Sermons

Summary: The second sermon in a three part series, ‘The Church that You and God have Always Wanted.’

(Slide 1) When my mom was here last weekend, she related a story that happened probably not long before I was born and that took place one Wednesday night at the church she and dad attended then.

It seems that there was a visitor that particular Wednesday night who was willing to sing a solo. So, one of mom’s dear friends, willingly played the piano for her.

Mom indicated that the woman sang in one of those melodious opera voices… off key. She did the trills and the vocal runs with flourish… off key.

Dutifully, her friend played with commitment and when the soloist performed her vocal runs, Dorothy dutifully went up and down the keyboard as well.

Finally, the guest singer said, ‘I think that I’ll just hum…’ With that Dorothy quickly stopped playing, walked off the platform, and sat down. The audience, mom said, was having difficulty containing themselves during this time of worship.

Now, in line with this wonderful story, I again share some of those famous bulletin bloopers.

(Slide 2) Keeping in mind our musical story, here is an interesting one:

(2A) The "Over 60’s Choir" will be disbanded for the summer with thanks.

(2B) Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service. The pastor will then speak on "It’s a Terrible Experience."

(Slide 3) Sometimes the placement of the musical aspect of worship with either church events or something relating to the pastor can provide us with quite a chuckle. For example,

(3A) The preacher will preach his farewell massage, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth With Joy".

(3B) The service will close with, "Little Drops of Water." One of the ladies will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.

(Slide 4) Finally, here are two other jewels of joy…

(4A) Miss Charlene Mason sang, "I Will Not Pass This Way Again," giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

(4B) At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.

(Slide 5) This morning is the second of our three part series ‘The Church That You and God have Always Wanted.’

(Slide 6) Last week, we studied Ephesians 2:10, ‘For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’

We then noted two key statements in this verse as it relates to our mission and purpose as a church:

(6A) The first statement is the foundational statement, ‘He has created us anew in Christ Jesus.’

(6B) The second statement stands on the first one, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. It is an operational statement.

This led us to look at our current mission statement, ‘a fully following, faithfully functioning church.’ We addressed the first half of this mission statement last week, the ‘fully following part.’

Today, we address the second half, the ‘faithfully functioning’ part. Now before we look at our main text I want to have us view again the short clip that was shown last week. (Slide 7) Clip, ‘Who Are We?’ from sermonspice.com was shown.

I asked us last week to reflect on the following questions that the video clip raised:

(Slide 8) Who are we?

What is our assignment?

Where is God at work right now?

What are we good at?

What’s the next step?

We addressed the second question last week, ‘What is our assignment?’ And we determined, using the categories of Gordon MacDonald that we needed to move from (Slide 9) being a spectator to seeker to a follower to a kingdom builder and that God’s desire is that the First Church of God is to be kingdom builders. But how do we do move from being a spectator to a kingdom builder?

We are given several key answers to that question in our main text that has been read this morning. Paul begins chapter 4 with a plea to the Ephesian believers to (Slide 10) ‘live a life worthy of your calling,’ to be humble and gentle,’ ‘to be patient with each other,’ and ‘be united in the Holy Spirit.’

The first way then, we do church in the right way is expressed by (Slide 11) being united in the Holy Spirit and thus honoring the call of God to spiritual maturity that is evidenced by humility, gentleness, and patience toward one another.

I believe in the church. I love the church. I believe in this church! I believe in you! I love you! So does the Lord!

But ‘doing church’ is more than a 9:30 Sunday morning date on our calendar. It is about our attachments and support of a group of people that we should and must care about.

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