Summary: Once Jesus ascended into heaven, how was the gospel going to be spread? THE CHURCH!
• SLIDE #1
• We are winding down the Story, we are in chapter 29 of 31. I hope that as we have going on our journey through the Story that you are starting understand God’s upper story.
• I hope that you are seeing that God is not a God who is out to get you, but rather He is a God who has been pursuing you with His love!
• In the gospels we read of God sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins so that we can be with Him for eternity.
• Our sin problem was taken care of on the cross by Jesus death, burial, and resurrection!
• During the ministry of Jesus He shared the Kingdom of God with people. But Jesus’ earthly ministry would end.
• After Jesus ascended into heaven there needed to be a way to tell people about the great things God has done for them.
• This was going to be a big job, it would take a lot of prayer, a lot of work, and a lot of people.
• In the book of Acts and the other letters of the New Testament we see that God planned on using the church to help save those who are lost. The church (which is US) is called to help lead people back home!
• A typical church can so easily get off mission because it is made up of people who sometimes are not always heading in the same direction. WE always need to remember why we are here. WE must never forget the calling the church has from Jesus!
• As the church was getting off the ground, God knew they were going to need some help. Today in chapter 29 of The Story we are going to look at the church and the interesting person God chose to help it.
• That same help is with us today!
• Let us start by reading 1 Corinthians 12:27-30
• SLIDE #2
• 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NIV) Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?
• SLIDE #3
I. The church is the body of Christ- called to do His work.
• The early church had a lot of struggles, not too different than the church today.
• The church was struggling with spiritual gifts, immorality, who was greater than who, among other things.
• The church at Corinth (CORE WRITH) HAD A LOT OF ISSUES.
• Paul was trying to get them back on track so he wrote the first and second letter to the Corinthian church.
• When the church does not stay focused, eternities are at stake because Jesus choose the church as the mechanism for carrying out His work on earth!
• Assembled together the church is Jesus, and we are to think like Jesus, act like Jesus and love others like Jesus loves them.
• In the passage we read the church was fighting over spiritual gifts, some who had particular gifts thought they were more important than those who did not possess the same gifts.
• I am glad that scenario does not play out in the modern church!
• Verse 27 remind us that the church is the body of Christ and that each one of us are a part of it.
• And unlike a sports team, there is no BENCH in the church. You do not have to sit on a bench and wait your turn, you are in the GAME NOW!
• So if we are the body of Christ, we are to be like Jesus, in our thoughts, actions and love.
• That is no easy task!
• Since the church is the body of Christ, we are called to carry out the mission that JESUS calls us to carry out.
• The church is commissioned to go into all the world as witnesses to Jesus.
• SLIDE #4
• Acts 1:8 (NIV) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
• SO many people with inside and outside of the church have ideas as to what the church is called to do.
• I have had folks walk through the doors wanting money to refill their cell phone or call from a motel tell us that the church is supposed to help the poor.