Immanuel Baptist Church, Palmer, Alaska celebrated their 50-year anniversary on Sunday. More amazing, it has had only two pastors. The current one being there twenty-one years.
How does that happen?
First, a firm foundation. Jesus being the chief corner stone.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord:” (Ephesians 2:19-21)
Second, sound doctrine (teaching). The Bible is God’s word for us. In it He teaches us everything we need to know. Creation, sin, Israel, the law, the prophets, the kings, the blood sacrifices, Jesus virgin birth, salvation, and the gospel. The following verse well sums up the power of the Bible.
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
Third, the full armor of God. The enemy is Satan and the battle is spiritual. Our defense is God. “Be strong in the Lord.”
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Fourth, victory. Victory has come because of the obedience to God’s word.
“The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:56-58)
The success of Immanuel Baptist Church can be the success of any church. However, it must be anchored in Jesus, His word, and be willing to stand firm against Satan.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001