Summary: The Church is God's ordained way to keep people connected with God and each other.
The connected Church
As we continue in the series “Connect to God and others”.
You remember we opened this up with the 10 commandments.
We realized the first 4 commandments are our relationship to God and the last six were relational to each other.
You will never have proper relationship with others when your relationship with God is not right.
God desires to have an intimate and deeply relational relationship with us and when we do that we will definitely feel connected to God.
People today feel disconnected with God because they do not want a relationship, they want a genie in a bottle. A God they call on when they need something, but not a God that restricts them, tells them no, or desires a relationship.
The text this morning is Matthew 16:13-16:20.
Peter Got it! That Jesus was the Son of the living God.
That our redemption was in Jesus Christ
Above everything else, we must maintain our relationship with God.
I don’t know what your idea of the church is this morning:
But the church is not an invented way to take an offering from you.
But it is a God-ordained, God-invented, God-supported function of being Christ-like disciples of Christ.
It’s foundation is Jesus Christ, and God tells us that He will build His church and the gates of Hell will not destroy it.
Jesus went as far to say that His disciples would have the keys to the kingdom of God and that what the church bound on earth would be bound in heaven, and what we loosed on earth, would be loosed in heaven.
Jesus is telling the church that following Jesus, the Son of the living God, though hard, has some real advantages.
He chooses to do these things through each and every one of us and through the organized church.
One day a preacher was standing before his congregation and the weather was bad and not many people had showed up. He says to them let me tell you about Murphy’s law for preachers.
Law #1- When weather is extremely bad, attendance will be down.
Law#2- When weather is extremely good, attendance will be down.
Law#3- If you are short bulletins for Sunday, church attendance will exceed your expectations.
I have listen to some that are looking for the perfect church. They just keep floating from church to church and never connecting to any of them.
There is no such thing as a perfect church. If there was, you would not be able to attend it.
I could not pastor the prefect church because I am not perfect.
Jesus says He will build His church and Hell is not able to bring it down.
Though… sometimes, I think hell is banging the gates really hard.
Luke tells us Acts chapter 11 that the first mention of “Christians” is at Antioch.
Christians are followers of Christ.
Some think because we are born in the USA , we are Christian.
Some because of their family and their standing in the community, they are Christian.
Some actually believe because they are not Jewish, Buddhist, or Muslim, they must be Christian.
The church is a God-ordained way for Christians- followers of Christ to stay connected to Jesus Christ.
The church is a place where someone wanting to begin a relationship with Christ might have a way to do it.
The church is a place where we all can get disciple or taught the things of God and gather support and encouragement from each other.
To say that you do not need a church is a slap to what God has instituted.
To not stay connected is to miss what God has to say to you and what strength you will need for the week ahead.
Question- What kind of church are you looking for?
A church that is open when it is convenient to you?
A church that begins when you get here?
A church that is always there, but you have not supported, and you just expect it to always be there when you need it?
ME CHURCH! Where it is all about you!
Question- What kind of church does Jesus expect?
Well according to the text:
Jesus is looking for a church founded on Jesus Christ.
A church that realizes that they have the power to make an impact and make a difference. Because the gates of hell will not be able to overcome it.
A church that realizes that we are in a spiritual war and God has given us the power to bind the things that are not of God, and to loose the things that are of God.
The Me-Church cannot be blessed of God.
The only way there is a Me-church is when the people of God believe that the church is all about them.