Larry’s Lines. . . .
By Larry Murphy, Executive Director
This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation—a great day for the church and for the power of God and His word. Truly the church was set free to experience the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of the gospel, God’s Word, in our lives. It was a great time for the believer, the Christ follower, as the Word was freely shared, read, studied, and empowered to every person who desired to know God’s Word by the interpretation of the Holy Spirit. I do not take lightly this celebration, for the Reformation gave us like never before, God’s Word, the Bible.
I also know the church, and especially the Baptist church, loves to talk about the past and what we used to do. So, I wonder, is God’s Word as important to us today as we celebrate Reformation Day or is it another opportunity for us to talk about the past? Paul said in Philippians 3:12-14 that he had not attained the hold that Christ had laid hold of him. “But one thing, a single mindedness, I forget the past and I strain, reaching out for the things ahead and strive for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
As we celebrate the Reformation, many churches are dying and closing their doors. We need reformation or revitalization of the church now—again.
From the manual, Church Revitalization: 1000 Day Journey to a New Day, I want to share the “Biblical Foundation for Church Revitalization.”
- Church belongs to Jesus
- Jesus builds the church
- The church is an offensive team
- Jesus has all authority
- Make disciples, baptize and teach them
- Jesus is with us wherever we go, for all time
- Devotion to teaching, fellowship and prayer
- They took care of one another
- They worshiped in the Temple and in homes
- They were known for their joy and generosity
- They praised God and had a good reputation
- People were being saved daily and joining the church
Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12
- Each member of the Body has a gift to use in serving Jesus
- Letters to the seven churches
Also G. Campbell Morgan gave a great analogy of the church using a sailboat to illustrate his purpose.
G. Campbell Morgan once said: “We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again.” The Church is like a sailboat, but sailboats are powerless. It has been said that without the wind, a sailboat can only claim the title of organized driftwood. It has no engine, no motor, and no oarsmen. The sailboat is completely dependent upon the wind, in fact, it is designed to harness the wind. The church is powerless without the presence and work of the Holy Spirit. The church was designed to catch the wind of revival. Dan Jarvis, “Set the Sails,” Life Action Ministries (blog) September 1, 2004.
Church, we are to exemplify the glory of God to the world. If your church is dying, unhappy, and falling apart, you are not a great example of God’s glory.
As we celebrate the Reformation, let’s also celebrate the revitalization of the church and use the power of God’s Word to change our world.
Madison-Chester Association of Baptists
Senior Adult Meeting
Tuesday, December 5 @ 10:30 a.m.
Poplar Heights Baptist Church
Crockett County Baptist Association
Senior Adult Meeting
Tuesday, December 12 @ 10:30 a.m.
Place to be announced.
A host church is needed for this event. If your church is willing to host this meeting contact the association office, 731-668-5690.
Week of Prayer for International Missions
and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering
December 3-10, 2017
National Goal: $160 million
Association Office Holiday Closings
Thanksgiving – November 23-24, 2017
Christmas – December 19, 2017-January 2, 2018