Summary: This sermon asks peoople to seriously consider their attendance, lifestyle, and giving as it relates to what others see in them and what these things say to others about their God and their church.

I Will Support the Integrity of Our Church

Matthew 5:16

February 1, 2004


A. [Ever Met a Christian?]

A father was teaching his son what a Christian should be like.

When the lesson was over the farther got a stab he never forgot.

The little boy asked, “Dad, have I ever met one of these Christians?”

1. Would folks who know you ask that question? Do they know you are a Christian?

2. Would your children ask that question?

B. [Illustration]

The story has been told of a missionary to China who was in language school.

The very first day of class the teacher entered the room and, without saying word, walked down every row of students.

Finally, still without saying a word, she walked out of the room again.

Then she came back and addressed the class.

“Did you notice anything special about me?” she asked.

Nobody could think of anything in particular.

One student finally raised her hand.

“I notice that you had a very lovely perfume,” she said. The class chuckled.

But the teacher said, “That was exactly the point. You see, it will be a long time before any of you will be able to speak Chinese well enough to share the gospel with anyone in Chine. But even before you are able to do that, you can minister the sweet fragrance of Christ to these people by the quality of your lives. It is your lifestyle, lived out among the Chinese people, that will minister Christ to them long before you are able to say one word to them about personal faith in Jesus.”

It is like that with us as well.

Though we may not be eloquent speakers, unbelievers we encounter will be ministered to by the Christ likeness of our lives, if indeed we are Christ-like.

1. The teacher was right! Paul said it this way in (2 Cor 2:15 NIV) For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

2. We are to be a sweet-smelling fragrance to others. What does you life smell like to others?

C. What does your life say to others about Jesus and our church?

1. Does your life add to or take away from the integrity of our church?

2. Jesus said in (Mat 5:16 NIV) In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

3. Jesus wants us to let His light shine through our lives so that our actions will give glory to God.

4. We are to let our light shine in such a way that it gives glory to God and leaves a good fragrance about His body, the church.

5. We are part of His body, but we are not to be body parts that give off body odor—we are to give of a sweet-smelling perfume or cologne!

6. Therefore our membership covenant says, “I will support the integrity of our church in the following three ways, first…

I. …by attending faithfully

(Heb 10:25 NIV) Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

A. What does your attendance say about your church and your God?

1. Does your attendance at church testify to the importance of worship?

2. You see, this passage as well as many others in the NT, tell us that church attendance is a very important thing.

3. This passage from Hebrews commands us to meet together regularly.

4. And Luke 4:16 says of Jesus, "He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.

5. It was Jesus’ custom to be in church each week.

6. Is that your custom?

a. Now I didn’t ask, “Are you in church 52 Sunday’s per year?”

b. I said it was Jesus’ custom to be in church each week, is that your custom?

c. Is it the custom of your family to be in church each week? Is that your habit?

d. Is your family in church unless prohibited by illness or required work?

7. Attending worship services is a very important custom for us to have.

8. Do your children understand that church attendance is the custom for your family?

9. Do your other relatives understand that church attendance is the custom of your family?

10. Do your friends and neighbors understand that church attendance is the custom of your family?

11. What does your church attendance say to those around you about your God and your church?

12. Do they understand how important God and your church are to you?

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