The “Brave New World” of the 21st Century requires a “Brave New Discipleship” strategy.

The 6th Mark of A Complete Christian: Impacts the Church

Posted on: August 04, 2015

 

BND Mark #6

THE 6TH MARK OF A COMPLETE CHRISTIAN IS THAT HE IMPACTS THE CHURCH.

Christians are family and should care for one another. Therefore, a complete Christian uses his time, talent, and treasure for the welfare of the Church and other Christians.

Ephesians 4:16 says, “From [Him] the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” This tells us that, if the entire body of Christ is going to be healthy, each individual part must be making its contribution to the whole in a spirit of Christian love.

God has created us so that we are only deeply satisfied in life as we live in cooperation with others for something greater than ourselves. Living as part of a team, uniting with others who compliment us to accomplish things we could not accomplish on our own, we enter a world of purpose and meaning that we cannot have any other way.

Scripture uses the synonymous terms “Body of Christ” and the “Church” to refer to the totality of all Christians. And, Jesus deeply identifies with the Body of Christ. In fact, in Acts 9, Jesus asks Saul, “Why are you persecuting Me.” The fact is, Saul (later the Apostle Paul) had never seen Jesus, and certainly was not persecuting Him directly. But he persecuted the Body of Christ, and Jesus so closely identified with the Body of Christ that He considered that, in persecuting the Church, Saul was actually persecuting Him.

As a result of this close identification the Lord has with the Church, the Body of Christ, we serve the Lord when we serve the Church.

We serve the Lord by serving the Church with our time and talent. In Galatians 6:10, we see that we are to do good to all men, but especially those who are of the household of the faith. We cannot “do good” without giving our time and talents.

We also serve the Lord by serving the Church with our treasure. The needs of the poor and the expenses of fulfilling ministry are to be funded with the voluntary financial gifts of Christians (2 Corinthians 8:1-7, Philippians 4:10-18).

Scripture teaches four principles of giving:

  1. Stewardship Principle – God owns everything. We are merely His “assets managers.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)
  2. Treasure Principle – We cannot take it with us, but we can send it ahead. (Matthew 6:19-20)
  3. Giving Principle – You only keep what you give away. (Matthew 10:42).
  4. Source Principle – God is the source of our wealth, therefore we should give accordingly. (Philippians 4:19)

God does not need our money, but He wants our hearts – and the test of whether or not He has our hearts is if we give Him our money.

A “Complete Christian” uses his time, talent and treasure for the welfare of the Body of Christ, the Church.

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I go into The 7 Marks of a Complete Christian in greater depth in my latest book, Brave New Discipleship.

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