Summary: What Jesus taught about the church.
Baptist Distinctives: The Local Church
Solomon said that there’s nothing new under the sun. With that in mind, I’ll give credit to Neal Cole for this sermon. I borrowed it from his book, Organic Church.
A. Review aim of sermon series – today I want to deal with local church.
B. The Lord has taken me on quite a journey of discovery in last year.
C. This morning’s message will overlap w/tonight’s message – I want you to hear them both – perhaps some of the most important messages I will share concerning the church.
D. Matthew 16:13-18 – give context – Jesus’ questions set up teaching & understanding of the church. 5 things to see about the church according to Jesus.
I. Jesus Builds The Church
A. Many books, tapes, seminars to help us learn how to build the church
B. We have terribly forgotten who builds the church
C. When I interviewed for pastor this church & I both revealed this
D. If we are building the church, it isn’t the church
E. If we build the church on my personality or teaching or some methodology then it isn’t the church.
F. Jesus and Jesus only builds the church.
II. Jesus Owns The Church
A. Acts 20:28 – bought it with His own blood
B. He didn’t promise to build our church – it belongs to Jesus! He is building His church.
C. Contractor Illustration
D. The church is Jesus’ building project, and He fully intends to live in it. If Jesus is building His church – it will be beautiful and solid.
E. If our churches are falling apart and are not healthy, it is not because Jesus does sloppy work, but because we have taken the job ourselves
III. The Church Is Meant To Be Growing
A. Did you ever pass by a construction project and find it smaller?
B. When something is built, it grows bigger, not smaller.
C. The church is meant to grow – new souls should be brought into the kingdom of God.
D. That doesn’t mean unlimited numerical growth. Most warm-blooded things grow to a point and then reproduce. That’s how churches ought to grow.
IV. The Church That Is Growing Will Face Opposition
A. Jesus said we would face resistance as the church starts to grow. He even said the opposition would come from Hell.
B. One sign of a healthy church is that she faces hostility from hell.
C. No opposition? Maybe were walking in the wrong direction.
D. Robert Logan and Tom Clegg quote - In Releasing Your Church’s Potential, they said, “I believe that the enemy divides all people into two categories: those he can ignore and those he has to fight. I want to be one of those he has to fight.” He went on to quote a WWII bomber pilot: “If you’re taking flak, you’re over the target.”
There was once a contractor who built homes in a small town somewhere in Europe. He built most of the homes for the people who lived in the village and was a gifted carpenter. Unfortunately, he was never able to afford a home of his own. One day, the wealthiest man in town came to the contractor and asked him to build a house. He said, “I want you to build the finest house you are capable of, and I want you to spare no expense. I am going on a journey and when I return I hope that the house will be completed.”
The contractor agreed to the job and was about to begin when a thought struck him: “This wealthy man already has a few houses. I do not have my own. I will use inferior material, cut a few corners and do a quick job on the house, make it look real nice, and charge him the full amount. That way I can pocket the leftover money and finally afford to buy my own house.” So that’s what he did.
When the rich man returned he went to view the house and was impressed. It looked beautiful from a distance. The wealthy man turned to the crooked contractor and said, “The house looks wonderful! I am so glad that you spared no expense, for I intend to give this home to a dear friend who deserves a house like this one.” With that, he handed the keys over to the contractor and said, “Here is your new home, my friend.” The contractor graciously received the keys to his new home, but his heart sank as he realized what he had done.
What kind of effort and quality of workmanship and materials would the man have put into the home if he had known it would be the place where he and his family would be living?