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PosterThread
elected
Member



Joined: 2004/11/21
Posts: 362
Tulsa OK

 What is your understanding of a spiritual mature local church?

Carnality, immaturity & even worldliness of believers is so common in local churches today, that most of us have no idea of what really means a mature local church.

Spiritual christians are very few and scattered in different places but we lack so much continual spiritual growth as a local body of Christ.

I believe that for a church to be mature, first of all her elders or leaders should be godly men who walk in the Spirit and are filled with the Holy Spirit. Their faith in God is such an example as worthy of imitation (Hebrews 13:7)

They have a spiritual understanding of the Word of God and preach it with unction. They lift up the banner of Truth and proclaim the whole counsel of God to the body of Christ and maintain the pure biblical doctrines & apostolic teaching.

Like apostle Paul they "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)

They respect (authentic) apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoring & teaching ministries as Christ's gifts to his church. These gifts are necessary "to equip the saints for ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." {Ephesians 4:12,13)

A mature local church is under the headship, kingship & lordship of Jesus Christ. Her born again believers are aware of the presence of God in their local gatherings to worship God and its programs are subject to the Holy Spirit guidance. The elders take care that there is order in the House of God but at the same time spiritual freedom for the exercise of spiritual gifts and especially of prophecy that is very profitable for "upbuilding, encouragement & consolation." (Corinthians 14:3)

Also those who are spiritual admonish the believers to pursue love which is the greatest of God's gifts and without it we are "nothing". They teach by example how to love their neighbors and each-other and how to obey God's greatest commandments from the heart.

A mature church has at least a good minority of mature believers who are praying men of God, who build themselves up in "in their most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit." (Jude 20)

They are diligent to make their calling & election sure by making every effort to supplement to their faith those necessary qualities that will provide for them a rich entrance into the eternal kingdom of their Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. {see 1Peter 1)

They follow the way of the cross & walk on the highway of holiness and have a personal knowledge of their Lord. They overcome sin by the power of the Holy Ghost working within.

They have a burning passion for Christ to be glorified in their lives and a burden for the salvation of the lost.

They have a godly character because Christ is indwelling inside them. They decry humanistic emphasis in the church and share a God-centered gosple. Their attention and focus is upon Christ and not on man-made theologies, human ideas or culture.

They are true witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ in the last days & overcomers.

Like the five wise virgins they are ready for the midnight coming of their Bridegroom, their lamps are filled with oil and burning brightly as they go out to meet the Bridegroom.



*** Edited***


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Redi

 2011/9/14 18:05Profile
Renoncer
Member



Joined: 2010/6/26
Posts: 483


 Re: What is your understanding of a spiritual mature local church?

Amen!

One important thing that we MUST UNDERSTAND is the fact that the assembly is not supposed to be used as a means of evangelism. What I mean is that the church should GO OUT into the world for the purpose of evangelism, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. If it happens that unbelievers come to the assembly, they should enter a holy place, not a common place. As soon as we start "framing the service" according to the world, we have lost already. God detests it. We should read the prophets and see how much God chided Israel for adopting the practices of the nations in their worship of God. The result: JUDGMENT. But, praise the Lord, for He has kept a remnant for Himself!

What you have written is a good vision for a church.
Good post.

In Christ,
Renoncer

 2011/9/14 18:38Profile
ArtB
Member



Joined: 2004/4/27
Posts: 431
New York

 Re: What is your understanding of a spiritual mature local church?

Elected. i read your entire post, and there is not one thing you wrote that I would or could disagree with.

(Note, my above statement may have been only intended for the unedited version of 'Elected' 1st post.)


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Arthur Biele

 2011/9/14 21:50Profile
Aussiedler
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Joined: 2005/2/14
Posts: 109
GERMANY

 Re:

there is the manifest presence of God, continually repenting and confessing and breaking.

 2011/9/16 19:26Profile
elected
Member



Joined: 2004/11/21
Posts: 362
Tulsa OK

 Re:

Aussiedle wrote:
"there is the manifest presence of God, continually repenting and confessing and breaking."



Humility of heart is a quality of spiritual christians. In their life they are sensitive to confess & repent of their sin(s) & they will be forgiven by Jesus and be cleansed in his blood. But that does not mean they are living in habitual sin or practicing lawlesness daily and repenting daily.

Those who gratify the desires of the flesh and walk by the flesh are playing with fire and Paul warned the galatian church, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. ( galatians 5:16-21)

"Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness." (John 3:4) In the same passage John said that, "No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning." it is clear from John's letter that whoever practice sin or is in habitual sin and does not love the brothers, is not abiding in Jesus and is walking in darkness.

God's will for believers is to attain spiritual maturity by puting away childish things and growing in grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. By abiding in Jesus as a branch to the Vine and bearing fruit. By pursuing godliness and believing God for entire sanctification and for grace of perseverance to the end.

The believers in the letter to the Hebrews were still babes in Christ, who needed someone to teach them again the basic principles of the oracles of God. They were not skilled in the word of righteouness and this is the state of many believers today.



Hebrews 6:1,2 explaines what is the elementary doctrine of Christ:

"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection (or full growth); not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."


1. Repentance from dead works - the first thing the Holy Spirit does is to convict the sinner of sin and lead him to genuine repentance.

2. Faith toward God - without it is impossible to please God and be a christian or to know Jesus as your Savior. Repentance & faith were the 2 first principles taught in the gosple.

3. Doctrine of baptisms - We know from scriptures that there are two kinds of baptisms. One is a baptism in the water in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit ( Matthew 28:19) and the the second one is the baptism with the Holy Ghost (Mt 3:11)

4. Laying on of hands - In the old testament the laying on of hands was for the purpose of conferring a blessing, or authority. In the new testament, apsotles laid hands on new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. Tithomy received a special inward endowment (gift), imparted to him by the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands of the elders.
"Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you." (1 Timothy 4:14)
Disciples in the early church laid hands on the sick in the name of Jesus. Barnadas and Paul by laying on of hands were set apart by the church at Antioch for the work which the Holy Spirit had called them.

5. Resurrection of the dead - First resurrection is of the righteous dead at the last trumpet at the second comming of Jesus and the 2nd resurrection of the dead after 1000 reign of Christ on earth.
"there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." (Acts 24:15)

6. Eternal judgment - The judgment of the dead at the end of the world (Revelation 20:11-15)



Spiritual christians are the ones who rightly divide the word of truth and their powers of discernment are trained by constant practice to discern good from evil.

They live a life by faith in utter dependance on God and aspire holiness of life and long daily for being filled with the Holy Spirit.

They have a revelation of the devine pattern of the church as God has revealed in the NT. They pray & intercede for the bride of the Lord to be without wrinkles, spotless, pure, holy & blameless at the comming of the Bridegroom.





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Redi

 2011/9/19 15:30Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2002
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: What is your understanding of a spiritual mature local church?

As the church worldwide is comprised of all of the people of God who are born again and since the church local is comprised by Biblical example of all the born again believers who reside in a city or other similarly defined geographic region I would say it is hard to answer that question. We so often think of many different churches in a city, each one residing in a building and calling itself by a name that resides on a sign. With this paradigm we look for one that is more mature than another. I am not sure that is what we should be looking for. God had placed in my city many men and women who are mature believers, fathers and mothers in the faith, elders in the city. He had also placed apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers who are also mature in the Lord and in the word and who are charged with doing the work of ministry to the body in equipping it so it can in turn do the work of the ministry in the city. I guess I would answer the question by asking another similar question. Who are the men and women who fill this description in your city? I would say look to them to see what maturity in the church looks like.


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Travis

 2011/9/19 21:31Profile





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