A Heart for the House (Part 4) We the Fellowship (1 Corinthians 1:9)
Theme: How the church comes together as one fellowship
Introduction: For the last few weeks we have been studying about the church. We have noted the church is not the building made of wood, steal, bricks or glass. We have noted the church is not an address or location. We have noted the church is indeed the people who belong to God and who have been set apart for His purpose and His glory. We have noted the church is referred to in many ways such as “The flock of God” Where Christ is the chief shepherd and pastors are His under shepherds. We have noted the church is referred to as “The Body of Christ.” Where Christ is the head and we as His body are an extension of Him (As He lives and breathes thorough us, He continues His work, ministry and redemptive mission here on earth through us). Today, as we conclude this series, I want us to see one last (but vitally important) reference to the church. Today, I want us to see the church as it is referred to as the “Fellowship of believers!” As Paul used the body metaphor, he was saying we are all sharing one common life under one head, who is the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the defining character of the church. It is marked by its unity, by its shared life, its commonality, its community. In a word, it’s fellowship. Fellowship is critical to the life of the church.
A Heart for the House (Part 3) We the Body 2 (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)
Theme: How to be the Church in Today’s world
Introduction: There are two obvious questions that come to mind when I talk to people about who and what the church is today. The first (which we answered last time) is, “What’s in it for me?” (i.e.) “How does being a part of the church benefit me?” The answer being: Christ loves His church and has called us to experience the true blessings of being a part of a local body of believers where we can grow and serve together. Become knit together with one another. So that we can share in each other’s joys and burdens, praises and prayers. The second question is “How does my being a part of the church help the church?” (i.e.) “What difference do I or can I make in the church today?” To answer this, we have to understand the New Testament view of the church as “the Body of Christ.” The image of the church contained in the New Testament is far different from the picture that comes to mind when people speak about the church today. We need to go back and take a fresh look at what the New Testament has to say about the church and then, bring that image to life in our present day practices. In our text today, Paul gives us five snapshots of what our body of Christ is to look like.
Conclusion: If you are not yet a apart of this local body the living Lord is inviting you to unite with this body, bring your diversity of gifts and talents, and let’s in harmony and solidarity let Christ live, serve and minister through us together.
A Heart for the House (Part 2) We the Body (1 Corinthians 12:27)
Theme: Christ’s attitude toward us as the church
Introduction: There are two obvious questions that come mind when I talk to people about who and what the church is today. The first is “What’s in it for me?” (i.e.) “How does being a part of the church benefit me?” The second is, “How does my being a part of the church help the church?” (i.e.) “What difference do I or can I make in the church today?” Over the next two weeks I hope to answer these questions to your satisfaction and raise your level of awareness about not only, why the church should be an important part of your daily life but, more than that, why you should love your church and be an active member of it. To do this we need to begin with understanding Christ’s attitude toward us as the church.
One of the best metaphors used to describe the nature and function of the church in scripture is the picture of us as “the Body of Christ.” In this image the writers declare the church is a living breathing organism in which Christ lives and through which He continues His work and ministry on earth today. (Eph 1:22-23) It can be very comforting and yet challenging to recognize Christ is the head of the church and we as His body. But, when I see Him this way and understand He sees me as a part of His church and (His body) through whom He continues His ministry and work, I begin to see the many benefits there are to me as a part of it!
Conclusion: Christ loves His church and has called us to experience the true blessings of being a part of a local body of believers where we can grow and serve together. I pray today, you’ve not only seen the benefits, but you’ll join this body, family and church as together we join Christ in His work!
A Heart for the House (Part 1) We the People (1 Peter 2:9)
Theme: Who we are as the people of the church
Introduction: Jesus was a master carpenter before He began His earthly ministry. Today He continues the process of building His church. But, His church is not a building or a structure made of brick, steel, stone, wood or glass. The church is not a place, location, address.
The church that Jesus is building is composed of people. The kind of people who are established as spiritual temples offering up their lives as spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God (Rom. 12:1-2). These people are the born again believers who have received by faith Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. Jesus has told us except a man be born again he cannot even see the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:3) These people have received Jesus by faith and made a public profession of their faith in Christ’s death burial and resurrection as the means by which their sins were forgiven and eternal life was given them (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 6:23). These people have identified with Christ in baptism (Mt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:41) and they are the church! This is the church that Jesus is building. So, who can be a part of this church? You can and should be (1 Cor. 12:12ff.; Heb. 10:25)!
What does that church look like? In our text Peter is speaking to the church today as God spoke through Moses to the people of Israel when He established His covenant with them in (Ex. 19:1-6). Peter says, this is what (we the people) should look like and be like as Christ’s church.