“The thing that has hindered the progress of the church is not so much our talk and our creeds; but it has been our walk, our conduct, our daily living. We need a revival of Christian example, and that can only come when professed followers of Christ begin to practice Christian discipline.” – Billy Graham.
You don’t hear it as much these days, but years ago, you heard it pretty often: “Don’t forget where you came from.” And if it was from a parent, they probably said it with some emphasis. And if you worked in a business with a long history, you probably heard “ don’t forget our history and our culture…don’t forget where we came from.” We’ve seen tremendous changes and tremendous growth since we started Northstar some 20 years ago. One of the reasons we’ve grown is we’ve tried not to forget where the church came from.
God’s Church started as a radical, spiritually intimate gathering of believers that ultimately changed history. There were no observers or spectators. There were no people that walked away from the church when things were not going well. The early church was full of people who would risk anything and sacrifice everything to be the dynamic, world-changing church of Jesus Christ.
In his letters to the first century church, the Apostle Paul commended each for excelling in the graces of God. Specifically, these first century churches were known for their faith, love, zeal, giving, knowledge, and intolerance for sin. The first century churc was a conduit for the power of God. The gospel spread like wildfire, at tremendous cost to the early followers of Christ. The first century church was beset with persecution, torture, and martyrdom. In spite of this, Christian churches were being established throughout the Mediterranean region, Asia Minor, and into Europe.
The early church was devoted together to God, to one another and to all. They were devoted together to the teaching of the apostles and first-century the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were devoted together to the needs of each other and first-centuryothers. They were engaged. They were all in.
But God has created us for a great purpose. He has created us to be a kind of co-worker, a partner, somebody who will be here on earth to execute His plan. When a person is committed to God, they also become committed to the things of God. This does not mean that if a person is committed to a church, they are automatically committed to God, but the other way around is true.
If you appreciate God, and want to help make a great difference for His kingdom, decide to have a committed relationship with Him and then serve in the local church.
- What is the major difference between the Acts 2 church and the church of today?
- What are some different ways that you can take growth steps in your relationship with Jesus Christ and the church?