Who benefits from a powerless church?

Who benefits from a powerless church?

I believe it is far too often the case that church has become nothing more than a service club because its identity has been primarily based on being good people, good neighbors, and doing good works.  I am a member of Kiwanis, which is not a church, and the club’s identity is based in being good people, good neighbors, and doing good works.  And when a church’s identity is primarily based in these three things, it loses its true identity as found in the Holy Spirit and His power.

Who benefits from a powerless church?

Does the world?  Nope.

Does the kingdom of God?  Nope.

Does God’s reputation?  Nope.

Does the church?  Nope.

Who benefits from a powerless church?  The enemy, that’s who.

God didn’t create the church to be a service club, though they would do good works.  God created the church to be a power plant through which the power of the Holy Spirit would flow.  Jesus told his followers before ascending that they would “receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses…”  Throughout the rest of the Book of Acts and the New Testament, there are countless examples of what that power did through the believers as they proclaimed the good news.  And nowhere, to my knowledge, is there a place in the Bible where God truly says that this reality has ended.

There are different gifts of the Spirit through which the incredible power of God flows in incredible ways: healings, miracles, tongues, etc.  But of these types of gifts, there is only one in which every believer is to participate – prophecy.  In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul says a couple of things that I find to be very interesting.  In verse 1, he says, “Pursue love, and be zealous for spiritual things/matters, but so that, all the more, you may prophesy.”  In verses 23-24, he says, “But if all prophesy and some unbeliever or unlearned person enters, he is convicted by all, he is examined by all; the secrets of his heart become manifest, and so falling on his face, he will worship God, declaring that indeed God is among you.”

Notice that all believers are to, at some level, be participating in prophesying.  Also notice that it is the demonstration of this that causes the person on the receiving end to declare that God is among us.

So, is the primary identifier of the church found in being good people, good neighbors, or good works?  Nope.  The primary identifier of the church is found in the presence of the Holy Spirit which is demonstrated and revealed in power.

Who is the only one who benefits from a powerless church?  The enemy.

Who is the only one who doesn’t benefit from a church through whom the power of God truly flows?  The enemy.

Time to once again allow the power to truly flow.

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