North Augusta, South Carolina
From the Pastor’s Desk …..August 2015
Providence, we are blessed during this month of August to pause and give praise to God for allowing us to celebrate the establishment of a church called First Providence.
Lest we forget, it is God's unmerited favor and mercy that has brought us thus-far to celebrate one hundred and fifty five years of service to this community and the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).
Therefore, it is with great pleasure I extend to you in this month's newsletter
my heart felt love and gratitude, as I say "Happy Anniversary."
Yes, it is true. God has brought us through good and bad times. I am so thankful, by God's grace, the good times outnumbered the bad times.
As I penned this note from the Pastor's Desk, I am challenged by the Spirit of God to deal with a question that is often asked in this day and time. That question is, "Is Church Necessary?"
In an effort to answer this question, we are led to study the book of I Corinthians 1:6. It is there we find that Paul makes known to the believers that church is necessary, because we are the temple of the Holy Ghost, which we have of God, and we are not our own."
Paul then goes on to I Corinthians 12:12-13 to give more reasons why the church is necessary by saying "For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."
Paul speaks to the point that since we are the dwelling place of the Holy Ghost, we are the church. To say or think that church is not necessary is to say or think that we, as individuals, are not necessary because we are the church. The building in which we congregate to worship is not the church. Buildings cannot praise and worship our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Only those in whom the Spirit dwells can worship and praise God.
Providence, believe me when I say that the church is necessary. It is so necessary until we have four reasons God has shared with us as to why church is necessary.
1. Church is Necessary because we are the church and we make up the assembling of the church.
2. Church is Necessary because it provides us the strength and power to cope with the woes and foes of the Christian Race.
3. Church is Necessary because Jesus Christ established it so that sinners like you and me might be saved. And, last but not least,
4. The Church is Necessary because great things happen within the body of the church.
God is a God that believes in unity - oneness. It was for this reason Paul pointed out in I Corinthians 12:13 the importance of the believers knowing that there is one body with many members and one Spirit of God that is given to all believers.
Now! Because we are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, we understand and accept the fact that when we go absence from the assembling of God by staying away from the church house, we create a void. This void causes the whole assembly of God to miss a beat.
Let us use the engine in your car as an exposition for wholeness or oneness as it relates to the make-up of the church and the Holy Spirit.
Now! Watch this! In order for the engine in your car to run and have power for the car to become mobile, it has to have a carburetor or fuel injector system. A small thing but important! Since carburetors are mostly obsolete nowadays, let's use the fuel injector. For the fuel injector to power your engine, you need to get the fuel from the gas tank to cylinders in the engine. The fuel injectors, which receives fuel from the gas tank, by way of a fuel pump, converts the gas liquid from the gas tank into a fine mist that is sprayed on the cylinder. There is a fuel injector for each cylinder. A 4 cylinder engine will have 4 fuel injectors spraying that mist of gasoline over the 4 cylinders to power that engine. If one of the injector's malfunctions, the engine will spurt, pop and skip a beat. If all four injectors malfunction at the same time, the engine looses it power and the car no longer runs to transport you where you need to go. Engine, gas tank, fuel injectors are small parts that make up the whole car. Each part as a role to play in order for the car to be operable. But, when a part of the whole malfunctions, it causes the whole car to stop.
So, it is with the Church; we are the church that makes up the assembly of the church body. Each of us has a role to play in the well-being and health of the Church. The church is no greater than each of us that make up the assembly of the church. So, be present, prompt and participate each and every Sunday!
Yes! Church is necessary because it makes us aware of what we should and should not do as believers saved by grace. Paul says that, when are saved, we are "baptized into one body." This is known as the universal church. There is the local church, which meets every week. There are local churches in every city, town and state. But I Corinthians 12:13 is talking about something bigger than that; it is talking about the universal church. The universal church is the body of Christ, which was established in Caesarea Philippi as recorded in Matthew 16:18 where Jesus said, "Upon this rock I build my church and the gates of hell will not and cannot prevail against it."
Again, every Saint ought to be in his or her place each and every Sunday to make sure a void does not occur in the assembly of God.
I encourage each of you to join me as we continue to walk in victory knowing that Church is Necessary!
To God Be The Glory and Happy 155th Anniversary, First Providence!
Because of Calvary!
Rev. Dr. Alexander Pope, Jr.
Sermon Topic for August 2015
Is Church Necessary?
The most direct route to happiness is in service to others
First Providence Baptist Church
315 Barton Road
North Augusta, SC 29841
Phone: (803) 279-8836
Fax: (803) 441-8666