**"Dead or Alive: Rediscovering the Essence of True Faith"**
Have you ever stopped to wonder what the early church was like? No frills, no bells, no whistles. A far cry from the amenities of the modern church, right? Today's churches, with their accompanying amenities, may seem worlds apart from their ancient counterparts. But what if I told you that it's not about the what we have, but who we have?
The Church with Power:
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)
Believe it or not, the early church had none of the amenities we might take for granted today. They didn't jam out with:
- Worship teams
- Musical interludes
- Radiant church buildings
- Small groups
- A multitude of denominations
- Dazzling lights and smoke machines
- Nor did they have the luxury of coffee shops to gather and converse.
All they possessed were surrendered men and women with a heavenly calling, full of the Holy Ghost and faith. These were the folks you could say were *dead to themselves but alive for Christ*. They were the salt of the earth. In such vessels, divine life was made manifest to change the world upside down.
Alive in Spirit: A Clarion Call for the Modern Church
It's easy to think that the church needs a revival. But, here's a curveball for you: *what if it isn't the church but the people (members of the body) that need revival?* Modern Church is much like a person who appears to be alive with deteriorating vital organs in his body. We need revived men and women (members of the body) operating in the resurrection power in the Church. The gates of hades and death cannot prevail when the resurrection power of Jesus Christ is in operation.
Quality Over Quantity: The True Meaning of Growth
Many equate church growth with success. But, let's spill the beans: growth without genuine discipleship? It's like having all gear and no idea. Church growth without discipleship and a genuine heart to see Christ formed in disciples is a spiritual child care center, not a garrison of God's army.
So, what's the bottom line? A genuine heart, a desire to see Christ formed in disciples, that's what counts.
Conclusion: The Church's True Essence
In the hustle and bustle of modern Christianity, it's easy to lose sight of what truly matters. The early church, in all its simplicity, stands as a testament to the power of raw faith in Jesus Christ. Perhaps it's time for us to remember that it's not about the numbers, the lights, or the coffee. At the end of the day, it's about living in the resurrection power *dead to oneself and alive for Christ*.
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20)
So, here's a question for you: In the grand tapestry of faith, where do you stand? Dead or alive?