Presentation on theme: "Crying Needs of the Churches Factors In The Work, Worship & Spiritual Life of the Local Church Royce P. Bell 2003-0629 MV Church, SB 2003-0627 Lk Elsinore."— Presentation transcript:
Crying Needs of the Churches Factors In The Work, Worship & Spiritual Life of the Local Church Royce P. Bell 2003-0629 MV Church, SB 2003-0627 Lk Elsinore CA (M)
Paul’s Anxiety Expressed “… 28 apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern? … 12:13 For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches…” ~ 2 Corinthians 11:28-12:13
Organization, functioning of the church –Acts 20:28-30, cf. 14:23 with Titus 1:5 Worship of the church –1 Corinthians 11:17ff, cf. 14:5 Individual gifts and service –1 Corinthians 1:7ff, cf. Romans 12:6-8 Growth and development –Ephesians 4:16 (note context) Impression/influence on outsiders –1 Corinthians 14:23-25
Scriptural, Functional Oversight How the problem plays out: –Churches adrift, held hostage, bordering on apostasy and without substantive focus... –Christians with divided loyalties, confused, frustrated and left to themselves... –Brethren who self-willed, selfish, demanding, unconscionable... –Preachers who are skeptical, untrusting, cynical and suspicious...
Qualified Oversight: The most important factor in congregational maturity... –Acknowledges Divine specific (1 Timothy 3:1f; Titus 1:5f) –Embraces Divine intention (Acts 14:23) –Submits to Divine injunction (Hebrews 13:17) –Validates Divine imperative (1 Corinthians 1:10, cf. 1 Peter 5:1-5 –Eliminates Human perversions ~ “Tyranny of the Ignorant and Immature”
Hearty, Vibrant Worship How the problem plays out… –Half-hearted (or no) preparation by worship leaders, eg. songs / announcements / prayer –Half-hearted participation by worshippers, bereft of respect of our awesome God, Malachi 1:6-14 –Lack of spiritual focus in worship that fits the Divine imperative, “in spirit and in truth…” (John 4:24)
The Biblical nature of worship ~ John 4:19-24, cf. Matthew 15:9 –The “where” Not physical, but in spirit and truth ~ compare Romans 1:9 –The “motive,” based on knowledge, understanding ~ vr. 22, “…we know…” –The “action” Example: Singing Ephesians 5:19, cf. Colossians 3:16 Hebrews 13:15, cf. 1 Corinthians 14:15
Clarification of What God Raises Up His Women to Do The real issue: Empowerment of God’s Women for Work they are Authorized, Charged and Accountable to Do The problem clarified: –Wrong concepts of oversight and servanthood –Ignorance of self-seeking men, bereft of moral fiber, knowledge, conscience, wisdom –Slanderous perceptions of God’s women
Two extremes in the discussion: –Liberal feminist activism: The agenda of absolute equivalence, denial of role-based distinctions, pressing for immoral “rights” –Forbidding godly women to act scripturally: Laws never written by God, denying in fact the explicit instruction of God to the contrary Dependence on false standards, faulty exegesis, unscriptural oversight/servanthood arrangements Ignorance of Biblical vocabulary, grammar, etc. Upshot ~ Forbidding women from scriptural actions, in scriptural settings, utilizing scriptural methods, and effecting scriptural results
Some compelling facts –Phoebe and Cenchrea - Romans 16:1 –Paul’s coworkers - Philippians 4:3, cf. –Personal co-travelers - 1 Corinthians 9:3-5 Question: How did Paul KNOW he had that right? How did the others know? –“Mankind” teachers - 2 Timothy 2:2 –References in Romans 16 Vr. 6 ~ Mary, the hard worker Vr. 12 ~ Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers “in the Lord”
Scriptural Attitude toward Growth Evidences of Unscriptural Attitudes –Neglect of Bible study opportunities –Decline in attendance, involvement –Lowered expectations… Preachers - Are you fresh and focused? Elders - Pointing to a star? Or star-gazing? Status quo satisfaction, “can’t do anything” –Evangelistic compromise, neutralization
Some Important Scriptural Realities –God promise for His word - Isaiah 55:10-11, “…as the rain…so shall my word be…” –Paul’s declaration of Divine increase - 1 Corinthians 3:6-9, –The scriptural imperative ~ growth The “Great Commission” - Matthew 28:19f Many sons - Hebrews 2:10 –The heritage of growth ~ not the tradition of stagnancy and indolent impotency The progression in Acts - 2:41 > v47 > 4:4 > 5:14 > 6:1 > 6:7 > 8:6 > v25 > 9:31 > v35 > 11:21 > v26 > 12:24...
Preachers with Courage, Passion & Conscience How the problem plays out –The church is not adequately instructed –The cause of Christ is squandered with ineffectual, out of focus effort –The narrowest circle of “The Approved” is acknowledged, “the reign of the party” A compentium of scriptural information –1/2 Timothy, cf. 1, 3:14, “why I am writing” –Titus, cf. 1:5 … this is your work
Example: 1 Timothy A Litany of Instructive Information –On people - 1 Timothy 1:3-7 –On “how to do it” - 1 Timothy 2:1ff –On gender issues - 1 Timothy 2:8-3 –On organization - 1 Timothy 3:1ff, cf. Titus 1:5ff –On practical advice - 1 Timothy 4:6-5:16 –On working with elders - 1 Timothy 5:17-25 –...
Removing Self from the Equation Acknowledge Divine control, authority over every action, teaching, and option Insure that “self” is never pushed above others, cf. Philippians 2:1-4, 5ff Stop looking for occasions of offence (pull in your feelings), Philippians 4:8, notice the connection to authority, vr. 9