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God’s Recipe for a Healthy Church, Pt. 4

May 20, 2012 Speaker: Brent Small

Topic: Church Passage: 1 Thessalonians 5:19–5:22

In this sermon podcast on First Thessalonians 5:19-22, Pastor Brent begins to answer the question, “How do we insure that the Holy Spirit is freely at work in the local church?

In the final part of this letter, the Apostle Paul continued to unload a series of commands in rapid-fire succession. Beginning in First Thessalonians 5:19-22, Paul’s commands centered on a believer’s relationship with God, specifically the Holy Spirit.

Through the Apostle’s teaching, the Lord offers a fourth ingredient in the recipe for the local church: a spiritually healthy local church relies upon the unrestricted work of the Holy Spirit. If the local church is going to grow and thrive, the Holy Spirit must be given full access in the church to do His work, both in the hearts of each member and in the church collectively.
The Spirit’s work is critical to the local church. The Spirit is the one who saves each individual member through the washing of regeneration and giving the gift of faith and repentance. The Spirit takes up residence in every believer and then draws the people of God together into the context of a corporate body in the local church. The Spirit then works among that body, comforting, appointing leaders, unifying, sanctifying and giving gifts for the common good and edification of the church. The Spirit’s mission is critical to every local church.

However, the Spirit’s work in the church can be hindered or quenched. Therefore, the Apostle Paul commanded the Thessalonian believers not to quench the Spirit’s work nor despise the Word of God, which is the Spirit’s primary tool in accomplishing His work in the church.

If the Spirit’s work is mission critical to the health of the local church, then we must take heed not to hinder that work. In this message, Pastor Brent begins to answer the question, “How do we insure that the Holy Spirit is freely at work in the local church?” The answer in this message comes in two parts, one dealing with an individual member’s relationship to the Spirit and the other his attitude towards the Word of God.