Sunday, January 24, 2016
Numbers Without a Relationship With Christ is Worthless
Since about the middle of last century [1800s] the churches’ thinking has been dominated by the institutional idea. The controlling idea has been to find means of holding the young people who do not like sermons but like drama and entertainment and games. So the institutional church came in: and for a while it seemed to work; but only for a very short period. All this because of failure to understand the doctrine of the Christian Church! You cannot maintain the Church, the body of Christ by such means and methods. Christ is the life of the Church, and if their is no vital relationship to Him there will be no life, and the Church will be dead.
It is essential that we should be clear about the crucial importance of spiritual life. But the Church is not talking about life, she is interested in numbers, and is convinced that if we could but get rid of denominational barriers and divisions and become one, the world would then listen to us and marvelous things would happen. But that is not spiritual thinking. To believe that numbers, or the size of the Church, is what counts is a contradiction of the whole teaching of the Bible. …
What matters in the Church is not numbers, but our relationship to Him, and the purity of our doctrine, and the purity of our life and living. What matters is that the sap should be flowing into the branches from the Vine.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Christian Unity: An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1-16,” pg.271-272