Summary: In a day where thousands are fleeing the church, no longer feeling it relevant. This message it meant to remind us that Jesus was against organized religion, but he is not against the church being decent and in order. In fact he created it that way.
This mornings message is titled - “Jesus loves the organized Church”
Now that might to some sound silly. Perhaps you would respond of course he does Pastor where his children, his joint heirs, his body.
• That’s not the response that I believe God finds troubling, but there is a second response that would fall under “ doctrine that tickles ears” or end time heresy and that’s that Jesus is totally opposed to organized church, but rather he is more concerned with a euphoric one on one me and you and the skies of blue, kind of relationship.
And there is an element of truth even in that- It is about a one on one personal relationship with Him. No man comes unto the Father but by him. There is no other name under heaven and earth by which a man can be saved.
Now here is the BUT principal – In almost all cases when we say something that expresses a particular view and then interrupt the sentence with the word But, everything on the left-hand side of the But gets tossed in the trash to make the right sides answer the real answer.
EXAMPLE: Luke 9:59
Quoting from - An Honest Response: “I love Jesus but hate Religion” The writer asks -Can you really love Jesus, but hate Christianity, Christians, or the Church?
He continues - You either love the biblical Jesus and his biblical religion, or you love the Jesus and religion you’ve replaced them with. To balk at either Jesus or His religion is to engage in a sleight of hand. The problem here is that you aren’t fooling anyone but yourself.
YOU CAN”T SAY:
• “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians”
• “I’m a Christ-follower, but I oppose organized Christianity.”
• “I’m spiritual. I think Jesus was a great teacher, but the church is no longer relevant.”
There are almost endless variants of this core message. “I like Jesus. I hate organized Ekklesia.”
The problem is that people who make this statement don’t really believe either point.
It’s a logical sleight of hand, but one in which the illusionists only fool themselves.
Jesus said, if you love me you will keep the things that I commanded. That would include the great commission.
That included the unity he spoke of in John 17 in His great High Priestly prayer for believers.
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
That is the very reason we are called THE BODY OF CHRIST.
We were never meant to be seen as appendages of Christ but as a body, we know that because of Pauls writings to the Corinthians. I Cor. 12
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
From there, in a series of verses he dispels the I don’t need the rest of the Body lie
One in particular - 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.
He continues - 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?
But if any verse should drive home that we are a body and not an appendage it would be vs. 18
But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
One only need to think about the days and months prior to the official start of the Organized church in Acts Chapter 2