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Build Church on Word of God To Look Like Jesus, Sanchez Exhorts SBC

He encouraged churches to build their worship and programs around the Word of God by singing, preaching, praying and teaching the Word and seeing the Word in the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. He commended many faithful Southern Baptist pastors whom he said are in fact building their churches on the Word. He encouraged pastors to serve without comparing their congregations to others, having faith that God will grow the church in His own time.

“You don’t need to be known outside your town. You don’t need to write a book. You don’t need to be on a conference platform,” he told pastors. “If you are faithfully preaching the Word, the Father knows who you are and the Father is pleased. So trust the Lord and preach the Word.”

The goal of the ministry of the Word, Sanchez said, is that the church be transformed to the image of Christ and mature as Christians.

“If you go to church but you look more like the world than you do Jesus, it is possible that you’re not a Christian,” Sanchez said. “It’s important that we understand, genuine Christians, God has given you a new heart. He’s given you His Spirit. He is forming you to the Son. You hate sin and you grow in your hatred of sin, and you grow in your love for Christ. You grow in your love for His Word. You grow in your love for His Spirit.

“It is on this foundation that Jesus is building His church.”

In encouraging the practice of the Word ministry, Sanchez painted a picture of the Word influencing every area of the church. Pastors preach the Word from the pulpit, the Word reverberates throughout the church with lunches, small groups and one-to-one study. Members disciple one another and build up one another in the Word.

“Paul puts this all together in verse 16. He says rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him Who is the head, into Christ, from Whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love,” Sanchez said. “This will look like a thousand different ways in your congregation. It will look a thousand different ways in your life.”

Sanchez shared a personal testimony of having grown up in a Roman Catholic church in Puerto Rico, moving to Florida, hearing the Gospel, accepting Jesus and being discipled by many at various stages of his life through people he encountered at churches.

“The church is the display of God’s wisdom to the world. We are bringing to light God’s plan to exalt Christ and bring everything under Christ and unite all things in Christ,” Sanchez said. “To Satan and to hell, we are displaying God’s victory over the demonic realm and exalting Christ and uniting all things in Christ. How? By building Jesus’ church on the Word of God, that we might look like the Son of God, to the glory of God.”

This article originally appeared on BaptistPress.com.