Summary: If we are to be identified with Christ, we should be acting like Jesus. This begins a series that takes a look at how we can look more like Jesus.
Thinking, Acting, Being like Jesus
The Church and you
Turn to Ephesians 4:15-16, that will be our text this morning.
Last week we looked at our identity in Christ.
As believers, we become the children of God by faith in Christ and enjoy the benefits of the family of God.
We saw that we are significant in the eyes of the Lord.
We saw that our worth is not based upon what others think of us but what God thinks of us.
Again I tell you that God is crazy about you and I.
He has provided a way that in our loss state we can find salvation through Christ.
We will look this morning that He has also provided a place where we can and should be nurtured in the things of God. It is called the church.
We must realize that the church is not a building alone.
This building is not the church.
We the people of God are the church and gathers together in this building. We can have service in a fire hall and we would be the church. We can gather in a movie theater and we would be the church.
The church is simple and complicated and I believe most have the wrong idea of the church.
Most people think of the church as a place they go when they feel like fitting it in their schedule to hear a message from the preacher, that message should uplift them and make them feel better than when they came in.
Most people think the church gets its money and it volunteers and the services are put together by the church fairy, because they think it just happens magically and will always be there when they need it, and when it doesn’t happen as they feel or expect it to operate, they are critical and decided to leave.
Some are always shopping and never buying because society today has no loyalty to anything or anyone.
3 questions I want to answer this morning concerning the church of God.
What does God think of His Church?
What part do believers play in His Church?
What happens if you are not a part of His Church?
If we get these questions answered correctly, the church becomes all the God intends it to be for our lives.
First question, what does God think of His Church?
God instituted the children. It was God’s idea to create and establish the church. Jesus said to Peter upon his confession of faith in Jesus as Lord that He (Jesus) would build His church and that the gates of Hell will not overcome it.
The bedrock foundation of the church is
(1) Jesus Christ- His life, death, resurrection for our sins.
(2) Our confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord
(3) Christ teachings through God’s Word for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
“I will build my church”
Why did God go to so much trouble to build and maintain and keep all influences from destroying the very church He created. Because He loves you and I. he knew we could not survive this world without His intervention in our lives and being our strength at tough times
Holy Spirit of God dwells within us and empowers us to live lives as Jesus commanded. We cannot do that without His Spirit and each other.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor, if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
The primary function of the church is to nurture God’s people, (the body of Christ) and send them out to accomplish His purpose here on earth.
The first part of that is that each one of us needs a place to grow in our knowledge of the Lord and be equipped to walk with God and accomplish His purpose.
The second part is the church is a place where those seeking god will be able to find Him and begin a relationship with Him. That will change your life.
It is true that a person can receive salvation and never step foot in a church, but the absence of belonging to a community of believers is like a train without tracks or a bike with no wheels. You may have identity in Christ, but you have no purpose yet.
I will go as far to say that the church at times does not look the way Christ intended it to look, but that is not the Lords fault, it is man making mistakes. If you understand what the church was intended to be, you would play apart to maintain it instead of tearing it down.