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THINGS THAT WOULD HELP THE CHURCH OF CHRIST GROW

  In Matthew 13:31, 32 the Lord likened his kingdom, 
(which is his church),  to a mustard seed which though a very small 
seed grew into a tree so the birds came and lodged in its branches.
This makes it clear that the Lord wants growth. As individuals we are
to desire the sincere milk of the word that we may grow (I Pet. 2:1,2)
We are to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus 
Christ (2 Pet. 3:18). The example of the early church was that of 
growth (Acts 2:41,47; 4:4; 5:14; 6:7). Let us notice in this articles 
some suggestions as to how to grow. 

  1. LIVING IN VIEW OF THE CROSS. Paul said he was determined to know
nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified (I Cor. 2:2) He also wrote, 
"God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world."
(Gal. 6:14). The facts of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
The commands of faith, repentance, and baptism. The promises of 
salvation from sin, gift of the Holy Spirit, and promise of eternal 
life. Worshipping in spirit and truth. Living a life of faith in the 
Lord Jesus Christ.  All these surround the cross of Jesus Christ. Let
us never forget these facts and keep them before ourselves and the 
world. 	

  2. PREACHING THE WORD. Peter's first recorded sermon called for the
Israelite to hear his words and to hearken to the things he said 
(Acts 2:14,22). Those gladly receiving the word were baptized 
(Acts 2:41). Cornelius' house had to hear words concerning their 
salvation (Acts 11:14). Paul reasoned in the synagogues in every city 
where he found them (Acts 17:2; 18:4). Timothy was told to preach the 
word (2 Tim. 4:2,3). The gospel is the power of God to salvation and 
we should be careful to preach it to everyone we can get to hear it.
No church can have a growth that pleases God if they do not preach 
the word so people can hear it, believe it and obey the commands of 
the Lord (Rom. 10:13-17). 

  3. BEING TRULY CONVERTED. The Holy Spirit came upon the apostles 
enabling them to reprove the world of sin, righteousness and judgment
(John 16:8-14). Going to church services is one thing but being 
converted is another thing. People need to be convicted of the fact 
that they are lost in sin, want forgiveness, and turn from sinful 
living. They then will be in position to be baptized for the remission
of their sins. We need people to be pricked in their hearts and want 
to know what to do to be saved (Acts 2:37). People must be willing to
deny selves and take up the cross and follow Christ (Mat. 16:24). 
Filling our membership rolls with people who have not been converted 
to Christ is not church growth. Take stock of your life by asking, 
"Am I truly converted to Jesus?"

  4. BEING HELPFUL TO NEEDY AND HURTING HUMANITY. Like the early church
that had people so concerned that they sold their goods and gave the 
money to the apostles to help those who needed food and clothing 
(Acts 2:44,45). We need to be like the people of Antioch upon hearing 
that there would be a famine in Judea. They determined every man 
according to his ability to send help to the needy and sent it by the
hands of Barnabas and Saul (Acts 11:28-30). Pure religion is to visit
the fatherless and widows and keep oneself unspotted from the world 
(James 1:27). 

  5. CONCERN ABOUT ONE ANOTHER. We are to be concerned when brethren
are overtaken in a fault (Gal. 6:1,2). Duty demands that we see the 
restoration of our brother and consider ourselves lest we all be 
tempted to fall. We are our brothers keepers. Paul considered "care of
all the churches" as one of his burdens as an apostle of the Lord Jesus
Christ (2 Cor. 11:28). 

  6. BEING FRIENDLY AND LOVING. As the early Christians we should be 
"praising God and having favor of all the people" (Acts 2:47). Christ's
new commandment is that we love one another as  he has loved us. This
is the badge of discipleship (John 13:34, 35). To have friends we must
show ourselves friendly (Prov. 18:24). 

  7. SPEND MUCH TIME IN PRAYER. The apostles wanted give themselves 
continually to prayer and ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). What an
example this is to us today. (I Thes. 5:17, 18). 



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