Summary: We are to be a community of faith submitting to the Lordship of Jesus.
C: God’s plan for us.
Th: His power, His work – in us!
Pr: WE ARE TO BE A COMMUNITY OF FAITH SUBMITTING TO THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS.
?: What do we need to understand?
TS: We will find in our study of Matthew 16.18-19 five characteristics of the church that help us understand our role in it.
Type: Inductive; topical
The ____ characteristic is its…
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Realize this is God’s church, not mine.
• Submit to His headship.
• Speak the truth of salvation.
• Be an influencer – speaking and living a Christian worldview.
RMBC 02 September 07 AM
Note the Loizeaux letter…
1. What good is the church?
I took that question to heart this week.
As I have mentioned before, from time to time, on my mother’s side, I have a great-grandfather who was a Baptist pastor in western and central New York.
I have many of his original messages in my possession, and he certainly was fundamentally sound when it came to proclaiming the truth of God’s Word.
So, in one sense, it may be that the church is in my genes, so to speak.
Though I had been brought to church all my life, it was not until the summer between my 6th and 7th grade that I came to understand the need of the Lord in my life, during a Vacation Bible School at the Batavia Christian and Missionary Alliance Church.
Understanding my propensity to sin and inability to stop it, it is then I received Him as my Savior and the Lord.
Then in the summer between my junior and senior year in high school, God placed on my heart a calling to serve His church.
I was unsure, at the time, exactly how that would be filled – whether I would be a missionary, a pastor, or working in a parachurch organization, I just knew that God would have me in fulltime Christian service.
It is a call I readily answered, because I became convinced that the church was God’s vehicle to fulfill His purposes in the world.
2. The church is good, if it fulfills its purpose.
This has certainly been true in my life.
But I think this is the challenge.
If we fail to keep our purpose to the forefront of all that we do, we get confused.
ILL Church (H)
There were three churches - Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian – that worked together to sponsor a community-wide revival.
After the revival had concluded, the three pastors were discussing the results with one another.
The Methodist minister said, "The revival worked out great for us! We gained 4 new families."
The Baptist preacher said, "We did better than that! We gained 6 new families."
The Presbyterian pastor said, "Well, we did even better than that! We got rid of our 10 biggest troublemakers!"
This is a worry that I have here in the Buffalo area.
We are just moving people around.
We are just switching chairs.
And the church is not being what is supposed to be.
The church is not fulfilling its purpose.
Now, don’t expect the church to be perfect, because it is populated by people.
In other words, you will always be able to find people in the church who have done or will do stupid things.
We all have heard people say they don’t go to church because it’s filled with hypocrites.
But I think a better way of viewing that is that the church is simply filled with imperfect people who act in accordance with their imperfections.
So, don’t expect this or any church to treat you perfectly because no one is capable of doing that.
But we ought to expect the people in the church to do their best to relate the love of Christ and the grace He offers.
But it will be done imperfectly.
When I step back, I wonder why God did not come up with a different idea to get his message across.
His way does not seem the most efficient, as humanity is so imperfect and undependable.
But God has chosen to use us.
This is the plan.
And there is no other plan.
The church, simply, is God’s design and method.
The word for church in the Greek is ekklesia.
It is a compound word, coming from kaleo, meaning to call and ek, meaning out.
Thus it means “called out ones” and was used to describe an assembly of people, a community, or a congregation.
For us, we understand that we are called out of this world to make a difference.
This year, our discipleship emphasis theme is…