Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The Church Jesus is Building
Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you" (Lev. 26:8). There is power in numbers, that is a well known fact. However there is Supernatural Power in numbers in the Church of Jesus Christ. Our Lord founded His Church, made up of spiritually transformed believers, on the festival of Pentecost. This took place 50 days after He arose from the dead. Our Lord continued to minister during the time between His resurrection and the birthday of the Church. He appeared to His apostles for 40 days, further teaching them concerning the nature of the coming Church (Acts 1:3). He told them "Not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father (Acts 1:4). He explained to them "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ actively participate in believers lives through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2:12-13). The Church began when Christ's apostles received the Holy Spirit, just as He had promised (Acts 2:1-4). The Spirit of God instantly transformed them. Everyone who heard them realized they had received special inspiration and power from God. The filling of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost resulted in the apostles preaching about Jesus of Nazareth being the Messiah. They urged their listeners to repent and be baptized in the name of the Lord. By the end of that day "About three thousand souls were added" to the Church (Acts 2:41). Pentecost saw the birth of the Church, its members were repentant people who "Gladly received" the truth of God and were baptized, symbolizing their acceptance of the sacrificial death of Christ and forgiveness of their sins and burial of their old, sinful ways. We live in the Church age today. God is still working through the Local Church to do His will on earth. The church isn't perfect, it's made up of human beings. The Church is kind of like Noah's ark, there was life on the inside and judgment on the outside. We find God's protection under the umbrella of the local Church. We are commanded "Not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together" (Heb. 10:25). If you are not an active member in a local New Testament Church find one that preaches the whole counsel of God and join up. You will find strength, support, comfort, healing and protection there. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.