ANSWERS IN THE BIBLE TO PROBLEMS IN THE CHURCH
by – Jim Massey
J.C. Choate Publications
J.C. Choate Publications
PO Box 72
Permission granted by the publisher for free distribution on the Internet.
The Bible, The Church, and Problems
The church of the Lord Jesus Christ has always had problems. This has been due to two basic reasons: (1) The church is made up of human beings, and human nature itself is a many-sided problem. To change selfish sinners into self-sacrificing imitators of Jesus Christ brings a multitude of continual problems. Furthermore, (2) the church is “in” the world but not “of” the world. This means that the principles of Christianity will constantly conflict with the worldly ideals of non-Christians. Weak members will try to bring the world into the church with them and to live like worldly people. Problems, then, have always been in the church because of what is “within” and what is “without”. Human selfishness on the inside and worldly temptation on the outside are the main sources of problems in the church.
But the church’s problems are not hopeless. Christianity is not an impossible life. In the book of First Corinthians we read of many serious problems in the Lord’s church at Corinth in the first century. This was almost two thousand years ago. Every church mentioned in the New Testament had problems. Yet all problems, old and new, are able to be overcome. The apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me” (Philippians 4:13). In Christ Jesus are “hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). The Lord told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The grace of God is more than sufficient for all our weaknesses and problems. In Christ Jesus is found the answer and the wisdom for every difficulty.
This wisdom and these answers are to be found in the Bible. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17). The Bible thoroughly or completely furnishes the man of God unto all good works. It provides instruction for all his needs. It supplies the answers for all his problems. The purpose of this booklet, “Answers in the Bible to Problems in the Church,” is to show that the Word of God can answer all problems of all ages in the Lord’s church.
Let the reader therefore understand that the many difficulties in the church in any age are merely different expressions of the two major problems listed above. All church problems would be solved if every member were fully converted into the likeness of Christ, and if worldliness were kept entirely out of the church. Consequently, trying to conquer any problem in any congregation is actually just trying to completely change its members into the likeness of Jesus on the one hand, and trying to keep the world entirely outside the church on the other. Throughout the present booklet these two necessary goals will repeatedly be emphasized. Every church problem is due to an internal or an external difficulty. And the answer to every problem is found in overcoming that difficulty.
Every congregation must conquer its weaknesses and problems or finally be conquered by them. A church’s struggle with its problems is its struggle for its life. Satan will defeat every Christian and every congregation which does not defeat him. Christianity is a continual warfare between right and wrong, and between truth and error. Defeat brings ruin, but victory brings strength to the church. The battle is always on. The stakes are always high. The results are always decisive. The history of every congregation could be written around its battle to overcome its problems. The Bible names strong churches, and it names weak ones. The strong congregations are the ones overcoming their problems. The weak congregations are being overcome by them. It is the prayer of the author of this little booklet that members of the body of Christ may find this present study helpful in overcoming every problem. If Christ is glorified as the master of every problem, if the Bible is exalted as the answer to every difficulty, and if Christianity is set forth as the only way of truly successful living, the purpose of this booklet will have been accomplished.