STRENGTHENING THE CHURCH – How important is this subject? Yesterday I continued our examination of Paul’s example in the Book of Acts. In chapter 15, Paul went back to the cities where the gospel had been preached and believers added to the Lord, for the specific purpose of strengthening them in their faith. Was Luke biased on this issue? Let’s look at Paul’s own words in his letters to see if this was really a priority for him.
In the introduction to his letter to the saints in Rome, he says, “I long to see you that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you” (Romans 1:11). How would Paul strengthen them by letter? It was his sixth letter and the last of his first letters which aimed at grounding believers in the pure gospel of grace. This was the “spiritual gift” that would perpetuate itself through “mutually encouraging each other’s faith” (1:12) and helping them “not be ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (1:16). This is the only way to make sure believers and the church exist and expand on a firm foundation. The ‘false gospel of works’ quickly undermines faith and weakens a person’s relationship with God.
For further study of this subject, read Ephesians 3:14-16; Colossians 1:11-12. In order to see this subject in its larger context, we invite you to study the Scripture through God’s Plan for His Church. Go to our website, http://www.newfoundationsinternational.org/training-resources.html and download the training manual FREE. If you contact us through our email address, we will be happy to personally walk you through the training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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