Summary: Sermon about dating (playing and not commiting to) the church.
Are you dating the church?
In the New Testament there are four major ways that the Bible describes the church. When I say the church I am not as much talking about a building or just this location but I am talking about the overall church. As we sit here this morning there are thousands of congregations around this nation and world that are meeting or preparing to meet for together. This is the church.
Descriptions of the church in Ephesians
First, Paul calls the church a body.
Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Here we see a picture of the church as a body. In Corinthians Paul goes on to explain this as being unity of the body of Christ. He uses the analogy of the foot saying it no longer wants to be a part of the body.
Secondly, we learn that the church is considered a magnificent temple.
Eph 2:21-22 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: (22) In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
As Joshua Harris says, “It’s greater than any cathedral build with human hands. This building is composed of living stones (1 Peter 2:5). The apostles and prophets laid the foundation, Jesus Himself is the cornerstone, and you and I are being joined to it.”
Third the family,
Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
We are not just some people coming together to do our part but we are part of a family. We are part of the family of God.
Finally we are the bride of Christ
Eph 5:25-32 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify (set apart) and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. (29) For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourished and cherished it, even as the Lord the church: (30) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (31) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (32) This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Notice the intimate levels here. First we are the body. Working as a community together. A community is one that takes on the roles and duties that it has. In a community people do there part and keeps the community flowing. Next we see that we are the temple. A closer connection. We are building together for a greater purpose.
Notice thirdly that we are part of the family. A family should be a place of unconditional love. They love us as who we are not matter who we are.
Finally we come to the most intimate of all relationships and that is marriage. We are told that as a church we are married to Christ. We are the bride of Christ. This is a church promise but also an individual promise.
We are connected to him in a very special and unique way.
Sadly, I believe there are many Christians who are dating the church and Christ more than they are being married to him. It comes down to commitment. It comes down to passion. It goes back to the heart. We have too many “weekend warriors” in the church today. That is what we were called when I was in the National Guard. I must admit they were partially right. We served in the military on the weekend and had to give ourselves to service only 2 weeks a year. I am not putting them down. I think they serve a grand purpose. But it is hard to be fully prepared just on the weekend.
It is hard for you as a Christian to be fully prepared just on the weekend. You can’t do it. People may not like it but your connection to the church is directly proportional to your connection to the Lord. If we stay away from his church then we weaken our armour and ability to resist the wiles of the devil.