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Summary: In the passage I just read we have Paul sharing how he labors and struggles, in other words how he pushes through opposition, how he fights for the church that Jesus died for and has established. How he serves Jesus the head of the church so the church co

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The Church 12 Part 3

Opening Video: David Platt -- The Church

Comment on video: Christian Hills we are God’s plan A for this community and there is no plan B so let’s get radical about the church and it’s 3 fold mission to be upward focused, inward focused and outward focused so that the Kingdom of God moves forward in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Summary of the first 6 reasons why we need the church:

1. Because Jesus created the church and set up its divine mission not mankind (upward focus –inward focus –outward focus)

2. Because to be a part of The Church of Jesus you have to repent of sin and accept Jesus as you Lord and Savior in a verbal and action orientated way (upward focus).

3. Because Jesus is the head of the church – not men, women, denominations, committees, boards, elders or deacons (upward focus).

4. Because the church has people called to it by God (you may be one of them) who steward and lead the church as directed by Jesus and the Holy Spirit (inward focus).

5. Because the church is designed by Jesus to teach, correct and discipline through love the Body of Christ 9 (inward).

6. Because The church is a place to pray and to worship God together (upward)

Scripture Texts to remind us of some basic facts about The Church:

Ephesians 5:23-24: 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Colossians I: 17-18: 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Colossians 1:24-29: Paul’s Labor for the Church

24Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

25I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—

26the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.

27To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

28We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.

29To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.

Introduction:

In the passage I just read we have Paul sharing how he labors and struggles, in other words how he pushes through opposition, how he fights for the church that Jesus died for and has established. How he serves Jesus the head of the church so the church could and would be that splendid Bride that God is looking for. Paul says, it’s a struggle and it’s a fight for the one Jesus loves but it is worth it. We too are to struggle and fight for the Church and for the purposes of The Church.

I read an article this week that caught my attention with the following title: “Can you really love Jesus yet hate the church?” I thought that is a good question! Philip Wagner states this and challenges us as Christians in our thinking and our criticism of the church, “I’ve noticed some conversation in the media lately that goes something like this, ‘People believe in Jesus but not the church.’ Newsweek Magazine picked up on this article entitled, ‘Forget the church, follow Jesus.’ There are some good comments in this article but the article in itself is not really the issue. It’s the overall vibe of the public conversation about the local church. There are many assessments and assumptions made that are just not accurate nor are they fair. When people start talking trash about the church- I get protective-not defensive, protective. I want to protect the reputation of the church as I would want to protect the perception about a friend who is being criticized about their attitudes, actions and motivations. I want to protect how she’s treated…Pastors for years, have heard comments from people like, “I love Jesus, I just don’t like the church.”

Here are some thoughts he says to consider before you bash and trash talk - The Church of Jesus Christ:

1. We have to recognize Jesus loves the church (He loved her enough to die for her!)

2. The ‘local church’ is the hope of the world.

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