Summary: Simply put a church is a local called-out Body of Christ that has united together as the Family of God to worship and to obey His commands. The bottom line is the church is you and I. The question is, therefore, “What should we be in 2013?”
What Should the Church Be in 2013?
Before answering the question, “What should the church be in 2013”, it would do us good to define what we mean by the term “the church”. Some would define church as a denomination – the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Nazarene Church, etc. The church is also used to mean the whole body of professed Christian religious tradition through history. Still others when talking about the church refer to the church as the building where congregations meet and carry out religious activities. However, when the Bible speaks of the church, it is not speaking of buildings, denominations, or some universal body. Rather it is speaking of the local called-out Body of Christ that has united together as the Family of God to worship and to obey His commands. The bottom line is the church is you and I. The question is, therefore, “What should we be in 2013?”
I. The Church should be a Holy Body
A. Ephesians 5:27 “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”
B. The church is called to be a lighthouse piercing the darkness of the world with truth and holiness.
C. A pillar of Truth –
1. 1 Timothy 3:15 “That you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and basement of the Truth.”
2. “Our Lord never taught us to hide the Gospel in little rooms down back alleys—He would have us come to the front as much as we can! The Church is not a cellar to conceal the Truth of God, but a pillar to display it!” – Spurgeon, What The Church Should Be No.1436
3. “Every Christian church should know what it believes, and publicly avow what it maintains. It is our duty to make a clear and distinct declaration of our principles, that our members may know to what intent they have come together, and that the world also may know what we mean.” – Spurgeon, The Church As She Should Be, No. 984
D. A Pure Beam of Light lending credibility to the Truth we hold and preach
E. 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”
1. The church should be the mirror reflection of Jesus, His love, words, and deeds. The church should be a family of believers, who in individually and as a body not only teach but live the words of Jesus Christ.
2. D. L. Moody once said “A holy life will make the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine.”
F. 1 Peter 1;15-16 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy”
G. Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman had this which he called "My rule for Christian living": "The rule that governs my life is this: anything that dims my vision of Christ, or takes away my taste for Bible study, or cramps my prayer life, or makes Christian work difficult, is wrong for me, and I must, as a Christian, turn away from it." This simple rule may help you find a safe road for your feet along life’s road.—Watchman-Examiner.
II. The Church should be a Loving Body
A. 1 Peter 3:8 “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.”
B. Hebrews 13:1 “Let brotherly love continue”
C. ’Our churches are filled with people who outwardly look contented and at peace but inwardly are crying out for someone to love them...just as they are - confused, frustrated, often frightened, guilty, and often unable to communicate even within their own families. But the other people in the church look so happy and contented that one seldom has the courage to admit his own deep needs before such a self-sufficient group as the average church meeting appears to be.’ [Keith Miller, The Taste of New Wine, Waco: Texas, 1965, p.22]
D. People are looking for acceptance and love. They are looking for genuine family. The question is “Are we going to be that family –where we are accepted with our faults, failures, and sins – the family God expects the church to be?
E. 1 Corinthians 12:20-26 “But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.”