31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
For those who are in Christ, God is on Your Side!
32 He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all.
32 How will he not also WITH HIM grant us everything?
For those who are in Christ, God has given you a Way!
33 Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies.
For those who are in Christ, God has Forgiven you of all sins! He has “justified” you!
34 Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.
For those who are in Christ, God has Cleared you of all Condemnation!
35 Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36 As it is written: Because of you, we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For those who are in Christ, There is Nothing That Can Separate You From God’s Love!
(7/15) Romans 8:12-17 “You’re A Part Of God’s Family”
Main Idea: God Adopts Sinners and Makes Them Saints
12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, 13 because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. 15 You did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:12–17 (CSB)
v12-14 God’s Children Listen To Their Father (The Spirit)
v15 God’s Children Do Not Fear, God’s Children Cry Out To Him
v16-17 God’s Children Will Receive His Glory
Romans 8:1-11 ”No Condemnation”
Main Idea: Believers Live The Spiritual Life
8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus,, 2 because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 What the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering,, 4 in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit. 6 Now the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it is unable to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. 10 Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through his Spirit who lives in you. Romans 8:1–11 (CSB)
v1-4 Because Believers Are Forgiven & Free
v5-8 Because Believers Think on Spiritual Things
v9-11 Because Believers Live In The Spirit
Part 2 – The Confused Church
What should a new pastor ask when learning about their new congregation?
We Must Ask Questions About the Mission and Vision of the Church.
1) What Is The Mission Of Your Church?
2) How Does Your Church Accomplish The Mission In Their Community?
3) What Does Your Church Need To Do To Grow?
When a pastor is called to a church, the process is always exciting. The new pastor is usually anxious about the new assignment, and the church members anxiously await what changes the new pastor is going to make.
I can remember when I was called to my current church, and the first day I was asked, “Well pastor, what are you going to change first?” At that time, I didn’t have an answer to what needed to be changed, but I knew what needed to be added, a clear plan of discipleship.
A clear plan of discipleship is much needed in all churches but is required in the process of church revitalization. Here are three reasons why.
Discipleship Plays A Biblical Role in Revitalization
The Great Commission calls all Christians to make disciples. Matthew 28:18-20 is commonly known among churchgoers and pastors. So why do Churches continue to forget what they are called to do?
A church that is in the process of Church Revitalization must understand that when they do not make disciples, they are not fulfilling the commission to which Christ has called them. Therefore, a Church that is not practicing discipleship is disobedient to their Lord, Jesus.
Furthermore, discipleship is what has defined the church. Jesus modeled discipleship as he walked with his disciples and taught them about the Kingdom of God. Acts 11:21-26 describes Paul and Barnabas following Jesus’ example by making disciples in the early church. The church is defined by this Great Commission to make disciples; the Commission is a part of their purpose and identity. Therefore, a church that is not making disciples is a church that has forgotten her mission and has lost her identity.
Discipleship Plays An Vital Role in Revitalization
Churches may be great at implementing many different ministries. They may have a fantastic children’s program, student program, women’s ministry, and men’s ministry but if they are not fantastic at making disciples they are missing the most important thing.
In the consumer church culture, it is understandable how the church can emphasize whatever programs their culture desires. If a church is a traditional Christian area, they may focus on remaining traditional in worship style to meet the desire of the culture. If the church is in an area with young families, they may focus energy on the children’s ministries to satisfy the desire of the culture. While it is perfectly okay to contextualize ministry for the culture, a church must be diligent in keeping discipleship the focus of the ministry. Therefore, if the church is not teaching people to grow in their walk with Christ instead of the culture, the church is missing the point.
Discipleship Plays A Valuable Role in Revitalization
I don’t believe that anyone would argue that Churches going through revitalization are in need of some new growth. And the great news about discipleship is this; Discipleship helps the church to grow.
A church that is evangelizing the lost, teaching their congregants the Scripture, and challenging them to share the gospel with their lost friends and family is a church that will inevitably experience growth. God is faithful, and when we are obedient to his call, He blesses our obedience. Therefore, when we make disciples as He has called us to, He brings the growth to the church.
While church growth may reveal itself in different ways over the life of the church, growth is an indicator of church health. For some churches growth may present itself through an abundance of lost people becoming Christians, for others, it may be an increase in small groups, and others it may be Christians being sent out to start new ministries. Therefore, A church that is not growing is not a healthy church.
The simple truth is, No church makes disciples by accident.
Which should cause a church to ask a few questions…
- Is my church growing?
- Is there a clear path of discipleship for people to follow?
- Is the path of discipleship producing the results desired?
While many more questions must be asked and answered, this should get you thinking about how your churches’ discipleship process is working or not working.
The church has been Commissioned with a great responsibility to make disciples, and we have been given enormous power to accomplish that mission. May our churches be known by how we make disciples for the cause of Christ.
For more posts in this series check out these previous posts.