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Summary: We need to join with the Apostle Paul in our reason for going to church.

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"WHY I GO TO CHURCH"

Romans 1:8-13

A little old man was seen every Sunday morning walking to church. He was deaf … so he couldn’t hear a word of the sermon or the music or the instruments or the choir, or the hymns sung by the congregation.

A scoffer asked him, "Why do you spend your Sundays in that church when you can’t hear a word?" He replied, "Because I want my neighbors to know which side I’m on!"

In our Bible reading for today from Romans 1:8-13 we are going to uncover some great reasons to GO TO CHURCH.

READ TEXT: Romans 1:8-13

Paul had never been to Rome, but he prayed fervently that God would allow him to go. For a long time Paul had wanted to make the trip. Satan may have barred Paul from that field because he knew the strategic importance of the church in Rome. On the other hand, it may have been his missionary labors in other parts of the empire where the gospel had not yet reached that kept Paul from the Eternal City. Whatever it was that kept Paul from going to Rome, it never stopped him from wanting and praying to visit the Roman church.

He kept right on asking God to give him a "good road" there. As eager as he was to go, he wanted his trip to Rome to be in God’s will and not in his own willfulness.

Paul lays out in verses 11-13 why he wants to go to the church in Rome. He gives three great reasons to go to church. This morning, I want to claim Paul’s reasons for my own. Like Paul, I come to church …

… to give something,

… to get something, and

… to gather something.

Let me explain. First...

1. ...I GO TO CHURCH TO GIVE SOMETHING

Paul never explained what he meant in verse 11 by "spiritual gift." Clearly, though, the apostle expected to be the channel of some spiritual blessing or benefit to the Romans that would make them stronger and surer. He wanted to give something to those with whom he gathered.

There are many places in our world where we can go to give something. Just think for a moment of some of the places:

...Your kid’s school

…The Blood Center

...The Rotary or Lions Club

... the Community Center

... you could volunteer at the hospital or

... for a political campaign.

However, as good as all of those causes are ... there is no place that deserves greater commitment than Christ’s church.

One who comes to church to put something into it will rarely if ever go away from church disappointed.

PERSONAL ILLUSTRATION

Do you see why Paul wanted to go to church to GIVE something … vs. 11 says, “so that you may be established.” Paul knew that he could help the Roman believers be grounded and growing in their faith.

It is the responsibility of every Christian to go to church to help other believers become established in their faith. How are you contributing to the growth of believers around you?

OPTIONAL ILLUSTRATION

Like Paul, I come to church to give something. Do you? I pray that you do.

2. I ALSO GO TO CHURCH TO GET SOMETHING

The Roman believers were beginners in the Christian life while Paul was a respected apostle. Yet, he expected them to bless him in turn, as he blessed them. No matter how new a believer, each member in a church can be a blessing to every other member in the church. (READ :12)

Christian fellowship is never a one-way street. Once given out, the fellowship comes back with interest.

Studies have shown that geese can fly with 51 percent less effort and get 73 percent more distance by forming a "V" and flying together rather than by flying solo. Each goose gives strength to the formation and receives benefits in return.

Our fellowship together has much the same effect. By working together, we accomplish more and go further in reaching people for Christ.

On top of the benefits of our fellowship with each other, we can also always benefit from our fellowship with God when we come to worship.

Whether it comes from a song, a statement, a scripture, a sermon, or just a smile, a handshake or a hug ... you can receive something every time you go to church.

I come to church to get a blessing from the fellowship of other believers and from God. Do you? I pray that you do.

3. I GO TO CHURCH TO GATHER SOMETHING

Paul, the tentmaker from Tarsus, expected his efforts in Rome to produce fruit, either as new converts who would be added to the church, or as fresh Christian growth among the believers there. (READ :13) Either way, Paul clearly intended to gather a harvest when he met with the Roman believers.

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