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The Influence Of The Church

Family Devotions:
M. Influence of Identity with Christ..............................................................Acts 11:22-26
T. Influence Outside the Church...................................................................Acts 2:41-47
W. Influence of Our Faith and Works..........................................................James 2:10-18
T. Influencing Others to Do Good.................................................................Hebrews 10: 19-25
F. Influencing Others by Our Words.............................................................Psalm 66:10-16
S. Influence of a Changed Life.......................................................................Luke 8: 33-40
S. Influence Within Our Home......................................................................Acts 16:13-15

Devotional Reading: Hebrews 10:19-25

Memory Selection: “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." I Timothy 4:12

Lesson Scripture

Matthew 5:13. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Revelation 1:20. The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

I Thessalonians 1:1. Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

7. So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

8. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.


In the Thorndike Barnhart Comprehensive Desk Dictionary influence is defined as - 1. Power of persons or things to act on others. 2. power to produce an effect without using coercion; 3. person or thing that has such power. Synonyms given are - move, stir, sway and persuade. While the word influences is found only once in the Bible (Job 38:31), clearly and repeatedly the idea is set forth in both the Old and New Testaments. Some examples of influence are given as daily Bible readings and many others can be cited from the pages of the Holy Scriptures.

The psalmist reminds us of one way to influence others in Psalm 107:2. He said, “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” He mentioned that the redeemed are to “say so”; therefore, our words are noted as a means of influence. Even more important than our words, however, is the example we set before others. People are always watching Christians as well as listening to what we say.

As God’s redeemed children, we are called upon to exert a positive influence upon this sinful world in which we live. Hopefully, as we study this subject, its importance will become increasingly clear. We shall try to discover how we may achieve an exemplary influence. In doing so, we shall consider the subject under three headings. (1) The Influence of the Redeemed Church, (2) The Influence of the Local Church and (3) The Influence of the Individual. May the influence of our daily walk always glorify our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

The Influence of the Redeemed Church

The Apostle Peter wrote, “ But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (I Peter 2:9). All for whom Christ died are to endeavor to “praise” Him and such spiritual actions exert a powerful influence. The world in which we live today has been dramatically influenced by saints of God. Many of the laws of our nation were based upon the teaching of Scripture. I believe we can all agree that the world would be drastically different had not Christians shared their light of influence.

At first, the church was persecuted by Paul and others who endeavored to stamp out the influence of the man whom they knew as Jesus Christ. Try as they did, thank God their efforts were unsuccessful. They were unable to extinguish their light and influence; instead, the influence of Christians actually gained momentum. History reveals that the roads built by the Roman Empire actually became the paths of evangelism. Eventually, the redeemed spread their influence through the known world.

Over the centuries Christianity spread, not only throughout the Roman Empire, but eventually around the globe, also. Explorers carried their faith with them and it greatly influenced the colonies they established. Many of them were fleeing from religious persecution, and in their quest for religious freedom, our nation came into being. When our forefathers began to hammer out the foundations of this nation, their faith in Christ was a vital concern to them; and so they influenced the nation we now call the United States of America. We cannot possibly imagine how different our nation would be today, had it not been for their Christian influence. Thank God for this great nation in which we live. It certainly is not perfect and in my lifetime has, to some degree, turned from the dreams of our forefathers; however, we are still free to worship God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit. That ancient influence is still alive in the hearts and souls of millions in our land today.

We are not the only nation where the saved have had a direct influence in government. Many other nations have come to where they are today through the positive influence of redeemed citizens. I believe that in some measure, though sometimes small, the redeemed church has influenced most cultures throughout the world. As God continues to save His elect out of every nation, kindred, tongue and people, our influence continues and, hopefully, will until Jesus returns to take us to our home in heaven.

1. What are some ways God’s children have influenced other nations of the world?

2. What ways has our nation been influenced by the teachings of the Bible?

The Influence of the Local Church

The Apostle Paul was inspired to write these words: “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” (Philippians 2:15). Just as the “Redeemed Church” has influenced the nations of the world, the “local churches” are to influence our nation. While the influence of the local church or congregation is not as widespread as the total family of God, its influence can still be quite remarkable. Local ordinances and regulations of human behavior have certainly been influenced by the members of local church congregations. As Christians vote, officials are elected who will make laws which determine and establish acceptable behavior. Ministers who pastor the local churches proclaim God’s Holy Word and set forth divine guidelines and laws which direct the paths of those who love Christ. For that reason we should thank God daily for those children of God who live around us and help hold high the banner of divine truth. What a wonderful influence your church body and others like it have had through the years. If our churches continue to follow the biblical teachings which were inspired by God’s Holy Spirit, this invaluable influence will continue to bless our land. Let us commit ourselves to improving the influence of our local church and pray for God to bless it to exert a powerful influence among those we know and love.

3. Can you list some ways your local church has influenced your community?

4. Do you know of other churches whose influence is evident? Can you name one?

The Influence of the Individual

The younger preacher Timothy received these words from the Apostle Paul: “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (I Timothy 4:12). As valuable as the influence of the redeemed church and local church has been, their influence has in reality been the influence of many individuals. God redeemed through the sacrificial death of His Son, our Saviour; an innumerable host of individuals like you and me. Their names and ours are written in the Book of life of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). The local church is also made up of individuals whom God has added to the church through the leading of His Holy Spirit. Hopefully, all of you who now read and study this lesson have been saved by grace and are members of some local congregation. It has been the collective influence of many godly men and women that has guided our nation through many perilous times. Indeed, the influence of individual Christians is indispensable.

Of course, our Lord Jesus is, without doubt, the greatest individual to influence this world. While none of us as mere mortals can possibly achieve such widespread influence, we should recognize that the influence of a single light can drive away surrounding darkness. Because the influence of many is dark, evil and destructive, it makes the influence of many good and godly people all the more important. We must live our faith daily and try to make our church, community and the world a better place for others to live and rear the next generation. Let us pray for all who are endeavoring to be an influence for good and to glorify God.

5. Can you think of biblical individuals who influenced others around them?

6. Can you name individuals in your church who have a positive influence?


In our Lesson Scripture, Jesus said, “Ye are the salt of the earth” and “Ye are the light of the world.” He then said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). All these statements are about influence, the effects of salt and light. Each one who studies this lesson needs to examine his life and think about his influence. Paul said, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith” (II Corinthians 13:5). Are you? Do you live your life daily according to the teachings of the Bible? How often do you read your Bible to discover God’s will for your life? If you fail to do so, how can you know what is right or wrong? You see, the more we understand God’s Word and assimilate it into our lives, the more our influence for good will grow. Some may be content to do their own thing and live life the way they want. They consume each moment and day with selfish interests, but how is the world made a better place by their lives? When you die (and die we must unless Jesus returns first), will you have made a difference? If you are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, if God has saved you by His amazing grace, then your life is not your own for it belongs to the One Who bought you. ( I Corinthians 6:20). We are to live our lives for God and His glory. In doing so our lives will influence our families and loved ones and hopefully a larger circle beyond them. Take the challenge, consider the nature of your influence and pray for God to broaden the scope of your influence. Amen.

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This page last updated on June 17, 2014