Summary: Though the Church is not perfect, we still need the Church, even with its weak parts. This sermon is part of a series on Nehemiah in which the people make a renewed commitment to God. In particular, they make a commitment to the House of God.
The Weakness of the Church
Do you have a weakness? For me, one of my weaknesses is chocolate. I love to fill my whole mouth with chocolate.
Have you noticed a lot of TV is about rich, pretty, “perfect” people?
But that is not reality – The Hills are a delusion!
We all have weaknesses and flaws – we are the weakness of the church.
Neh. 10:39 We will not neglect the house of God.
Sometimes we feel inadequate, unimportant. Sometimes we treat others as not good enough.
The House of God is more than a building – it is the people of God, the body of Christ, with all the ministries, buildings, and programs involved.
1 Cor. 12:18-26 Paul is dealing with a church full of problems. Serious problems and he is saying we need everyone – even the weakest parts.
We will not neglect the House of God for the following reasons:
I. Because we suffer together.
Sometimes we get negative and critical about the church because there are problems and imperfections. We feel like giving up. But the weakness of the Church is me, and you.
There is no isolation. Everything we do affects each other.
Illus. Being critical at Baseball game
II. Because we honor each other
We do not expose our weakness.
Love covers many wrongs.
Confess your faults, but not everyone else’s
Proverbs 17:9 (NLT) Disregarding another person’s faults preserves love; telling about them separates close friends.
Ephes. 4:2 (NLT) Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
Illus. Pee Wee won the game.
III. Because we need our weak parts.
2 Cor 12:9 In our weakness He is strong.
It is His church.
We are family.
Ephes. 2:19 (NLT) So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.
Mark 3:33 (NLT) Jesus replied, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?"
Luke 8:21 (NLT) Jesus replied, "My mother and my brothers are all those who hear the message of God and obey it."
Illus. Barak Obama says is pastor is like family.
Blood is thicker than water: Jesus’ blood.
We do not reject our family because they struggle.
Cpl. Jeffrey Reffner has been at Walter Reed since July 2006, when a improvised explosive device in Baghdad blew apart the front of his truck -- and his left leg. He suffered a broken tibia and fibula below his knee, and extensive burns, muscle and nerve damage. Five inches of his tibia were missing.
After the blast, doctors began talking amputation. He begged them to save his leg. After 23 surgeries, including a stem cell bone grafting, Reffner still has his leg. And he still has his faith.
"Every time I prayed, it got answered somehow," said Reffner, a member of the Assembly of God church.
This is not an excuse for tolerating sin.
James 5:16 (NLT) Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.
1 John 3:9 (NLT) Those who have been born into God’s family do not sin, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they have been born of God.
How do we treat our weaker parts?
1. Special care. Cover wrongs.
2. It is okay to be injured.
3. Feel my pain.
6-foot-6 Sgt. Brent Hendrix explained that he used to be 6-foot-8 before his injury and that the doctors are going to re-break his leg to give him back those two inches.
That is just one more step in a long, trying journey for Hendrix. He was an infantryman on a raid in Iraq in June 2006 when his vehicle rolled over two buried roadside bombs. He woke up in Walter Reed with tubes coming out of his nose.
Hendrix has died twice, he said -- once for 58 seconds and a second time for two minutes. He has had close to 70 surgeries since the blast. He was told he would never walk again.
He’s walking now and can bench-press 275 pounds, an impressive feat by any standard.
"God still wants me around for some reason," Hendrix said. "So I’m just waiting to see what he’s got in store for me."
And for a moment, Chaplain Darrick Gutting looked somber.
"We get through this together," Gutting said, slowly and deliberately, "because not one of us is as good, or as strong, as all of us."
Where is Jesus? Wherever two or three are gathered in His name.
We will not neglect the House of God because we are perfect, but because we’re not.