Summary: The church suffers when it is made into something else. In this message we learn how to have the kind of church Jesus wants and we desire.

Series: 1 Corinthians: Church Off the Rails

Sermon: The Thing That Should Not Be - Part 1

Outline and Manuscript:

I. Jesus’ Grand Plan

II. When Church is Made into Something Else

III. Church Off the Rails

IV. Hope for a Church Off the Rails


Introduction: We’re in the middle of a sermon series studying the first letter Paul wrote to the church at Corinth. It’s known as the letter or book of 1 Corinthians. We’re calling this series “Church Off the Rails” because the church at Corinth was a church that started well, but got off track pretty quickly.

• They forgot important truths and had a defective understanding of the gospel.

• This led to divisions within their fellowship, unbiblical ministry practices, and numerous doctrinal errors.

• Paul is the founding pastor of this church and has a deep love for the people there, so he writes to correct their many problems.

Opening Story: I recently met a couple and invited them to our church. Their story is common to hear these days: they used to actively serve and attend a church for years. But when they saw how some things in the church were done behind-the-scenes (i.e., “where the sausage is made”) they got discouraged how people treated each other and eventually decided that they could love Jesus but pass on His church. How tragic. But I think they are not alone…

I. Jesus’ Grand Plan

During His earthly ministry, Jesus told His disciples that He had a mission: it was to build His Church. And this church would start out small, like a tiny mustard seed, but would one day grow into something large, beautiful and profound. And this church would be an unstoppable entity. Persecution would not prevent its growth. Oppression would not put limits on its boundaries. Even the gates of hell itself would not prevail over Christ’s church.

This church would be an ecclesia—an assembly or gathering of people. But it wouldn’t be like a civic assembly; people wouldn’t unite around community service or sports or politics or caring for the environment (although all of these can be very good causes). No, the thing that would unite this gathering would be their commitment to follow Jesus and His teachings.

The people who would make up His church would have different stories and life experiences. Some had been morally respectable citizens, who paid their taxes, exemplified faithfulness in marriage, served in the military, and made great neighbors. Others would have a more “colorful” life story. Some were sexually immoral, idolaters, thieves, drunkards, and con artists who cheated people out of money. But none of that mattered; no one felt superior or looked down on someone else because all recognized the unifying factor between them: they were all were sinners needing a Savior.

And what an interesting group picture the church would make! From the days of Jesus till now, people in society separate themselves from others based on things like gender, age, ethnicity, wealth, education, disabilities, political worldviews and so on. But when Christ established the church, He created something different, some new that the world had never seen before. He took people divided by all sorts of things in this world, individuals who normally would never interact with one another—and through the gospel—turned them into a family.

The kind of family:

• Where people deeply love each other from the heart.

• Where we use our gifts to sacrificially serve each other.

• Where we don’t act judgmental when one of us sins, but we restore one another with humility and gentleness.

• A family where gossip and slander are as repulsive as eating trash and kindness and compassion are the motivating impulses behind every action.

• Where love is the law and humility is the governing attitude

To add another layer to this whole thing, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help to live out this new identity in Christ. The Spirit comes and creates the unity of the church. He teaches us and reminds us of all Christ’s teachings. He convicts us of sin. He empowers us to be His witnesses to the world around us. He helps us in our weaknesses and enables us to grow in Christ’s character, developing spiritual fruit within us.

Isn’t the church that Jesus died to establish a beautiful thing? Wouldn’t you want to be a part of a group of people that love and support each other like that. Through good times and bad, they are there. Kind and compassionate, earnest and humble. Patient and loving, they do not cast you aside in spite of your flaws. But together you grow into something so beautiful and glorious that only eternity itself will reveal.

II. When Church is Made into Something Else

When I got saved, I gave myself to Christ first, and then to His church. My whole adult life has been dedicated to leading, shepherding, teaching, and protecting God’s people as a pastor, wherever he sent me. It has been the honor of my life to serve Christ’s church. It may disappoint you to hear me say this, but I want to be honest and keep it real, serving and being a part of the church has been very disillusioning for me in some ways.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

A Father's Love
PowerPoint Template
PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion