Summary: Explaining how the church is the outward expression of the beginning of our eternal life with Jesus. It deals with "newborn Christians" as well as some of the leadership in the church
What is the Church
Christianity 101 Series
CCCAG October 27th, 2019
The video that we just watch is going to frame our lesson for this morning in our Christianity 101 series - what is the church?
Since the church is God’s idea and should be done in God’s will and HIS purpose, let’s start off by asking for HIS help in prayer
When you read through the gospels and you think about the words of Jesus you start to realize that Jesus’ spiritual gift really was not sales.
It seems whenever Jesus spoke, He said and did the exact opposite of what most church growth experts would tell a pastor to do to grow the church.
In promoting his new religious movement Jesus promised his followers pain, suffering, social isolation, and persecution. Not only that, Jesus said he came to turn son against father and daughter against mother and even rip apart the family you were born into.
With a show of hand, how many people when you decided to become a Christian looked at all of that and said yes that's what I want?
Not seeing too many hands up.
How many of you have experienced some of those negative consequences since you have become a Christian?
Virtually everybody. And if you haven't just wait it's coming.
The life of Jesus is usually thought about as God coming down a restoring that which was lost in the garden of Eden and that is very true. He gave us forgiveness of sins, He restored fellowship with God, and even infused us and baptized us with the Holy Spirit.
Those are all spiritual benefits.
But he also took care of us as we continue to live on this earth in giving us the church.
There are many misconceptions about what the church is supposed to be as we saw in that video. Most people think the church is just the building which is why in the Middle Ages they built gigantic structures of stone meant to last for over 1000 years that would take decades to build.
But that's not what Jesus had in mind.
Even today in modern America most pastors have a dream of building a church building worth millions of dollars in order to promote their vision of what ministry is supposed to be and how they serve their community.
But that's not what Jesus had in mind.
The world looks at a church as a bunch of deluded simpletons who can't get through life without some type of crutch who somehow managed to get themselves a tax-exempt status.
That of course is not what Jesus had in mind.
So what did Jesus have in mind when he spoke about the church?
Throughout this series I've repeatedly said that your eternal life began when you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and your savior.
This isn't my idea or my awesome thought, this is what Jesus taught us. We are to be living here on earth as we would in heaven.
Let me ask you how will we be living in heaven?
For those of us who are introverted, we think of heaven as a 1000-acre ranch where we never rub elbows with each other.
That might be an introvert's dream , but that's not the Kingdom of God.
In several places in the Bible, whenever God pulls back the veil and let's us see into heaven it's always groups of people being together. In fact, The Apostle John says that there is a multitude that no one can number standing before the throne of God worshiping him and crying out to him.
God is a Father who loves to be surrounded by His family in heaven. Since we are living in eternal life right now, we are supposed to reflect that here on earth, and live in a community called the church.
In the bible, the Greek word for church is “Ecclesia” which means “called out ones”. It’s referring to the people who were once stumbling around in the darkness and have been rescued and brought into God’s wonderous light.
That’s a great way to look at the church.
It’s where we are going to start this morning.
Backing up a little- A few moments ago, I mentioned a few of the negative consequences of following Jesus.
Now let’s look at what Jesus promised those who follow Him in Matt 19:29
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
What Jesus is telling us- that which we may have lost in life, HE supplies an even better example of what we lost, and that is the church. That means that the church is-