Summary: Loving the Lord through Loving your Church
Loving the Lord, Part 6
Loving your Church; Acts 2:42-47
In your bible go to Acts Chapter 2
This past week we discussed Loving our Nation and Loving through our Praises; and this morning I want us to examine how we love the Lord by loving His church.
This message is to bring you to a deeper understanding of what God’s Word says about the church.
Each point will dig deeper and deeper into your personal feelings for your church, so I encourage you to stay with me.
Question: How do you feel about your church?
What is it about your church that you hold near and dear?
Is it the bricks?
Is it the memories?
Is it what you have done?
Is it the relationships?
Is it the ministries?
Is it the people?
This morning, I want you to be honest with yourself. Tune out the past week’s events, the rush and hustle that you think you are under, and focus on what God’s Word is saying to you today.
I woke up today and thought, “I want to hear from God today.” Do you?
Read Acts 2:42-47
Point 1 – Teaching biblical doctrine
Challenge: Do you come to church just to be seen?
The purpose of the church is to be responsible for the teaching of sound biblical doctrine.
To deliver the Word of God unashamed – and honestly as it is written.
The church is the one that is responsible for spreading the Gospel.
When the church is lined up under the authority of Jesus Christ, we are commanded to love one another as we have been loved.
Remember: We were loved FIRST by being told what the Gospel is, and then by having it shown to us through the DEATH on the cross.
When it came to Jesus there was a telling – and THEN a showing.
When you have been taught the Word, what have you done with it? (We’ll come back to this in a few moments.)
This is from a survey released by the Vatican in May, 2008:
“The percentage of respondents who said they had a Bible at home was 93 percent in the United States …
(When) asked, "In the past 12 months have you read any passage from the Bible?" 75 percent of U.S. adults said "yes" …
When asked to describe the Bible, the most popular answer in every country except Germany was, "The Bible is the inspired word of God, but not everything in the Bible should be taken literally, word for word."
93% of Americans have a bible at home … 93%!
As a Pastor I ask – how many of them are reading it daily?
Application: It is the responsibility of the church to ensure that we are able to educate this world on the importance of God’s Word; but we cannot do that unless we understand that WE are responsible for knowing what is in there as well!!
The church members are the ones who are responsible for sharing the Gospel with the world.
You see, God is very interested in your heart and what you are doing to spread His Gospel to others – He is not keeping track of your attendance in church.
Point 2 – Provide a place to be educated
Challenge: Do you love your church enough to come and learn?
The church is where we come to get educated about God’s Word, so that we can be equipped to pass it on to a world that has removed itself from God.
The Pastor’s job:
Eph 4:12-13, “… to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Have we all reached a place of maturity in our relationship? Maybe.
Could we grow more through our church to do so? Absolutely.
The believer’s job:
Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us to “… consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 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.”
We are called to meet together, so that we can encourage one another, and more importantly grow together!!
Point 3 – Called to grow
Challenge: Do you love your church enough to grow in God’s Word?
Let’s see what Paul says about the church’s responsibility to grow:
Hebrews 5:11-14, “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”