Six Traits of a Healthy Christian and a Healthy Church

Humility:  The desire of the believer to build someone else up rather than themselves.  That ‘someone’ is Christ.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:1-2).

Unity:  This unity is not based upon mere fellowship, but is based upon truth.  If we lean toward fellowship, we will compromise the truth in order to keep the peace.  If we lean toward truth, then if fellowship is ultimately based upon making sure falsehood does not infiltrate the church worse than any cancer than attacks a human body.  We are not a social club, but a Kingdom outpost of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Never forget that!

3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:3-6).

Ministry:  God grants followers of His Son spiritual gifts, in varying proportions, in order to accomplish His work and will in the world.  And He gives spiritual leaders (v. 11) in order to be equipped so they may equip others for the work of the ministry (v. 12).  The leaders of the church are, in a way, God’s gifts to the church—for they work to teach and equip others to do what God has ordained them to do (Ephesians 2:10). The church is built up and strengthened.  

7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says,

“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”

9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:7-12).

Maturity:  In the midst of the attainment of unity in the faith, the more we come to know Christ, then more we mature to be like Christ.  Jesus is our anchor, keep us strong.  Jesus is the One who provides discernment, so we are aware of the schemes of self and Satan.  No church or Christian is healthy that does not grow—and when a Christian does not wish to grow?  Well, 2 Corinthians 13:5 comes into play. 

13 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, 14 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 (Ephesians 4:13-14).

Fidelity:  Faithfulness to the truth of God’s revelation is a non-negotiable.  This connects strongly to the maturity aspect, because in the truth we grow up into Christ who is the head of the church.  This hearkens back to John 8:31-36 where both the truth sets free and the Son sets free.  The Son is the point of the entirety of God’s revelation, and thus is inherently connected to His Word!  He is the head—we are but the body.  But by God’s grace, we are members of that body with work to do!  What a blessing to be a part of the truth!  Truth that matters!  For eternity!

15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped (Ephesians 4:15-16a).

Charity:  Here, we bring out the King James English in speaking of love.  We are built up in the truth, in the knowledge of the Son of God, and in love.  Notice this is also how we are to speak:  speak the truth in love.  Speak all truth and no love, you have Pharisaism.  Speak all love and no truth, you have liberalism.  The most loving thing you can do is to be truthful, recognizing that all have souls and a story—not just labels. 

when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love (Ephesians 4:16b). 

Categories: church, church growth, Church Life | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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