The church of the living God is the center of all sorts of controversies and human opinions. Despite these, the house of God remains the most essential place in the life of a born again believer. I am fully aware that the Lord can meet us at any place that we set aside to seek him but this doesn't replace the house of God. Right from the Old Testament times when God wanted to speak to his people, they were always called to assemble in a chosen place for this purpose. The church is a place where believers dedicate unto God and come together on regular basis to worship God and have fellowship one with another. Here are six guiding principles of the church of the living God.
1. Grace is not abuse of divine institutions.
There is so much discussion on grace in relationship to the church of the living God. It's important to understand that grace also call for accountability, order and stewardship. The casual attitudes of Christians towards God's house on the premise of grace is a dangerous phenomenon.
The early church under the circumstances they operated on, still had a place they assembled together for worship and fellowship. We make excuses and substitutes but God still says, "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people" The church of the living God is the ground and pillar of truth.
2. The desire for his church must be intentional and purposeful.
There is no place that I rather be than the church - a place set aside holy unto the Lord for worship. It's been the center of my life for over forty one years. King Hezekiah immediately he ascended to the throne, set his heart to repair the house of God he restored sacrifices, set the priest in their rightful services and called the people back to the temple. See 2 Chronicles 29: 2-3
Once our desire towards the church of the living God is intentional and not by compulsion our services to God's house flow through us with joy. God prospered Hezekiah immensely when his heart was set to his house. See 2 chronicles 32: 27-10
3. The church of Christ is holy and endowed with his abiding presence.
The Lord Jesus drove away those who turned the church into a place of merchandising. Yes there are those who abuse their power in the church for personal gains yet the church of the living God remains holy. What the Lord expects of us individually pertaining to holiness, the same is expected of his physical church which is the house of God.
4. A place of answered prayers. 1 Kings 2:22-56
It doesn't mean that the Lord cannot answer prayer in any other place but the church is a unique place set aside for corporate sacrifices unto him. We know that the Lord is a spirit and also omnipresent yet this house (the church) remain a place of prayer for all nations.
When you walk into the church with a hungry heart, you can always feel the intensity of his presence. The church of the living God provides us that solitude for esteemed fellowship with the Lord in prayer.
5. A place of fellowship, friendship and caring.
The Bible says except God builds his house (the church) the laborers work in vain. True Christianity come with a heart of compassion and there is no better place to demonstrate this than in the church of the living God. It starts from here and spreads to our communities and the world at large.
6. A place of rest, peace and unity. James 4:1-6
True peace abides in the church of the living God because his presence dwells there continually. The message of peace and unity are the brand in his church. The Bible says those that carry this message in the church are blessed.
We must not forsake the church of the living God for any reason. It's in the church, that the fullness of Christ is rained down upon us, it pays to set our hearts and minds to the church than any other institution around.
Dr. Ephraim John Udofia is the founder and Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Apostolic Ministries. International Mission-intensive ministry, both in foreign and home missions with currently over six churches in three countries. Dr. Udofia is the author of over seven life-changing books. He's passionately involved in church planting, crusades, conferences and ministers' training since the seventies. Dr. Udofia holds a Bsc. in Management, minor in accounting, an MBA, and Doctorate in Ministry (Dmin) with major in Missions. He is a former CEO of Precious Jewels Inc. for 19 years. Also a former banker and security representative holding both State and Federal licences. A financial counselor, motivational speaker, mentor, marriage counsellor and an outstanding dedicated family man. He is happily married with five grown children.
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