The recent series, “A Rebuilding Season,” seems to have struck a nerve with some people, especially myself – I suppose it’s a good idea that the preacher’s sermons would affect change at least within the preacher. And that’s the point; these sermons were not planned, written, or preached with the sole purpose of making changes within the church – that is, the church as a building or as an organization or as a gathering event. These sermons were focused primarily on prompting changes within each of us as individuals.
The simple reality is this: there’s no rebuilding the church if there’s no rebuilding its members. Even if all the members work together to restore old programs or to establish new ones, if the people who are the church are not solid on their own foundation in Christ, they will not succeed. For that reason, it’s at the top of my list to focus on preaching and teaching the Bible and sound biblical doctrine. For that reason, we are going to offer Bible studies and classes that focus on the Bible and sound biblical doctrine.
However, consuming good, healthy Bible lessons and sermons doesn’t necessarily mean good, healthy growth if we are not intentional about growing in our faith and knowledge. In his letter to the Colossian church, the apostle Paul told the early church that it was his prayer that they would grow in their knowledge of God, but knowledge wasn’t enough. He wrote in Colossians 1:10-12
We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
Paul wanted the early church to know that it wasn’t enough just to know about God or to know his Words but to do something with that knowledge.
The idea of rebuilding ourselves or building on a solid foundation starts with God’s Word, and that leads us to “live a life worthy of the Lord” so that we might “please him in every way.” With that knowledge, we do what it tells us are good works, and through those good works, we bear fruit. With that knowledge, we grow in strength so that we might be able to do those good works and so that we might endure any opposition or persecution to that work. And because we have that knowledge and its strength and because we have endured through the work and the opposition, we are able to praise God.
It seems that we come together as the church to grow in our faith and knowledge of Jesus, which helps us grow in our strength and ability to do good works, which leads us to praise God. So as we work on rebuilding our own lives, we find ourselves rebuilding the church. As we grow as individuals, we grow together as a body. As we work out our faith as individuals, we work as a body. As we praise God as individuals, we praise God as a body.
If you find yourself wondering what you can do to help rebuild the church, start with working on your own relationship with God. As you rebuild your own faith through the knowledge of God’s Word, through doing the good works that God’s Word leads us to do, and through your own praise to God for the knowledge, strength, and endurance he has given you, you will find yourself building up the church.