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The W.I.F.E. We Are Called To Be (Part 4)

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Somebody said that, if the church is a social club, it’s the only one that exists for the sake of its non-members. Though the church is not merely a club, it does exist for the sake of people who are not yet part of the church. 

In his “The Bride: Renewing Our Passion For The Church,” Charles Swindoll summarized the four major objectives of the church in the acronym W.I.F.E. We already saw that “W” stands for “Worship,” “I” for “Instruction,” and “F” for “Fellowship.” Finally, “E” stands for “Expression.” Despite the ever increasing persecution, the early church “continued to speak the word of God with boldness. … And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4:31c, 33, ESV) No wonder “more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women” (5:14). 



Swindoll wrote, “[I]n our expression the church reveals that it is a reaching body. Expression would include evangeli…

The W.I.F.E. We Are Called To Be (Part 3)

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When we hear the word “fellowship,” we think of church people eating together or a church gathering. Those may be expressions of fellowship. But it is much more than that. Fellowship is sharing something in common with someone. 
In his “The Bride: Renewing Our Passion For The Church,” Charles Swindoll summarized the four major objectives of the church in the acronym W.I.F.E. We already saw that “W” stands for “Worship” and “I” for “Instruction.” Now, “F” stands for “Fellowship.”


The early church “devoted themselves to… fellowship” (Acts 2:42b, ESV) In The Message version, “fellowship” is translated “the life together”. Truly, they modeled for us what it meant to live the life together: “And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met.” (Acts 2:44-45, The Message) As a result of the Apostle Peter’s evangelistic message, 3,000 people put their faith in the Lord Jes…

The W.I.F.E. We Are Called To Be (Part 2)

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When “the disciples were increasing in numbers by leaps and bounds,” the ministry demands of “the daily food lines” for the widows were also skyrocketing (Acts 6:1, The Message). The apostles decided to keep the main thing the main thing: “It wouldn’t be right for us to abandon our responsibilities for preaching and teaching the Word of God to help with the care of the poor.” (Acts 6:2) It’s not that caring for the poor was not important. The apostles even formed a team to focus on that concern. Yet, “No petty concerns, no pressing needs, no priority, not even complaints within the assembly decreased the emphasis on biblical instruction. Nothing caused the leadership in the early church to relinquish the ministry of the Word.” (Charles Swindoll, “The Bride: Renewing Our Passion For The Church”) 

This brings us to the second of the four major objectives that we need to fulfill so that we will be the church that God called us to be. Swindoll came up with the W.I.F.E. acronym to summarize…

The W.I.F.E. We Are Called To Be (Part 1)

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We void a product’s warranty when we misuse it or we use it the way it was not intended to be used. We also end up with a broken product. So also if our church fails to live up to the way God called us to live, we will be hurting people instead of healing them. We end up with broken people. How can we avoid that? 

In his book, “The Bride: Renewing Our Passion for the Church,” Charles Swindoll shared our four major objectives as a church based on Acts 2:41-47. According to v. 42, the early church “devoted themselves” to these objectives (ESV). Swindoll wrote, “[Luke] uses a Greek term that suggests a steadfast, single-minded fidelity. … When the early saints met, intensity and full-hearted devotion blended with passionate commitment.” (Ibid)  If we fulfill those objectives, we will be the church that God called us to be. 

To make it easy to remember, he summarized it into an acronym, W.I.F.E. “W” stands for “Worship.” The early church “devoted themselves… to the breaking of bread and the…