Quotes by J. Delany
Men may be seeking religion, a way to sooth a guilty conscience, or some way to resolve their problems and to feel good about themselves, but men do not seek God on their own. When the church’s regular worship services are redesigned as seeker services to emphasize evangelism, (contrary to God’s pattern found in Ephesians 4), the result is that the saints are hearing the gospel fifty two Sundays a year, and are not being built up in the faith. Redesigning the main church service in order to appeal to the lost is a departure from God’s plan. It may be appealing to men, it may add to the "numbers," but is it not a better idea to design the church and worship services after the pattern set by the One truly responsible for the increase (I Cor.3:6)?… The Biblical pattern is that the regular meetings of the church were primarily for the believers, not for the lost. When the gathering of the saints was over, THEN evangelism was to begin in earnest!
You see, if we hold back one tiny speck, we are not yielded. There are no degrees of “yieldedness.” It is all or nothing. If we say that we are yielded in every single area of our life, but are holding back in one tiny area, then we are not yielded. A burnt offering is totally burnt. You do not get a leg to keep for yourself. If we hold back one tiny speck from the Lord, we have not put our all on the altar! Others may never know, but God does. We may LOOK quite spiritual, but if we are holding back “just a little,” we are not yielded. When we put self on the altar, we are reckoning self to be dead – not sick, or lame, or almost dead, but DEAD! Death knows no degrees. We are to put our ALL on the altar.
The purpose of the church assembling together for the regular worship service is not for evangelism. The church is a gathering or assembly of believers who do not need to be evangelized. The purpose of the church meeting together is to edify the saints, equip them for service, and to bring them to maturity (Eph.4:13-15). The early church met together and “continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). They met together to worship God, and to minister to one another, thus building up the Body of Christ. When saints are taught and trained, then they will be brought to the “fullness of Christ” (Eph.4:13).
A church that is busy ministering to itself, building itself up, edifying itself, and reaches no farther than its own four walls is self-centered. Training, edification and equipping of the saints is not an end itself, but is a means to an end. God’s goal is that the church be built up SO THAT it can effectively function in the world and carry out Christ’s will on earth.
Obedience is the fruit of the new birth. When a person has accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, then God expects something of that person who is now His son. He expects us to be surrendered. He expects us to abide in His love. He expects us to constantly abide in His love. As we do, God changes us. Christianity is a lifelong process of growing from glory to glory into the image of Christ. We are never going to be finished, until we get to Heaven. Until then, when we yield, when we surrender, when we abide, the natural result of that is going to be fruit. The natural result of a branch yielded to the Vine is a changed life, a fruitful life.
Our job in this life is not to go off on our own and get busy, busy, busy, work, work, work, trying in vain to produce fruit. Trying to love people on our own will lead to a life of frustration. Our responsibility is not to produce the fruit of the Spirit on our own. Our responsibility is to have a relationship to Jesus Christ and to let God use us. It is a life yielded to Christ. It is a life of rest.