A Fruitful Church
The church should be a grapevine that bears much fruit so that God will be glorified, and people will know that we are the Lord’s disciples. How can we be a church that grows and bears much fruit? We should pay attention to the following areas:
1. Be firmly abiding to the head of the church (Partnership). “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) The Lord used the parable of the real vine to illustrate the living relationship between Himself and the church, just as branches are firmly attached to the vine. The Holy Father will also prune the branches that bear fruit so that they will be even more productive. If Christians want to bear more fruit, they must be firmly abiding to the Lord, dwell within the Lord, and receive the nurturing and pruning of God.
2. A life of worship and exaltation (Worship). “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23) “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess His name.” (Hebrews 13:15) An important purpose of the church on earth is to worship and glorify God. Christians who have received the grace of salvation congregate as a group and constantly use psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to exalt God, witness to one another, mutually encourage and edify, and give thanks together. This not only brings glory to God, but will also attract others to come and seek knowledge of God.
Fellowship and mutual assistance in
the Lord (Fellowship). “But
if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one
another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”
(1 John 1:7) “And do
not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is
pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16) The two words for fellowship and alms in
the Bible originally had the same meaning. God is pleased that those belonging
to Him have good relationships and help each other in their monetary needs.
That is a practical application of love. In the
4. Submit to the pastoral leadership (Leadership). “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (Hebrews 13:17) If the church has servants who fear God and faithfully shepherd and lead the flock, and the believers also fear God, willingly obey the Lord’s commands, and support and submit to the leadership of the pastors, the church will surely be vibrant, just like the Thessalonian church in the old days (1 Thessalonians 1:2-10).
5. Train fervently for a godly life (Discipleship). Having been saved by grace, Christians should consistently seek progress in their spiritual lives, follow the example of Jesus Christ, and be faithful disciples. If they make every effort to train themselves in the lessons of faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love, they will bear much fruit. “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:8)
6. Offer oneself to fulfill the Heavenly commission (Mission of Evangelism). “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) If the church works together to accomplish the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and preach the Gospel to all nations, the True Light of God will illuminate more dark places, and more people who are under the burden of sin and controlled by Satan will find release and freedom. The Lord will richly bestow the seed of His Word and the fruit of the Gospel to the church that submits itself and testifies earnestly for the Lord.