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In other words the church is not a building, itís a COMMUNITY.
Itís a community brought together by one thing we all hold in common, a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. That is the glue of the church, itís the foundation of the church Ė itís called grace Ė itís called forgiveness. We share God together.
Definition: Christian community is a group of people built upon an UNCOMMON unity in Christ.
In a world where individualism reigns supreme, God works against the grain calling us to an uncommon unity. We say itís uncommon, because the unity of the church should be unlike anything the world can offer. It is unlike anything the world can offer because itís foundation is a crucified Messiah. God came to earth set aside his needs so that you and I could have our ultimate need met, a relationship with God. And all God asks of you in return is that you do the same for one another.
In Philippians 2:5-8, ďYour attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!
And as a result in verse 4 it says, ďEach of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.Ē
The church is built upon a crucified Messiah, someone who set aside His needs for the needs of others. And if that attitude is good enough for God then itís good enough for us. The church is a community built upon an uncommon unity in Christ. We are a place where personal agendaís are crucified upon the cross of self sacrifice.
So what is the church supposed to look like?
It looks like a group of people who are seeking to put the needs of others ahead of their own. They are servants. They watch out for one another, they care for one another, they encourage one another.
In this church you canít get to know everyone equally, and God does not expect that. But you can get to know some. You can connect with a few people and make it your goal to build them up. To write them a note when they are missing, to say a word of encouragement when their down, to take them out to eat when they are lonely. No God is calling us to something unique Ė something special. He is calling into an uncommon unity.
In verse 2 Paul gives us a four part description of the church, To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ-- their Lord and ours:
There are four things we want to observe:
1. The church is a DIVINE community.
Paul wrote this letter to ďthe church of God.Ē Circle the words - OF GOD.
What does that mean?
It means the church does not rise and fall over us. The church is not great because you belong to it. As much as I think you are a great group of people and I love spending time with you. We are not a great church because of the people who attend. God is not impressed by our level of education, our accumulation of wealth or our great personalities.
Our church is valuable because it belongs to God. Itís His idea. And as a result He loves
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