Summary: Looking at the Greatest Thing we need as we build the church.
In case you haven’t heard we’re building a church. Actually we’ve been building a church for 10 years and now we are constructing a Church facility. And I really need to thank those who are working with me on that, Mike Kneebone, John Greenough, Heather Stubbert, Bruce Barteaux, Louise Caza and from a distance Don Grant. Without them none of this would be happening, they really are the brains behind the operation.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been in this type of project, we built in Truro and in Brisbane. And, Angela if you want to cover your ears for a second, I hope this isn’t the last time I’m in this type of project. Just the other day I was thinking, I wonder how we will expand when we fill this building?
And it’s really coming together well, and I truly believe that we are going to have a first class facility to worship God in, and I think that’s important, I do not believe that we serve a God of mediocrity, I believe that he deserves the best that we can offer.
Almost thirty years ago my home church in Saint John, New Brunswick dedicated their new facilities and one of their laymen a very gracious gentleman by the name of Irvine bruhier said “We’ve built a church, now we need to build the church.” Well folks I am here to say that “we are building a church but let’s not forget to build the church.”
Europe is full of cathedrals which make what we are planning look pretty pathetic, but they are spiritually dead. Why? Because they have churches but they don’t have churches.
You see the church is the body of Jesus Christ, it is not brick or mortar or wood or glass it is a living breathing conglomeration of god’s people. This building that will be constructed on Hammonds Plains Road is not Cornerstone Wesleyan Church, but you people you are Cornerstone Wesleyan Church. But I want to let you in on a little secret, it’s a whole lot easier to put up a church building then it is to maintain a healthy church body. Because some day we will be through building our new church building, but the church body is never completed, it is never finished and the work goes on forever.
The scripture that Ruth read this morning is my favourite portion of the holy writ.
It is found in the book of 1 Corinthians which is the seventh book of the New Testament. It is a letter written by Paul to Christians in the Church in Corinth. If we pull up a map we discover that Corinth is in what we now refer to as Greece. Paul himself had planted this church two or three years prior to this letter being written in AD 55. The reason that Paul wrote the letter, well the church was having some major problems and Paul was seeking to restore balance to the church. Which brings us to the verse I want to look at this morning.
1 Corinthians 13:13 There are three things that will endure—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
Out of the sixty six books of the bible Paul says that these three concepts are by far the most important. Of all the dissertations, theological debates, studies, theories, theorems and personal opinion, Paul tells us that these three remain faith, hope and love. The Old Testament, the New Testament, everything in between and everything written since about Christianity is summed up in these three attributes, faith, hope and love.
Now if this is the sum total of Paul’s teaching then that should be indicative of how important they need to be in our lives. I have seen churches that stress their doctrine, our doctrine and everybody else’s doctrine. But as important as doctrine is and needs to be it cannot replace these three concepts. I have seen churches that concentrate on liturgy and ritual but without faith hope and love they are simply formal club meetings and you might as well become a Mason.
I have seen churches that talk about fellowship and accountability but without faith, hope and love they are just glorified and spiritualised social clubs. The only way that we can build the church that god wants us to build is with faith, and with hope and with love.
1. Faith We have preached about faith so much since we started talking about building that it ought to be like the old fellow said, “you throw enough mud at a wall some of it’s bound to stick.” What is faith? Well first of all it’s a New Testament concept or at least a New Testament word. In the New Living Translation of the bible the word faith is used eleven times in the Old Testament and over two hundred times in the New Testament.