Monday, February 2, 2009

The Church, a Primary Resource

The armor of God. The Holy Spirit. The truth of God's Word. Holy living. We have seen many resources for fighting Satan's lies thrown at us during the spiritual battle. But one of the enemy's greatest lies is directed at one of God's greatest resources-the local church. The lie is: "Abandon the church. It's old-fashioned; you can serve God well enough without it." The trust is: The church is "the pillar and ground of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15). The apostle Paul was direct: "The church of the living God {is} the pillar...of the truth." That means it is God's appointed institution to execute His program of witness, service, and building up of the saints. Jesus Himself said, "I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). The universal church, as expressed through the local church, serves as the primary bastion of defense and offense against the enemy in the world today. Winning souls, revival, spiritual warfare, discipleship, discipline, corporate prayer, and missionary endeavors are carried out under the leadership of the local assembly. The church brings converts into the body for nurture, growth, and instruction that includes training for the battle against evil forces. In that sense, the local church becomes the base of operations for these converts to invade Satan's kingdom and win souls to Christ. Because of this, Satan does attack the church, both its leaders and its membership. The warfare can be disheartening at times and seemingly brutal. Church splits do happen. But God will protect His chosen institution and often He does intercede in broken churches, particularly when His people pray. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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