Summary: This message looks at the need for community in our hearts and how the church fulfills the role. Jesus promised to build his church, but there are ways in which we try to fight against Jesus building the church without being aware of it.
I LOVE MY CHURCH – “Community: I Need My Church”
We are in part 2 of our series “I Love My Church.” When you hear the words New Life At Calvary, what’s the first image that comes to your mind.” One of the reasons that the church exists, is that God created us with a need inside of us for community. God lives and exists in community. That is why we have the Trinity. God is never alone and never isolated because God exists as the Father, The Son & The Holy Spirit. We may not be eager to admit it, but to be spiritually healthy, requires us to be in fellowship with God and with the church.
It was Jesus who said, “Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Now when we hear those words the gates of hell, we often imagine Satan launching an attack with his demons against the church. But how many of you know, that Satan doesn’t go and find demons to launch an assault against the church, he simply uses us directly. When Jesus was ready to die by going to the cross, Satan launched on attack on his mission by using one of his closest disciples. It was Peter who told Jesus, “Jesus stop talking like that. You can’t die. I for one will not let that happen.” Jesus looked directly at Peter and said, “ Get behind me Satan, you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Now if Satan could get into Peter to try to keep Jesus from building His church, don’t you know that He can get into some of us and do the same thing. It’s not that we don’t have good motives for what we are saying, it’s just that what we are doing is contrary to building the church. We may have good concerns, but they are human concerns and not the concerns of God. The hard thing for us is allowing the Holy Spirit to show us the difference between the two. The church is called the body of Christ, because we are mutually dependent on one another, and we live inside of a community. It’s sometimes called the kingdom of God.
The whole reason that Jesus came to earth was because God wanted us to be in community with him. Have you ever had a major argument with someone and they hurt your feelings very badly, and the next time they run into you they try to be all lovey dovey as though nothing ever happened. How does that make you feel inside? We forget that God is righteous and holy, with perfect justice. Although God is forgiving, God’s righteousness and justice demands that God be true to Himself.
We are all born with a nature that seeks to break off our relationship with God so that we can do our own thing. But once we break it, we do not have the ability to put it back together again. To come into the presence of God on our own requires a perfection that we can never obtain. That is why the word of God teaches, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. None of us can ever enter into community with God no matter how hard we try. Some people think, they can choose their own terms and conditions for entering into a relationship with God.
But simply because we could not measure up, does not mean that God no longer wants to be in community with us. Jesus Christ came into the world, to make it possible for us to enter into a right relationship with God all over again, because when we put our faith and confidence in Jesus, when God looks at us, He looks at us as having been made perfect in Christ.
God knows about our sin, but God sees the righteousness of Christ wrapped around us. We get to stand in the presence of God, not because of who we are, but because of who we are with. If you tried to go into the white house into places off limits to the public, you would find yourself arrested and being sent to jail. Why, because you have no business being there, you are breaking the law. It does not matter if you think you have a good reason, or you are sincere in believing you can go where you want to go in the white house. After all you are an American.
But if you did the same thing of going into the white house, but you were walking with President Obama, chances are you’re not going to be arrested. If the president said,” he or she’s with me, that’s enough. You don’t have to prove anything.”