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Summary: The church is responsible for the physical and spiritual needs of its people

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Title: Community-Church Responsibility

Place: BLCC

Date: 2/19/17

Text: Genesis 4.9; 1 Corinthians 5

CT: The church is responsible for the physical and spiritual needs of its people.

[Screen 1]

FAS: One of the most famous stories in baseball history is the story of Jackie Robinson. He was the first African American to play Major League baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Wherever the Dodgers went the fans and other team members threw hate and racial slurs at Jackie. Fans threw trash and spit at him between innings. Players from the other team would try to spike Jackie during the game when they slid into second base. Not a good time for our country.

During one exceptionally bad day where the fans just wouldn’t let up with their yelling and hateful vitriol toward Jackie, a team member of Jackie’s, Pee Wee Reese, finally had enough. He walked from his position at Short Stop to stand next to Jackie. Reese put his arm around Jackie and stood there and accepted the jeers and hatred right alongside Jackie.

Jackie Robinson later said that was the turning point of his career as a baseball player. He said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

LS: What a contrast this is to what Cain said of his brother Abel in [Screen 2] Genesis 4.9, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

God did not give a clear answer to Cain, but the rest of the Bible gives us a very clear answer. God does desire that His people share the responsibility for one another’s physical and just as importantly, if not more, their spiritual well being.

This the fourth week in the series “Community”. The purpose I have for this series is to look at what God would think of the church today and what it is doing? What would Jesus want us to do as a church?

What would Jesus think of our service? What would he notice? Would he see a church that is self-absorbed with their music and performance and preferences? Would he see a church that is inwardly focused and concerned only about itself?

I pray He would not.

I pray He would see a church that is doing its best to follow his lead and reach out to others and encourage and build up each other in unity in Him and Him alone. I pray he would see a church that serves its community as it serves its Lord.

This week we are going to look at the responsibility of the church to one another.

When someone becomes a member of the church family, he or she comes into a community in which everyone holds responsibility for everyone else. Everyone is in it together for the good or ill of all.

When the person enters the community, the church, that individual’s action impact everyone.

There is an old Jewish parable that describes three men sailing on a boat. One man begins drilling a hole under his seat. When the others saw this they said, “What are you trying to do?”

The man says, “What business is it of yours? I’m only drilling under my seat not yours.”

But they said, “But we are in the same boat and the water will come and flood us all.”

In contrast to the way people often think today that treats society, as no more than a collection of individuals who happen to live together.

God calls us to recognize our responsibility as individuals to the community, but he also calls the community, the church to recognize its responsibility to the individual members.

I am going to look at the physical needs briefly and then dig into the spiritual needs deeper.

[Screen 3]

PHYSICAL:

OT-Deuteronomy 15.7-8, 7 If anyone is poor among your brothers and sisters in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. 8 Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.

NT-Matthew 25. 34-36, 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Pretty clear to me we are to take care of the physical needs of our brothers and sisters and those still outside.

That is why I am working with my friend Mike Power to start a food, furniture and clothing bank here at this church to serve those needs to our people God has given us to help. Check with him or me if you would like to be a part of this new ministry we are forming. I ask everyone to be in prayer for this ministry.

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