A youth tempted to compromise his or her convictions. "Peace" is God's grace abiding in a person. On the occasion of her death, a UPI l ...
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