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The Church: Let's Start Here, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
April 20, 2022 7:05 am

The Church: Let's Start Here, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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April 20, 2022 7:05 am

The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal

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Clear thinking most wanted circular thinking the corporate mentality today on Insight for living, however well-organized, we must think a spiritual counseling needs to be spiritual counsel, our instruction is to be spiritual instruction to be spiritual messages are teaching these to be spiritually inclined, or it isn't the kind of church Jesus Christ is have a way of stirring up the stall to as we celebrate a milestone. I look back at how far we've come in today on Insight for living. We have the benefit of hearing a message from Chuck Swindoll presented to the congregation of stone. Briar Community Church just prior to their 10th anniversary along the way will be reminded about the essential elements of a healthy church. He's teaching from acts chapter 2 and Matthew 16 in order to provide a biblical perspective on God's design for the church. Chuck titled his message the church. Let's start here was back in the middle 1990s that the Lord began to move on my part. When I came to Dallas seminary is a part of its leadership team, I came as a shepherd. I've never little school and I didn't see myself as a president of of really anything. But I still had burning within me the desire to start a church. I just didn't know where I didn't know how.

So I said to Cynthia one day you want to be be great to just get started. Maybe a Bible class. Let's do that. Just a little gathering of people be fun. We are even aware we should meet.

We just said let's get going with a group of people.

We need that and I love to be preaching again. That's great. So we wound up a storm. Briar country club in the first meeting 300 people showed up. Problem is, the next time we met we doubled in size.

It was getting past when I expected, so let me let me be very candid with you. Here is if I haven't already been me just tell you what happened I'm involved in running Insight for living along with Cynthia and we are commuting.

Then 9899.

We haven't moved the ministry here we are. The traveling Southern California back here. We've built a little place down in Dallas where we would live, and I was present. Seminary and we were involved in a major fundraising campaign. There, my hands are full.

My arms were full. My heart is full of loving at all what you didn't know is that behind-the-scenes like a mother with too many kids. I was a pastor with too many people and I couldn't keep up with a lot of things. So I delegated a lot of things. Things were delegated to good men individuals but not men who had my heart not men who had my vision not individuals who they were trying to hurt anything or or destroy anything but little did I realize that when I delegated and released.

I was in training I wasn't meant to. I wasn't shaping the thinking I wasn't carrying out the vision got it, given the back in the mid-90s was unable to and I when I realized it had gotten too far along staff had been hired probably should've never been hired and I'm grateful to say that we we never lost our integrity financially. There were fistfights in the back room is not like that is just we realized, I realized especially here in the last 2 to 3 years. How far we've drifted from the original dream and vision. That's a tough place to find yourself because the church is now the size it is a were all excited about that not mean that genuinely seemed to be a good time for us to pull back and look directly at where we've been, where we are where we ought to be going to stop the erosion wherever it may be, is not been easy and difficult times in tears and hurt feelings and hard moment.

But remember Sunday comes every seven days, so I never brought the struggle to the pulpit. I simply announced from week to week were building a building work going ahead were moving on trusting God, but I finally had to come to realize is time to stop weight. Let's look again.

Let's see if what it is.

God is doing and let's examine what it is, God would have us do, and let's do that. That meant some changes that met moving in a direction that had not been moving in that met certain staff didn't remain that met some elders didn't stay.

And all the way through.

My hope was to keep it on on vision on stream now were going to skip from Matthew 16 to asked to because I want you to see is the Lord began to build his church.

What it looked like take a look here.

Acts chapter 2 verse 14 through verse 36 Peter preaches a message as 120 people that have been in the room where the spirit of God is come. It seems clear that it was there. The church began the number hundred and 20 as a result of a number of these people come down in the streets and they began to preach to people who are from all over the world there declaring the good news of the Savior. Verses 38 to 40, Peter. Peter ends this message and then there's a response. Look at the response of the people. So then, those who have received his word were baptized as the gospel was given they received it.

It's what you do when you hear of Christ, you receive him you believe in him, so they are believers.

Watch what happens. They are then baptized.

Can you imagine this that day there were added 3000 souls. Suddenly, there are 3000 brand-new Christians and you think I felt uneasy with the growth. Imagine Peter. It's amazing. There's no corruption there's no tradition. There are no bylaws.

There's no building is no senior pastor. There's no leadership structure is no splinter group just 3000 people living our lives now the Christ is living within them.

So what did they do watch closely next verse they continually devoted themselves in your pencil ready mark the word teaching Fellowship breaking bread in prayer, but the lowest common denominator of a church you can have a church if you take away any of the four yapped of teaching teaching and preaching you got have fellowship does not dinner on the grounds that's closeness.

Cornelia that's sharing in life. That's close relationships. That's harmony that sharing in one another's life teaching fellowship. Third, had worship breaking of bread that means not only meals but following the meal.

They took time for the Lord's table and image baptism so they had the elements that were served as well as these ordinances baptism and the Lord's table and then there was prayer you can have more than four. You cannot have less than four and be a church does not tell you this is because no one ever taught me that I'm in a church all my life. No one is ever taught me these things I'm sharing with you. I've learned these things, so wanted church when we informed Stonebraker that was strong in teaching this pulpit must be strong every adult fellowship must be strong are a teenage ministry must be strong in the Scriptures are children's ministry must be strong in teaching from the earliest youngest child able to learn all the way up to the oldest adult weather were meeting homes or in gatherings like this. God's word must continue to be taught the word of God is like the spine of the body and the spirit of God uses his word as Christ the head speaks through his word to his people, so we will be fed by the teaching ministry of his word.

There has to be fellowship otherwise world where school replace the dispenses information has to be fellowship of school doesn't have to fellowship. It's great. If it does, but it doesn't have to mature test to publish the school. You don't have to have worship but on a church you do you have to have prayers will not taken the time to tell you what was their limitary what wasn't there. Listen just as well. There was no organizational structure.

There were no politics. There were no clicks was no governmental guideline no rules and regulations.

No economic status promoted over another. There were no power grabs her control freaks. There was no infighting maneuverings are board meetings. There were no financial squabbles no turf protection.

Remarkably, this pristine setting provided room for the spirit of God to work and guide. I said to the Lord when I found these truths guide me into this great Jehovah on the Pilgrim in a barren land.

Help me maintain this help us do this is a church direct our steps for your greater glory.

I just didn't have the time early on to implement it. Now I will now we will who was leading the ministry. Obviously, the apostles, those who were gifted to teach. There were no officers there was no authoritative guru.

There was no chairman of anything German is never found in the Scriptures.

There were givers there were worshipers there were singers there were followers of Jesus.

There were fellow believers. That was the body must've been magnificent. You know what else. There was integrity, trust, joy, confidence, unity, generosity, compassion, harmony, stability, grace, grace was a working well. It says in verse 46 there was gladness and sincerity of heart, that's a good place to start looking 47 praising God and having favor with one another and the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being say, hang on, looking for for for verse four, but many of those who had heard the message believed the number of the men came to be about 5000. Stay with me. 514 all the more believers in the Lord and multitudes of men and women is no longer giving numbers. They were constantly added to their number 67 the word of God kept on spreading in the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith of remarkable. 931. I will keep doing this but let's go, this one anyway. 931 so the church throughout all Judea all Galilee, all Samaria enjoyed peace being built up going on in the fear of the Lord in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. It continued to increase. 1121 to 24 says the same thing.

14. One says the same thing and it goes on to know that Bruce calls it the spreading flame is a spreading flame is like the crescendo. It's just growing and growing and it's making a difference and Caesar. Caesar is running the Empire, but all the while persecution notwithstanding the people group stayed together work together stayed in the work. I loved it and sang the song and stood together, arm in arm with their loved ones were killed from the faith. It was magnificent and the persecution separated. They were together.

They were together. Having these things in common. Pulling alongside one another how magnificent my comment was old God Almighty give us that again make it happen again. Make it happen again.

So we pull together the counselor. These men began to go through this. So I just said to Dr. to say nothing dock to sleep. Just talk to us just just tell us what stands out in your mind thesis on to get this look at that finger since 1961 is on to tell you this is not a business. It is a spiritual entity.

Let's never forget finger longer than that is dark you can cook but that's another subject, I won't get into that better edit that out honey, that's we had a great time together everything but a doxology. All of this is led me to these three statements okay get him ready.

Don't let anybody else take this for you. You write it yourself.

You're going to come back to it. I want to bring us back to it over and over and over again 123 number one clear biblical thinking must override secular planning and a corporate mentality clear biblical thinking must override secular thinking in a corporate mentality, however, were organized.

We must think spiritually so add that to your statement. Think spiritually think spiritually are counseling needs to be spiritual counseling. Our instruction is to be spiritual instruction are songs need to be spiritual songs are handy to be spiritual messages are teaching these to be spiritually inclined our relationship with each other. Needs to be spiritually connected a connection with each other was an intimate fellowship that people were people can trust one another to be a safe place for children a safe place for single women.

The church would be a safe place for the spiritual overrides everything else that you have to fight with in the marketplace, or it isn't the kind of church Jesus Christ is the head of the second studied accurate decisions studied accurate decisions must originate from God's word, not human opinion studied accurate decisions must originate from God's word not human opinions.

Add to that state biblical state biblical carrier Bible user Bible the Bible to be a part of every gathering that were part of the Bible is our guide, a Bible shakes the thinking of our future. The Bible will assist us with principles when it comes to building buildings and and and and equipping it. The Bible will be our guide studied accurate decisions must originate from God's word, not human opinions as wise, and they are as intelligent as human opinions are. This is about human opinions that includes my own human opinion is about God's work third.

Why is essential.

Changes must occur. To counteract any sign of erosion. Why is essential.

Changes must occur counteract any sign of erosion.

Add to that. Be flexible. Please notice I did not use the word easy. These are not easy changes. These are essential changes do I wish I'd seen a lot of this earlier course I do not you wish you seen a lot of things earlier in your marriage that you wish you'd seen things before you fouled up your other marriage and and got into this one.

Of course you do course, that it did not does little good. That shaming shaming gets us nowhere.

We face the fact. We regret those things that we say were going to go on to trust God to use it will loosen people regrettably will loosen people will go long and I want to assure you when I am gone, the matter takes my place will stand exactly where we are or he's not the one you want to have this church deserve someone who stands for these principles to do everything we can to make that happen to quotations and on through. Just listen. Don't push for your keys don't don't go there. Just listen listen.

The first is from e.e. cummings, poet and artist who wrote in another era to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting not realize the truth of that I decided it was worth the stand and I took it.

It wasn't easy to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting. I don't want my life to be filled with fighting but my life must include fighting. I don't want to be known as a fighter, but I can't be a wimp and lead this ministry on nobodies whipping boy at the stand for what God teaches me not to stand if necessary. Loan thankfully I'm not standing alone, but I would if I had to.

And so would many of you, you understand where I'm coming from.

This had a brother walk up just after the second service lean on me and say no man shall never know for five years when I been going through and today I hear this. Thank God this is what I needed to hear and describe to me what is been going through. Here's the second quote from AW toes or the world is waiting to hear an authentic voice. A voice from God, not an echo of what others are doing and saying. But an authentic voice and authentic voice.

By God's grace I want to remain that authentic voice. I have no hidden motive. I have no secrets event. I have no shame in anything I told you, but I want you to know that I want my voice to come from the living God and not to be an echo of what others are doing or saying. And that's what you need and for the grace of God. That's what we will continue to do. You have my word is this fun or what were into the best years of our lives we got a whole bunch. I'm in front of us and our dreams are greater than our memories good is that father keep us so unique and keep us authentic can keep us strong hand keep us close guard us from independent in an selfish Lee motivated tangents or those silly hobby horses that we can all start to ride, keep our eyes in your word in our hearts in Christ, our focus, clear, and this church drawn guard us from fear reminders that there cannot be faith without risk that relies that stands firmly and relies on rock's stand strong name.

We have begun it's in his strong name. We continue in its strong name we pray and honest people said Amen personal for Chuck Swindoll.

The biblical principles are the driving force behind his pastoral ministry and reflect the manner in which he shepherds the flock at Stone Breyer Community Church you're listening to Insight for living and we've preserve the closing moments of today's program to hear more teaching from Chuck so please stay with us first. If you missed any portion of this new series that started on Monday. Remember, we provided a simple way for you to catch up. You can download the free mobile app that includes every program or download the daily podcast from any major podcast provider or just stream the program directly from as a complement to the study, called the church awakening were also pointing you to a helpful biography.

The check is written on the apostle Paul. It's called Paul a man of grace and grit. Paul played a strategic role in the church's earliest gatherings. He's clearly a pioneer of the early church. Any story helps us model the way we gather as local churches today to purchase a copy of Chuck's biography on Paul go to at Insight for living were pleased to receive notes, letters and phone calls from friends who affirm the value of Chuck's Bible teaching you might be encouraged to hear this one that came from Pennsylvania.

It said Chuck thank you for leading me for nearly 30 years. You make me smile often laughed deeply even when I fell away from God. It was your familiar voice that help me find my way back home, while uplifting comments like this are made possible through the financial support of listeners like you and you can partner with us by calling us if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 to give a donation online, go to again. As promised, here's our Bible teacher, Chuck Swindoll, the people of God must return to a hunger and thirst for righteousness, you must weary of eating husks and leftovers and being entertained you must demand a halt to superficial religion. You must refuse to be entertained and have it called worship, you must openly state, we expect more of our pastor than a 12 minute sermon that we will not put up with that any longer. These United States don't do provide for us the opportunity to protest and I think it's high time the people of God protested against those who have taken the church in the wrong direction. Stop watching and supporting and sending your money to media ministries that do not feed your soul's do that soon it it's as simple as that. Give they don't have the finances they cannot continue and there are those who continue continue to support back in the days when grace was hardly mentioned, I decided I would do a series on the great, later came to be called the grace awakening in that series.

I said it's time to stop submitting to legally it's time for us to quit living like were under the law. Time to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ is made us free, and it was like a voice in the wilderness. I wasn't the only voice but there weren't many. And from that came the whole movement in the, the and and the famine that had been ignored long enough began to shift change. Another legalist are exposed for what they are and grace abound.

Since the way it ought to be in the church. But Jesus tomorrow on Insight for living. The preceding message the church. Let's start here was copyrighted in 2008 2010 and 2011 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2011 by Charles R.


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