Summary: If we say we love the church what exactly does that mean? If we love the church than how should we show it?
“Because I Love the Church…”
I think that I shall never see
A church that’s all it ought to be:
A church whose members never stray
Beyond the strait and narrow way;
A church that has no empty pews,
Whose preacher never has the blues,
A church whose deacons always deak,
And none is proud, and all are meek;
Where gossips never peddle lies,
Or make complaints or criticize;
Where all are always sweet and kind,
And all to others’ faults are blind.
Such perfect churches there may be,
But none of them are known to me.
But still, we’ll work, and pray, and plan
To make our own the best we can.
The Church may have faults, but today I want you to fall in love with the bride of Christ.
At some point in time in your life maybe you came forward and made a public commitment to this church body. Perhaps at some point in your life you made a public profession of your faith declaring your love for God, but what exactly does all that mean? How does that verbal acknowledgment on your behalf transcend into your lives. The most important questions that we can answer in our own minds are, “do I love God?” and “How am I showing that love in the way I act?” I can give you numerous reasons why you should love God. You should love God because he first loved you, because he created you, because he provides for you and sustains you, because of the things you have, because he provided a way out for our sins, because He is good, and because we can spend eternity with Him.
Just saying that you love God, however, does not equate to truly loving him and just saying that we love the church does not equate to really loving the church. Do you remember after Peter had betrayed Jesus, and Jesus had resurrected from the dead he appeared to Peter. Jesus asked him, “Peter, do you love me?” Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, I love you.” He then asked Peter again, “Peter do you love me?” He again responded by saying yes. Finally, Jesus asked him a third time and Peter again told him he did love him. I believe Jesus was trying to make a point. He was trying to say, that if you say you really love me, then show it through the things that you do.
Therefore, I want to ask you today, do you love the church? Last week, we talked about several reasons why we should love the church and this week I want to talk about our response. Because we love the church how should we respond, how should we act, what things need to change, and how do we demonstrate that love that we have in our hearts.
Text: Ephesians 5:25-32
I. Because I Love the Church I Will Submit to The Leaders of the Church
In all things God is a God of order. He has set order and structure in how our homes should operate, and he has set order and structure in how the church is to operate. That is why he has set some apart for certain roles within the church, and I believe God expects His people to follow the leaders that he stand behind. This does not mean that we become “yes mans”, but it does mean that we are willing to stand behind and follow godly leaders. Notice, I said godly leaders. I believe God opposes ungodly leaders who fail to do the job they have been set apart to do. If you do not believe that look at how God’s attitude towards king Saul changed. I believe we as Christians have been called to submit ourselves to the order that God has set aside.
God has called us to submit to an elder’s authority, that means that with everything that we do we stand behind the decisions made by the elders because God has granted them authority in the church and members have been called to submit to them. Did you notice why it says to submit to them? It says so that their work might be a joy. There is nothing better for a leader than to know they have the support of the flock. There is nothing better than to know that the members are on board and on the same team.
There may come a time when you have a problem with a decision of the eldership, and if that is the case I want to give you a few principles that I think are Biblical principles of how to handle disagreements.
1. Put Things Into Perspective
We as people have very strong opinions and beliefs. Sometimes though we can get easily upset and mad over something and make a bigger deal than it should be. When you have a disagreement it is important to look and see if it is really something worth throwing a fuss about. There are some things that may be done that you may not like, but you probably should tolerate, but there is also a line somewhere. Before you confront a disagreement or react to a disagreement out things into perspective and see if it is as big a deal as you originally thought.