Summary: Gospel Shaped Living - Week 1: ‘Your Church a Light in Darkness!’: Matthew chapter 16 verse 18. & Matthew chapter 5 verses 14-16.– sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

Gospel Shaped Living - Week 1: ‘Your Church a Light in Darkness!’

Reading: Matthew chapter 16 verse 18.

Reading: Matthew chapter 5 verses 14-16.


(1). The Church and Me.

• (a). The universal Church.

• (b). the local Church.

(2). The Church and Jesus.

• (a). The project is Christ's.

• (b). The Church belongs to him.

• (c). It will survive regardless.

(3). The Church and the World.

• (a). Light is personal (vs 14a)

• (b). Light is productive (vs 14b)

• (c). Light is powerful (vs 15)


(1). The Church and Me.


A sign on a Church notice board reads:

“When you were born, your mother brought you to church.

When you were married, your wife brought you to church.

When you die, your friends will bring you to church.

Why not try coming to church on your own sometime”

When a person decides to follow Jesus as their saviour and Lord:

• Church will or should automatically take on a new significance.

• So much so;

• That I would say it is impossible to follow Jesus and not be part of a Church.

• Because the word Church is never used for a building,

• It always means a collection of people.

• If you are a Christian, you never go to church;

• You are the church!


• The very first translation of the New Testament from Greek into English:

• Was by William Tyndale in 1526,

• But Tyndale had a translation problem over the Matthew chapter 16 verse 18:

• "Upon this rock I will build my Church".

• Because he did not want people to think that the living church of Jesus Christ:

• Was an institution, the accepted religious establishment.

• So after much thought he ended up translating the words of Jesus this way:

• "Upon this rock I will build my congregation".

• TRANSITION: The word ‘Church’ in the New Testament is always people,

• It is always a congregation, an assembly, a community of people and never a building!


• W.E. Vine in his book of New Testament words;

• Explains the meaning of the Greek word: ‘Ekklesia':

• Translated into English as 'Church,

"The term has two applications:

(A). The whole company of the redeemed through out this present era.

(B). A company consisting of professed believers in a local setting".

• In other words:

• We can think of the church in a universal sense & in a local sense.

(a). The Universal Church:

• Is a world wide living organism:

• Made up of any person; who truly trusts Jesus Christ as their saviour.

• Regardless of denomination or label, that they choose to attach to themselves.

• It consists of every single believer:

• Whether they have been saved for 20 years or 20 minutes.

• Whether you are a Anglican from Africa,

• Or a Methodist from Malawi.

• Whether a Baptist from Bangladesh,

• Or a Pentecostal from Peru.

• If you are a true believer in Jesus Christ,

• At the moment you were converted;

• You were automatically part of his worldwide/universal Church.

Quote: It has been pointed out that in the early days of Christianity there were:

• Congregations of believers, but no "Congregationalists!"

• There were baptized believers, but no "Baptists!"

• There were presbyters in the assembly, but no "Presbyterians!"

• They had method in their meeting, but there were no "Methodists!"

• They had bishops in the church, but there were no "Anglicans!"

• They trembled at the word, but there were no "Quakers!"

• They all shared in the blessings of Pentecost, but there were no "Pentecostalists!"

• The brethren had all been united to Christ, but there were no "United Brethren!"

• They simply met as Christians, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

• And were obedient to his word the Bible.

• So if you are a true believer in Jesus Christ,

• You are automatically now part of his universal Church.

• So if you are a Christian, you never go to church, you are the church!

(b). The Local Church.

• Now when it comes to the 'church':

• One aspect is automatic and the other aspect is voluntary.


• At your birth.

• You automatically entered into the human race.

• You have no say in it, it was your parents choice or an accident!

• As a result of their actions you automatically became part of humanity.

• In the same way:

• When you were 'born again',

• You automatically entered into God's family.

• You become an automatic part of the church universal;

• You have no say in it, God did that for you!


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