Building a Great Church – Tried and True

Preached by Chris Adams, April 20, 2008

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Sometimes we need to be “broken in” to be “Tried and True!”

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If we want to build a great church, we need to have great fear–then we will have great joy! The world has an almost Santa-Claus view of God that lacks a deep respect and does not move anyone to honor him with obedient lives! When we fear the right things, then we can be fearless as we hold out the word of life to a hurting world. Consider Psalm 36:1-4:

1 An oracle is within my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God
before his eyes.
2 For in his own eyes he flatters himself
too much to detect or hate his sin.
3 The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful;
he has ceased to be wise and to do good.
4 Even on his bed he plots evil;
he commits himself to a sinful course
and does not reject what is wrong.

We reject what is wrong and hate evil because we love the truth and are sensitive to anything that would come in between us and our awesome Father in heaven! The question you must ask yourself: “Are you allowing God to make you Tried and True?!!”

“Tried and True” preached by Chris Adams
Sunday, April 20, 2008

1 Thessalonians 2:17-20
• God wants you to be tried and true.
• He wants disciples of Jesus Christ that are tried and true.
Question: How does it feel to see someone else go through the persecution that you went through?
• Paul built a great church in Thessalonica.
• Paul was torn away from them by Satan.
Question: Isn’t Paul’s heart for these brothers and sisters (that he barely knew) challenging to you?
• God used Paul to build a great church in Thessalonica in just three weeks.

1. Great Fear
Acts 5:1-11
• You see a couple in the church that lied about their contribution.
• They had total ability to say what they were going to give.
Question: Who among you fears God?
• The lack of a fear of God.
• Knowing the consequences is a fear of God.
• There is a growth of a total rejection of God.

Revelation 2:20-21
• There is a tolerance of sin when you do not fear God.
• Fearing God is being unwilling to tolerate that sin.
Question: What causes you to reject authority?
• If you do not ask your brother in Christ how he is doing, then you are tolerating sin.
Question: Are you fearing God?
Question: Are you seized with fear?

Proverbs 1:1 – 7
• The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge.
• God is in control.
• You do not get to the starting line if you do not fear God.
• You will fear the Lord at some point.

Psalm 36:1-4
• He had conviction about the world and about what sin is.
Question: What is the consequence of not fearing the Lord?
• You can become wise for God and then not be wise any longer if you stop being wise and plot ways to please yourself and to meet your own needs.
Question: How are you rejecting the sin of the world?
Question: Are you rejecting your own sin?
• You have the power to reject sin.
• If you are in a sin that you cannot overcome, then you do not fear God.
• There are consequences to sin.
Question: Are you rejecting sin?
Psalm 27:1-4
• When you fear God, you do not fear anybody.
• When you fear God, you do not fear man.
• Overcoming your enemies is intense.
• Great fear will lead to great confidence.
Question: How does this apply to the church?
Question: How does this apply to the body of Christ?

1 Corinthians 5:1-12
• Sin messes you up, especially sexual sin.
• You are not about being a hermit.
• God wants to create you a safe space called the church.
• There is a point where God has to protect the church.
• There is no way that you can hide.
• You have relationships where you are open and honest.

Matthew 18:15-20
• Scripture is what teaches you to say “No” to ungodliness.
Question: What does this do?
Question: What would the world be like if everyone talked to everyone directly to resolve conflict?
• Fear is a great thing but it has to be a fear of God.
Question: What would be the temptation?
• Selfishness is worry and fear.
• Great fear will lead you to great joy.

2. Great Leadership
Acts 6:1-7
• Great leadership brings this rapid increase.
• There were so many needs that went unmet.
• There has to be a lot of wisdom in leadership to lead a church.
• There is no great leadership if there is no great trust.
• Every single person is called to serve.
Question: What happens when you have this great leadership and people who are willing to obey?
• Satan is always trying to cut you down in your life.

3. Great Joy
Acts 7:54-60

Acts 8:1-3
Question: Why did they stone Stephen?
• If you love Jesus, then you obey Him.
• If you are not being persecuted, then you are not being like Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:12)
• There are many people who want Jesus.
Question: How do you handle the persecution?
• Challenge: Obey James 1:2.
• Have great faith.