Sunday – April 19, 2015
God’s design for His church
How did God design His church?
The church God according to God’s own heart has the principles of God as its foundation.
So the church is not built and founded upon men, but on the principles of God.
In the book of Acts we see a church that is detached from the world, a church that depends on God, solely, a church that has a heart to give and serve, a church that does not depend upon a man, a leader or money, but we must depend on God.
The church, through its remnant, remains forever.
So I need to understand the model that God has for the church.
Everything that Jesus did and said had a reason. He had the construction of His church in mind. He showed the model of the church through His relationship with his disciples, through his teachings and in the way he dealt with problems.
Jesus chose people we would never choose. We would rather have a homogeneous group, but he chose different people, from different backgrounds.
Jesus chose people who competed with one another.
Jesus knew how to deal with all kinds of people and disciples.
Jesus knew how to deal with ingratitude.
The church was a provider. When the multitude was hungry Jesus said to his disciples: you feed them. It is our responsibility.
The church was born incomplete. She had to grow, mature, learn through mistakes.
The early church made mistakes. They had problems. Deacons come out when there is a problem. She learns through mistakes.
She fights against forces that want to destroy her.
Jesus allowed the church to be persecuted because she needs to learn how to deal with adversities. So that she could depend only on God. So that she would not deviate from God.
What church today keeps faithful to the principles? The one that is persecuted.
Do you want your boat to be only on calm waters. Troubled waters are a must to make you learn to navigate. When the nice calm wind is blowing we sleep.
Jesus taught his disciples this lesson when they were on the boat and the storm came.
Do not get desperate when things get tough, God wants to strengthen you.
If we analyze History we see the number of attempts to destroy the church.
The church survived persecution, immorality, pressures, wrong teachings, heresies, prostitutions, corruption, greed.
The church survives and prevails.
The Early church was not deprived of problems or temptations. Their leaders were tempted. Some of them overcame temptations, others did not.
Some embraced heresies, others loved the world. Other leaders embraced human philosophies. In all that the church was victorious.
We have to understand that in this immoral and heretic society the church is victorious.
In Acts 2 we see some things the church has to do.
The church cannot be locked away in a room, seeking the power of God, and just observing the lost.
Today in Brazil we see churches of prostitutes, there is the church of homosexuals, there are all kinds of churches today. Why? Because people are leaving the principles of God behind.
Even the masonry has opened up for women, they are not hiding anymore. The time to be locked away is gone. For them it is time to show up. For us, it has always been the right thing to do.
Religions people are doing it – they are explaining things, they are opening up. We cannot hide away.
What about Jesus’s church? It is time to open the room. It is time to show up.
It is time to show what the true Gospel is.
The people of Israel brought in witchcraft. The people in church do that too.
However, the church is pure! The church of Christ keeps the holiness of God.
The church has to be able to explain what happens in it.
When the disciples were filled up with the Holy Spirit Peter explains why the Holy Spirit was been poured on the church. He mentioned the prophesy form the Old Testament.
It was not emotion, it was transformation.
We have to be able to explain what happens in our midst.
We have to be able to explain to the world.
2. It was a church that had unity.
It may not have had uniformity because there were rich and poor people.
Unity is a must, not uniformity.
The church has to be united. Not necessarily because we like one another.
It is unity that makes us stand one another.
Unity is a must. They were all united, because they had been told by Jesus that they should stay together waiting for the promise of the Holy Spirit. And they did. They waited for 40 days. Maybe it was the time for them to settle down and adjust one another, to get relationships straight.
The church of Christ needs to learn to be a body.
It is impossible to be part of the body without being in unity.
It is like the body, all parts working together.
The church of Christ is way above personal opinions.
The church knows how to live in unity despite the differences.
3. The church of Christ is together with the multitude.
The church is not isolated.
When someone is filled up with the Holy Spirit he or she wants to share, differently form the religious people who are ok if they get locked up inside a room.
A church is like a seed. It has to be put in the ground and then it is watered.
A chicken lays eggs and it hatches them. When the little chick is born it gets rid so the covering. So should we.
4. The church has to have an understandable speech.
What we preach, what we sing and pray has to be understood by any person.
When the Holy Spirit came upon them they started to speak in a language that was understood by the different people who had come from different places.
The gospel is understandable.
The Gospel should be clear and objective, because it is in its nature.
This is the church I want.
I want people who are able to understand the purposes of God.
I want a church according to God’s own heart.
Message preached in the New Life Church
Sunday morning – April 19, 2015
Niterói, Rio de Janeiro
May God richly bless you
Marcos Paiva, Pastor and MD