Summary: Why do church? How should my life be changed because of it?
How Should My Relationship
With My Church Affect Me?
1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
I believe the greatest need of the new millennium is not economic, not social, not political. The greatest need of our generation is for the church to be the church of the first century.
The church is misunderstood by many people. They have saw a service on TV or heard about one and said the church is irrelevant for my life. We have miss communicated the Church’s importance in the lives of people.
ILL: A lot like this one man’s story about...
Several years ago, I returned home from a trip just when a storm hit, with crashing thunder and severe lightning. As I came into my bedroom about 2 a.m., I found my two children in bed with my wife, Karen, apparently scared by the loud storm. I resigned myself to sleep in the guest bedroom that night.
The next day, I talked to the children, and explained that it was OK. to sleep with Mom when the storm was bad, but when I was expected home, please don’t sleep with Mom that night. They said OK. After my next trip several weeks later, Karen and the children picked me up in the
terminal at the appointed time. Since the plane was late, everyone had come into the terminal to wait for my plane’s arrival, along with hundreds of other folks waiting for their arriving passengers. As I entered the waiting area, my son saw me, and came running shouting, “Hi, Dad! I’ve got some good news!”
As I waved back, I said loudly, “What’s the good news?” “Nobody slept with Mommy while you were away this time!” Alex shouted. The airport became very quiet, as everyone in the waiting area looked at Alex, then turned to me, and then searched the rest of the area to see if they could figure out exactly who his Mom was.
Read Ephesus 4:1-3
Prisoner of (in) Jesus. It was for the cause of Christ, Paul went through various events. It was with healthy pride he would declare his captivity.
A few years ago, back in 1990, USA was involved in what was known as the Persian Gulf War. Troops took on the Iraqi forces out in the desert of Kuwait. In those two months, January and February, USA won an outstanding victory, and had relatively few casualties.
One of the interesting things about that war was the majority of our troops weren’t injured or killed by the enemy. They were the victims of what is called “friendly fire,” from artillery.
Friendly fire is where you are hit by ammunition by your own troops. In other words, it’s where your own soldiers become your worst enemy. You can’t prepare for it, and you never see it coming.
Right now in the church today, our biggest enemies aren’t from outside, they’re from within. The weapons that are used aren’t rifles and missiles. It’s our own words and attitudes. A lot of fellow church members are seriously wounded because the results of friendly fire. Nonbelievers avoid some of our churches because they know they’ll be landing in the middle of a war zone.
How many of our church folk become victims of friendly fire? How many times have you been a victim of friendly fire? More important, how many times have you attacked a fellow brother or sister with friendly fire?
It’s a sad day when Christians of the church of Jesus Christ become victims of each other because of gossip and ridicule. Hard to prepare for, and you never see it coming.
We speak about each other with mistrust, how will we get a community to trust us? (Called LIFESONG - lost 7 pastors, endtimes
(Two people came in this week - Quit, endtimes)
Paul is calling the people of God to be the people of God!
If my church is healthy and I am healthy in the church, it will affect three key areas of my life:
1. My Walk
-It is working out through my walk.
-I don’t know what will happen today but I know I am to walk to the glory of God.
It brings value
-no calling higher for a human.
This truth transforms our actions:
Could a man who raped slaves, mocked the gospel, and tried to destroy the faith of others, ever hope to know God, let alone be used by Him? John Newton was such a man. In his book "Out of the Depths" he shares his testimony of how he raped, beat and sold slaves to the highest bidder but then God touched Him with His grace.