Summary: This shows what the church should be.
"V" is for "Church"
(The idea for this sermon came from an e-mail I received.)
1. In the Bible, the church is characterized with several Vs. First, the church is visible. We read letters in the Bible written to people belonging to churches in certain cities. These are real people who make the church very visible.
A. MATTHEW 5:13 16
13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven
B. MARK 4:21
21 And He was saying to them, "A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand?
C. LUKE 8:16 18
16 "Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light.
17 "For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
18 "So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.
D. LUKE 11:33 36
33 "No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.
34 "The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.
35 "Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.
36 "If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays."
The community where the church is should know that there is a church there. Not just by the presence of the building, because this is not the church, but by the work the church does.
E. 1 PETER 2:4 10
4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For this is contained in Scripture: "BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN Him WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."
7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, "THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, TIES BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,"
8 and, "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.
We can not stay in the confines of this building and call ourselves a church. We can not set on our nice soft pews and put our hands on our laps and say how good and holy we are and not go into the world and take the message of God’s love and mercy. The world outside of this building must know that we who are in there are Christians and we can not be a Christian if we not be visible.
2. Second, the church is a body of people made alive by the Holy Spirit. The people are vibrant because they are filled with the vital principle of life from God. They are born again. The church could be, active, energetic, lively, vigorous, powerful, pulsating and thrilling. Why should we be this way?
A. JOHN 16:33
33 "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."