• Pastor Tim Chinn

Who Needs The Church #7

Thank you for joining me again for installment number seven of our “Who Needs the Church”1 devotional. I want us to continue to think about and pray for the kinds of people who need a local church like Grace Evangelical Church. As I shared earlier, a study of the New Testament reveals that there are at least seven different kinds of people who need the church. It is my prayer that we all would see ourselves in each of these or begin praying for someone we think might identify themselves as a member in a particular group.  Previously, I discussed the first three kinds of people who need the church: Broken People, Dependent People, and Imperfect People. Were you able to identify with any of these kinds of people? Do you know any of these people? Are you one of them? Today, I want us to consider the fourth kind of people, Teachable People.  I need you to imagine this unhappy scenario in your minds. Picture a college where the faculty is so highly educated that they are no longer able to relate to the needs of their students. Imagine this school is where only the brightest students are able to rise to the academic standards of the professors who are so self-absorbed with their own credentials, research, and efforts to be recognized in the best academic journals that they have lost touch. Imagine classes where students want to learn and need to learn, but where they are treated with impatience as if they should already have achieved the same level of knowledge as their teachers. That is the kind of image many unchurched people have of the church. Sadly, there are often people inside the church who don’t recognize these people as being ones who are teachable. Most people frequently come into the church as spiritually uneducated but anxious to learn biblical truth. Some of them may not even know simple things such as the difference between Noah’s ark and the ark of the covenant. Regularly these people don’t know or understand the language that is spoken by church people. Examples of this are, “offer the hand of Christian fellowship”, “edify one another”, “walk circumspectly”, or “give themselves to God as a sweet-smelling sacrifice.”   Yet many of these people are often teachable. They are smart, but they also know they are illiterate when it comes to knowing the Bible and understanding what the Bible teaches. What they need is a small group or some one-on-one attention to help them. What they need is a church that will patiently love them enough to help them grow spiritually. The apostle Paul understood that one of the purposes of the church is for the education of people who need to learn a new language of love, a new philosophy of life, a new logic, a new history, a new sociology, a new music, and a new view of relationships. Yet no church can do that in its own strength or intellect. Therefore, the Lord Himself gave teachers and leaders as gifts to each church for that purpose.  Paul gave the church in Ephesus (and every church) the challenge to bring spiritually uneducated people out of darkness and into the wonderful light of Christ (Eph 4:17-18). Scripture for today             “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Eph 4:11-16 Right thinking and right behavior come from the combination of sound biblical teaching and its application by the Holy Spirit in one’s life. When a church doesn’t have this perspective of knowledge, then it can only show the kind of love that puffs up rather than builds up (1 Cor 8:1-3). It is my goal for Grace Evangelical Church, that all of our teaching would be primarily directed toward ‘transformation rather than simply information’.   Prayer for today Thank you, Lord, for giving us the Church and our church. Help me to not be puffed up in my own biblical knowledge, because Your Word can never be fully grasped.  Help me to patiently share my Bible knowledge with the goal of helping others grow spiritually. Help me to never lose my desire to learn more of Your Word and to always have a teachable attitude.  Help me to appreciate my teachers, yet never make them a substitute for You.  Help me begin by reaching out to others who are feeling isolated and alone, and be an encouragement to them. In Jesus’ name, amen I look forward to sharing more devotional thoughts about “Who Needs the Church”. Blessings, Pastor Tim

  1. Who Needs the Church?  Radio Bible Class, 1990

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