Summary: God's will for the church is for us to be the bride and body. As the bride we experience Him. As His body we exalt Him.
Intro: Paul was very clear that the redemption, adoption, and indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the church was to bring glory to God. Ephesians 1:6,12,14. (Read)
Our main goal and vision is to 1 Corinthians 10:13 “whether then you eat or you drink do all to the glory of God.” That means in the smallest and seemingly most insignificant parts of your life are to be focused on Jesus and His name, reputation and making Him famous.
I. God’s will for the church is to be His bride (2 Corinthians 11:2-3) The message
“I’m as protective of you as God is. After all, you’re a virgin whom I promised in marriage to one man—Christ. 3 However, I’m afraid that as the snake deceived Eve by its tricks, so your minds may somehow be lured away from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”
A) As His bride we encounter Jesus
1) His presence
At the center of the rebellion of man is a self-centeredness that destroyed our focus on Him. The greatest promise of salvation is God giving Himself to the church as Jesus. Joshua 1.8, Matthew 28.19, Hebrews 13 He promises to never leave us.
The devils chief devices seek to distract us from the pure love and devotion we direct toward Jesus. If he can get our lives crowded, confused, and complicated with activity we will miss the active love God is pouring out on us.
2) His promises
2 Corinthians 1:20 His promises are yes and Amen. God’s promises are true. God is faithful to keep his word to His bride. God’s promises come from seeking His presence. Matthew 6:33 seek first His kingdom (rule/reign/control) and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. We seek His person and find Him faithful and get all His promises.
All of God’s promise are tied to His person. The reason we have such a problem receiving the Promises of god is because of the lack of closeness to the person of Jesus.
W.A. Criswell tells of an ambitious young man who told his pastor he’d promised God a tithe of his income. They prayed for God to bless his career. At that time he was making $40.00 per week and tithing $4.00. In a few years his income increased and he was tithing $500.00 per week. He called on the pastor to see if he could be released from his tithing promise, it was too costly now. The pastor replied, "I don’t see how you can be released from your promise, but we can ask God to reduce your income to $40.00 a week, then you’d have no problem tithing $4.00."
You don’t give merely because there is a promise for blessing. You give because you want nothing in between you and your relationship with Jesus.
Today people chase the promises of God and don’t realize Jesus is the Promise.
B) As His bride we enjoy Jesus
Every experience with Jesus is an opportunity for growth in love and appreciation for Jesus. Psalm 34:1-2 “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh the joys of those who trust Him. Taste and see does not mean, “Check out God’s credentials.” Instead it is a warm invitation: “Try this; I know you’ll like it.” When we take the first step in obedience in following Jesus we cannot help discovering that He is good and kind. When we begin the Christian life, our knowledge of God is partial and incomplete. As we trust him daily our we come to know He is good!
II. God’s will for the church is to be his body
A) As His body we exalt Jesus
In His book, “Experience God in Worship,” Christian Author George Barna says that the main reason millions of people in America go to church every week is not to worship God, but is instead to have a pleasing experience. He goes on to say that… “most Americans go to church to satisfy or please themselves, not to honor or please God.” Amazingly, few of the people that Barna’s research team interviewed said that worship is something that they do primarily for God. Instead a much larger percentage of those who attend worship services on a regular basis claim that they do so for personal benefit and pleasure. This is something that has got to change. We must forget about ourselves and concentrate on Him! He must be the primary focus of our worship.
Worship was never meant to be about us it has always been about Jesus. Worship declares the value and beauty something or someone.
The way we declare God’s truth and beauty is not our song service on Sunday morning it is our life service Monday through Saturday. Worship is not a style it is a life style.