Summary: Jesus is the Pastor (the Good Shepherd) of His Church, which He loves and He is building into a glorious and powerful Church.
WHAT IS THE CHURCH?
“13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" 14 So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:13-18).
• The church was to be build upon a revelation of who Jesus is – the Christ!
• This first time ‘church’ is mentioned in the Bible – ekklesia = an assembly (people).
• Church therefore is all about relationships. Love, acceptance and forgiveness.
• Jesus is the Pastor of the Church – it is HIS church! He is the Good Shepherd…
• “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” (John 10:11).
THE BIG IDEA: Jesus is the Pastor (the Good Shepherd) of His Church, which He loves and He is building into a glorious and powerful Church.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:22-27).
• Jesus is the head of the church and loves her so much He died for her!
• The church is a family – God’s our father, we’re all brothers and sisters.
TESTIMONY: I love the church! Ever since I became a Christian over 20 years ago, I have been regularly involved in the local church. Solid Rock, Victory, Bible Fellowship, and BCC today!
WHAT IS THE CHURCH? DAY ONE: (Acts 2:42-47).
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
This is the picture that defines the glorious and powerful church of Jesus Christ:
1. TEACHING (THE APOSTLE’S DOCTRINE)
4. FEAR OF THE LORD
5. SIGNS AND WONDERS
6. SHARING AND GENEROSITY
7. UNITY (ONE ACCORD)
9. PRAISE AND WORSHIP
10. DAILY SALVATIONS
We exist to REACH people with the love of God, to CONNECT them in loving relationships with other Christians, to help them to GROW in their faith through God’s Word, to challenge them to DISCOVER their gifts, and GLORIFY God with their lives.
1. EVANGELISM – Reaching the Lost
Jesus said, “Go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15).
• We have a responsibility to share God’s love with the people in our community, so that lost people can come to know Jesus personally as their Lord and Saviour.
• All Christians are called to share God’s love with all those that they meet.
2. FELLOWSHIP – Loving People
Jesus said, “The second greatest commandment is: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39).
• Our church is called to be a place of love, acceptance and forgiveness, one that provides hope, healing and restoration for people’s broken lives.
• All Christians are called to get connected with one another in deep relationships.
3. DISCIPLESHIP – Teaching and Training People
“He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13).