Wednesday, August 05, 2009
The local ‘church’ is dead if members are not of the Holy Spirit just as a person without the Spirit of Christ is dead.
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you but if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:9-11.
At one time Strength in Numbers could account for most military battles. And for a very long time local churches have pointed to numbers as a sign of strength although leaders would claim otherwise, but none the less, statistics help with that statement.
Have you ever wondered why team sports are normally played with a set of participants and no more? Strength is not found in numbers, but in what is called the ‘game plan’ and the execution of it. The philosophy of team sports change from time to time as coaches change their offenses and defenses to accommodate strategies. However, the Church is different.
The Church of Jesus Christ consists of born again Believers in Jesus Christ who, singularly and collectively, find their strength in Him as Lord.
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you but if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. v 9.
The adverse is just as true. Without Christ as Savior, the individual is spiritually inept and lost and does not and cannot belong to Christ and His Church.
For this reason alone, loc al churches cannot find strength in numbers. The local churches are as spiritually conditioned as are the members who have the mind of Christ.
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:14-16.
With this said, my contention is that the local church does not find strength revealed in numerical statistics, but rather revealed in the Spirit statistics that tells us whether or not a person is of Christ.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25.
However, the strength of the Church is found in Christ alone. We cannot boast in numerical statistics of any kind to reveal our spiritual power because these reveal only the fiscal and population of our churches. He reveals His power in us as we see Paul’s statement,
I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13.
Jesus is Lord