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Summary: The Church - who we are and what we are.

We Are The Church

Psychologists have long declared that as human beings, we have 3 specific psychological needs:

TO BE / TO DO / TO BELONG

TO BE: Our individuality, what sets us apart for others, uniqueness

TO DO: Our abilities, what we are good at, our job, our hobbies, etc.

TO BELONG: To be a part of something larger than ourselves, group

People satisfy these 3 needs in various forms.

Friday evening I sat amongst 1.000’s of proud parents, family & friends of graduating seniors of Vero Beach High School.

Amidst bouncing beach balls, flailing arms, flying hats, flashing light bulbs, shrieking air horns & streaming tears stood 500+ Seniors adorned in familiar Red and White.

Dr. Dearing said that this class’s average SAT scores were 25 points higher than t/national average & 44 points higher than t/state aver.

For 4 years these students in part have met their psychological need thru their identification as a Fighting Indian & student at VBHS.

They have accomplished much individually and collectively.

I lost count of a well-known phrase that was shouted throughout t/night.

IT’S GREAT TO BE A FIGHTING INDIAN!

Now they will venture forth, for the most part, unknown; seeking to re-establish an identity that they have given up as High School ended

Everyone has these needs & fulfills them in differing ways.

Nation - take pride to be a US citizen, living in the land of opportunity & being part of the greatest nation on earth.

T/Preamble of t/Declaration of Independence begins, “We the People”

Clubs - Elks, Koffee Klutch, Rotary, Eastern Star - again, they are part of something larger, purposes & activities, membership.

Family - father, mother, etc. (be) - all have responsibilities, (do) name status, recognition, (belong), Kennedy, Rockerfeller, Dupont, etc.

Fraternity - a strong enough desire to belong, to go through bizarre & even dangerous initiations or hazing to be included.

Gangs - even though destructive, provide emotional needs.

Everyone searching for satisfaction in life & many find it in these areas.

When you becoming a Christian; when you are added to the Church - all 3 psychological needs are satisfied.

TO BE: Child of the King of Kings

TO DO: Talent, to use to build up the body of Christ

TO BELONG: Part of the kingdom, priesthood, building, body

Why are you & I a part of God’s family? Why have we chosen Him?

We all know the eternal advantages of faithfulness to Christ, yet there are physical & psychological advantages too.

Living a moral life keeps you from dangerous, life-threatening activities as well as placing you in a wholesome environment.

But - Have we accepted Christ because of the advantages it gives us?

Is our faith self-motivated & self-based?

If it is, then when difficulty comes (& it will), we will abandon it freely, because we longer see the value or advantage of faithfulness.

NO - If we are part of God’s family, we are part of His Church.

And there is no institution that can compare to it. NOTHING!

What we Aren’t:

Members of a social club that solely provides camaraderie.

People who gather to show off the latest fashions.

Group that hangs together cause we share common interest.

Folks who gather together to play games and have fun.

Here to make each other feel good.]

Part of an organization that expects nothing from its members.

WE ARE THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST!

And our calling and purpose is so much higher than these.

“Ekklasia”, Church, assembly, congregation-doesn’t signify uniqueness

Defined, “belonging to God, people who are called out”

The Church is not a “man-made” institution, it is divinely established

First Sermon - We as the Church, God’s building, I Peter & Eph 2

How do we become a part of God’s Institution? We can’t!

Added By God

Acts 2:41 & 47, “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about 3,000 were added to their number that day. 47 they were praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Clubs have membership rosters to sign, yet the only entrance exam for t/church is to follow God’s plan of salvation & bingo we’re added!

Our names are added to the Lamb’s book of Life.

WE ARE THE CHURCH!

What is our foundation? Built Upon Jesus

Matthew 16:16-18, “Simon Peter answered, You are t/Christ, t/Son of t/living God. Jesus replied, Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.

And I tell you that you are Peter & on this rock I will build my church, & t/gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood & righteousness. All other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.

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