Summary: We all have been birthed into ONE body! We are the body of Christ. The local church should be a portrait of what Jesus looked like when HE was here.
Mission & Vision 2012
When I think about the words Jesus said in our message last week it pumps me up to dig further into what HIS church looks like.
Matthew 16:18 MSG This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.
In order for this to be carried out effectively Jesus had to set the local church with an order that could grow & expand for HIS body.
Let me ask a question??? Are we in Christ? Ephesians 2:13 NCV But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away from God are brought near through the blood of Christ's death.
Since we are in Christ, wouldn’t that make the local church OUR Church? So we share the same vision Jesus does for THE church, right?
I. Body of Christ is the Church…
1 Corinthians 12:13 NLT But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
Ephesians 1:23 NLT And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
We all have been birthed into ONE body! We are the body of Christ. The local church should be a portrait of what Jesus looked like when HE was here.
Ephesians 3:9-11 NLT I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.
God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.
The local church has such an awesome responsibility to the eternal future of people & I think many in the local churches today have been blinded to that fact!
Many think that the purpose of the local church is to have a place for people to attend on Sunday & maybe a mid-week service if it works out???
II. Is Something Wrong with the Body???
Could it be that the body has a challenge (a sickness of sorts)?
Revelation 3:14-22 NLT READ!
The Message says of verse 16; You're not cold, you're not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit.
Since Christ is the head & the church is HIS body, would that not explain the body having some yuk in it?
To bring someone to feel nauseated there has to be a sort of sickness there.
If the whole body is not functioning like it is supposed to then other parts of the body will be taxed by having to pick-up what the sick part is not doing.
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 NLT READ!
All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
Do you see the emphasis here in scripture? Everyone that is born-again has a part to be involved in for the local church.
There is not one Christian who is not needed or valuable to God’s desire & purpose in this earth.
But how many churches are struggling & some suffering simply because of a lack of support & involvement with the local church???
Many people take the attitude that someone else will do it. Some say; I just have too much other stuff on my plate to participate in a lot of church things.
I think it would be good for us to take a self-exam sometimes & ask, if everyone supported my church with their time & money like I do, how long could the church survive???
Jesus left all the splendor of heaven to come & get involved with the mess we had made here on earth so we could have a plan that could rescue people eternally.
Titus 2:14 NLT He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
His local church is one that is doing the work that HE has called us to.
Are we part of that today?
III. What Does He Expect???
Not anything that differs from what He & His early disciples were doing…
Acts 10:38 NLT And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
How did Jesus do it? Because God was with Him. Is God with you today?
Do you know anyone who needs healing or is oppressed by the devil???