God is Looking for a Prepared Church

by APC on June 13, 2019

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand (Matthew 7:24–26, KJV).

Purpose of the Body

The Body of Christ is the Church. In order for the every member to function properly in the Body, the Holy Spirit must be alive and active in the believer’s life. The Spirit will help us hear and understand the Lord’s will so we take “action” at the proper time. The Church is a unique creation with a unique mission. The Church exists to perform God’s will on earth; perpetuating the Kingdom of Heaven. Ultimately, God is preparing us to be His witness to all people. However, in order for us to be used (a vessel fit for God’s purpose) we must first be prepared. Through this study, we’ll examine several ways God prepares His church to be a witness for Him.

Ways of Preparation

Through Apostolic Traits

God prepares the Church by demonstrating Apostolic traits, both in Word and deed. Through Scripture, God instructs His Church to live out various truths (doctrine) in our daily life and to put it into the hands of future generations (Ephesians 2:20). For example, we teach the belief of One God (Deuteronomy 6:4–5; Matthew 21:23) and emphasize the name of Jesus (Matthew 1:21–23; Colossians 3:17). Additionally, we teach the necessity of salvation (I Corinthians 15:1–8): repentance, baptism in Jesus name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38), and the calling to be sanctified (separated from the world) and dedicated to Christ (II Peter 1:5). Lastly, we teach the necessity of serving one another in love with the Spirit of God (Romans 12:10).

Through Disciplines

God also prepares His Church in various disciplines (instructions or exercises). To begin any Spiritual discipline, we need to have a clear and uncluttered (sober) mind. We accomplish this through the daily reading of God’s Word. We cannot live by physical food alone; we must have Spiritual bread (Matthew 4:4). When we study the Word, we receive godly discipline, which motivates our heart and helps us act in accordance with God’s heart.

Once our mind is sound, we discipline ourselves through prayer and fasting (Matthew 2:11), of which we’re given many examples throughout the Scriptures (Matthew 6:7; Mark 11:24; Luke 22:40). There are some spiritual aspects we won’t be able to accomplish unless we combine prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). Ultimately, this discipline will help us hear from God, prepare for missions work, and make wise decisions.

Other spiritual disciplines include faithful church attendance which enables the believer to exercise spiritual gifts and benefit from its operations. This also provides and avenue for encouragement (Hebrews 10:25). Additionally, our witness is a spiritual discipline. The Holy Ghost will give us power to do it (Acts 1:8).

For Departure

The last way God prepares His Church is by readying us to leave this world. We should be prepared each day to either minister or die. Scripture challenges us to fight the fight, keep the faith, and stay the course (II Timothy 4:7). We must always be ready for the rapture of the church: to meet Jesus in the air (I Thessalonians 4:16–18)! A prepared Church will be alert and attune to the teaching of godly leaders: prayer, fasting, holiness, worship, and devotion to/in the Word of God. We need be ready in season and out of season. Lord help us be a prepared church!

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on June 12, 2019 with Guest Teacher, Brother Gwinn