Where are we going? An important question for any church. We read in the scripture that the desire of Christ for His church is for it to be unified so that the world will believe the message. (John 17) So as a body of believers we must always be vigilant to keep watch lest the enemy find a way in, to bring about disunity among the church. I take this very seriously as pastor and proclaim this truth continually because it is the foundation for all other elements of ministry. Jesus ties it to witnessing and giving and Paul shows the importance unity when celebrating the Lord’s Supper. (John 17, Matthew 5, 1 Corinthians 11) Therefore, if we are to go anywhere as a church, unity must be a priority. How we accomplish this is found in Romans 8 where we are told of our need to be conformed to the image of the Son, and in Philippians where we are given the humility of Christ as an example for our lives. I wish it was automatic, but unity requires a commitment to put others before ourselves and to live for Christ’s glory rather than our own. This can be summed up in one word: love. (agape/unconditional love to be specific) This love is based on the choice to love regardless of the worthiness of the one being loved. This is the type of love God showed when He sent His Son to die in our place. (John 3:16)
Once we have this foundation established we can move forward as a church. And to do so this is the vision I have for Community Baptist Church. To be a people of the book who: Know the Word … Live the Word … Share the Word
The first question that might arise is, “what do you mean by the Word?” Well, the Word is the expression of God. It is the intelligence, essence and person of God and has been revealed in numerous ways throughout scripture.
- The Word is the person of Jesus Christ
- The Word is found in the decrees of God.
- The Word is found when God’s speaks to someone in the human language.
- The Word is found when God speaks through human lips.
- The Word is found in the writings of God.
It is through knowing the Word that we will be empowered and committed to living the Word, we are then ready to go out and share the Word with others.
KNOW the Word
The first aspect of KL&S is Knowing. Why should you “know” it? I think the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:46-47 say it best, “and He said to them: “Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe – all the words of this law. For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess.”
Why should you “Know” the Word of God? Because it is your life!
Where do you learn of Christ and the way to salvation? The Word. Where do you find the knowledge that leads to eternal life? The Word. Where do you find guidance for your life? The Word. Know the Word, for it is your life!
LIVE the Word
Is it enough to just Know the Word? James 1:22 provides a clear answer when it instructs us to, Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves,” (KJV) To think that having knowledge of God’s Word is enough for our Christian life is to deceive ourselves. We have been redeemed to bear fruit. To walk in a way worthy of the name by which we were called.
Colossians 1:10 tells us that Paul prayed for the believers in Colosse, “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
If we do not Live what we have learned then we are showing that we do not truly understand what we claim to know.
SHARE the Word
Jesus parting command to us was to go into all the World and preach the gospel. To do this we must Share the Word. Though our lives and actions can and should point people to Christ, Romans 1:16 tells us that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. The apostle Paul poses a question in Romans 10:14-15 that I would like you to consider for yourself.
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?
And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?
And how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach unless they are sent?”
The word preacher in this text does not speak of the office of a pastor, but rather of a “proclaimer,” or herald. This is a question not to a few but to all of us. Who will go? Who will proclaim Christ to a lost world? Isaiah replied, “Here am I. Send me.” I pray you too join in the vision and become a people of the book. Who:
Know the Word – Live the Word – Share the Word