Faithful Foundations: 9 Marks of a Healthy Church

The church is the body of Christ, the family of God, in which believers are gathered for their own growth, for the good of others, and for the glory of God. This series encourages the church to prioritize and protect nine biblical marks of the church which have been lost, ignored, or neglected in many contemporary gatherings of the God’s people.  Without these the churches will struggle to make disciples who are growing and multiplying but with these a church will be the healthy body which God intended it to be.

Biblical Church Leadership: 1 Peter 5:1-11/Acts 20:17-38
January 17, 2016, Jonathon Susee

God is the shepherd of his people but he has graciously given his church leaders who will act as his representatives and under-shepherds. In Acts and the epistles of the New Testament we see the churches led by a plurality of elders, men who have the ability to teach and who are known in their communities for exemplifying the attributes of Christ. These men serve the Lord by teaching his word, setting a personal example, protecting the flock from false teaching, and serving humbly and sacrificially.

A Concern for Growth and Discipleship: Deuteronomy 6:1-25/Philippians 3:12-16
January 10, 2016, Jonathon Susee

The Bible teachers that Christians are to grow in the love, knowledge, and Christ-likeness and help others do the same. Growth and discipleship are meant to begin in the family unit with a focus on the Word of God at all times, in all places and in all activities. The other nine marks of a healthy church all assist a Christian in this endeavor as they live in God’s family. Discipleship occurs through instruction as we hear, live, and share the word of God and imitation as we follow those who are following Christ and lead others to do the same. 

Church Discipline
January 3, 2016, Jonathon Susee

In the broadest sense, everything a church does to help a member grow is part of discipline. Preaching, prayer, teaching, oversight from elders, accountability and life together are part of formative discipline. But at times it is necessary to correct sin in the body and warn errant members that the outward evidence of their life no longer matches their profession of faith. For the good of the body, the glory of God, and in the hopes of restoring the errant, the church must exclude a professing believer from membership and the Lord’s Supper due to address their unrepentant sin.

Conversion: Ezekiel 36:22-38
November 29, 2015, Jonathon Susee

Our world and every individual in it have been broken and twisted by the presence of sin. We want to see things change, and we need to see things change. Real change is possible when God’s power reshapes our lives as the Spirit of God works through the message of the God. In the Bible we are given the promise that God will put a new heart and new spirit within us.

Biblical Theology: Genesis – Revelation
November 15, 2015, Jonathon Susee

Biblical theology is a commitment to teach the entire Bible, interpreting the parts in light of the whole story of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration (or New Creation), in order to hold sound doctrine. Biblcial theology declares the character of God as the Bible declares him, not as we might imagine him. Sound doctrine encourages and builds strong faith and produces love.

Expositional Preaching: Ezekiel 37:1-14
November 8, 2015, Jonathon Susee

The Word of God, used by the Spirit of God, creates life and community. So the Word of God must be the foundation of our churches and our lives. God’s word must shape our words, beginning with the pastor’s sermons but affecting all of our conversations.