Summary: We have many church shoppers and hoppers these days, who do not have full understanding of what church really is or perhaps they are looking for a perfect Church. Let me assure you, there are no perfect churches, because there are no perfect people.
BE THE CHURCH! Romans 12:3-13
Introduction: When I ask you what is a Church, you may answer in one or two ways: A church is a building where Christians go to worship. Or a group of committed believers of Christ, figuring out how best to live out their faith. When people come to church, they come with preconceived ideas of what a church should be and with high expectations of what a church should do for them individually, or for their family. When those expectations are not met people become disgruntled and eventually leave to shop for another church.
Unfortunately, we have many church shoppers and hoppers these days, who do not have full understanding of what church really is or perhaps they are looking for a perfect Church. Let me assure you, there are no perfect churches, because there are no perfect people. Let me read a poem, I found it interesting. “What makes a good church?
If all the lazy folks get up
If all the sleepy folks wake up
If all the discouraged folks cheer up
If all the gossiping folks shut up
If all the dishonest folks fess up
If all the estranged folks makeup
If all the depressed folks look up
If all the disgusted folks sweeten up
If all the lukewarm folks fire up
If all the Sanctified folks show up
If all the leading folks live up
If all the vowing folks pay up
And if all the grumbling folks pray up.” (Unknown)
On a sunny morning, William's mother came into her son's room and said, "William, it's Sunday. Time to get up! Time to get up and go to church! Get up! "From under the covers came mumbles, "I don't want to go!" "What do you mean?" she said. "That's silly! Now get up and get dressed and go to church!" "No!" he shot back. "I'll give you two reasons.
I don't like them and they don't like me!" "Nonsense," she told him. "I'll give YOU two reasons to go. First, you are 42 years old, and second, you are the PASTOR!" (Unknown). In this time and age, who needs church anyway? At times you may wonder why even bother going to Church? For the past several weeks we have been studying some important themes from the book of Romans. Today we look at what it means to “Be the Church.” (Romans 12:3-13)
In the New Testament, church is compared to a building, a flock, a bride, a treasured possession, branches of a vine and a temple. The Apostle Paul while writing to the Roman believers gives a powerful analogy of the human body to explain what church is. Romans 12: 4-5, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
I THE BODY OF CHRIST (Vs 3-5)
The word “Church” is so often used out of context. The word "church" as rendered in the New Testament comes from the Greek term ekklesia which is formed from two Greek words meaning "an assembly" and "to call out" or "called out ones." Let me establish who really is in charge of the Church. “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” (Ephesians 1:22-23) In summary, the New Testament church is a body of believers who have been called out from the world by God to live as his people under the authority of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23).
At Hope Church, we believe Christ is the head of our church and we all are members of his body with designated responsibilities and authority. Before we delve deep, let’s see the premises upon which Paul built his argument. It is GRACE, which appears 18 times in Romans.
What is grace? In the New Testament grace means God’s love in action towards men who did not deserve his love. It is the unmerited favor. Only by the grace of God and by our faith in Christ Jesus are we saved. Therefore, we have nothing to boast. When we understand the concept of grace, we will seek God’s grace and extend his grace to others. In other words, we become “graceful people.” When we are filled with grace, we are realistic about our abilities. We become less judgmental of other’s mistakes and failures. We accept people as they are.
Let’s look for a moment how the human body works. The human body is one of the most complex organizations that exists. It is intricately and beautifully created by God. The American Association of Anatomists lists more than 7,500 named, human body parts in Latin, as of November 2014. The list of human body parts includes dozens of organs, more than 200 bones, hundreds of muscles, nerves, blood vessels and microscopic structures.”