Wednesday, June 29, 2011
13 Characteristics of a Growing Church: Cling to Good
So here's a quick recap of the Characteristics of a Growing Church:
1st Love Genuinely
2nd Hate What is Evil
The 3rd characteristic of a growing Church is to Cling to What is Good.
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." Romans 12:9
There are several different ways that this verse is translated. I love what the ESV says...hold fast. When you cling to something or hold fast to it you basically have a death grip on whatever you are clinging to or holding on to. The key word here is "good". It won't do anything for you or for your church if you are clinging to your bitterness or anger or a dead program. You have to hold fast to what is good.
This same phrase is used in Psalm 63:8 when it says, "I cling to you; your right hand upholds me." Here the psalmist is talking about clinging to the ultimate good which is God. If we are going to have growing Christian lives and churchs then we should cling to God and His will for us and our church. Clinging to God means that sometimes we must let go of the other things that we have been holding on to for so long. Psalm 31:6 says, "I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the LORD."
The things that we are holding on to can be good in nature but if we are desperately holding on to them when God is telling us to let them go then they are what the verse calls "worthless idols" and they get in the way of holding on to God. These things that were "good" are now stumbling blocks in our growth and in our walk with Christ. Sadly that is what is wrong with many of our churches. We are dying because we are too busy holding on to the "good" things that we have always done instead of holding on to God. Sometimes we must let go of our ideas of what is good and our traditions so that we have our hands free to hold on to God.