How many churches sense God’s power at work in their midst? One danger every congregation faces is the temptation to rely on human effort and strategies. However, “unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1). Therefore, we must determine whether ministry and outreach are empowered by the Lord or by something else.
God is the only true source of power in the church, and He works through three specific means:
His Spirit (Acts 1:8). The church of Jesus Christ began the day the Holy Spirit came down and indwelled those who believed in Him. The Spirit’s work in and through the church is the only reason we can obey Christ’s command to make disciples. That’s why Acts 2:47 attributes all church growth to God: “The Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
His Word (Rom. 1:16). The gospel is the power of God for salvation—without it, no one would be saved. But the Lord also uses His Word to sanctify believers, just as Jesus prayed in John 17:17. Scripture is our source for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
His grace (1 Corinthians 15:10). God’s unmerited favor is not only the means of our salvation; it is also the power in our ministry. His grace even teaches us to deny ungodliness and live righteously (Titus 2:11-12).
In your church, do you sense God’s power at work in these three areas? How about in your personal life—are God’s Spirit, Word, and grace the source of your strength and spiritual growth?
Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 27-29