Below are the notes I used when God gave me the privilege of teaching a message on The Church and the power point presentation I used is attached.
”One of our greatest allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church we as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That I confess, is a spectacle that will make our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately is quits invisible to these humans. All your patient sees is the half-finished, sham Gothic erection on the new building estate.
-Screwtape to Wormword in CS Lewis’ Screwtape Letters.
The begs the question what is the church is, but before we go there let’s look at a few things the church is not:
Not the building, the church meets in the building
Not our minsitries
I am not saying these things are bad in and of themselves but does not define the church
There are three things to look at today:
What is the Church anyway?
What is the vision of the church, what is her purpose?
Benefits of Church Membership: Why do we belong?
Where there is no vision, the people perish…
A business that loses it vision will go bankrupt…think of ADT
A government that loses it vision will go out of control
A church that loses it vision, people die.
What is The Church?
It is an assembly
ekklesia (ek-klay-see’-ah); from a compound of NT:1537 and a derivative of NT:2564; a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both): KJV – assembly, church.[i]
The church has lost her vision, we need to be reminded from time to time what it is, the consequences can be dire if we don’t.,
The Church is the Body of Christ.
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. –1 Corinthians 12:27
Paul spends some time comparing the body of Christ to a human body. Why is this significant?
What are some signs of a healthy body?
How can we apply some of these to the church?
We need to belong. Can a foot, heart or brain survive on it’s own,.
We each do have a role.
A healthy body grows: Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. –Acts 2:47
The Purpose of The Church
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. –Matthew 28:19-20
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: -Ephesians 4:11-12
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching –Hebrews 10-25
The body must go to grow
Maturing or completing of believers
Work of the ministry: toiling for the master to aid or serve.
Edify: an architectural term for a structure, fig confirmation
Exhort: NT:3870 parakaleo (par-ak-al-eh’-o); from NT:3844 and NT:2564; to call near, i.e. invite, invoke (by imploration, hortation or consolation):KJV – beseech, call for, (be of good) comfort, desire, (give) exhort (-ation), intreat, pray.i
6 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. –Ephesians 4:16
Paul does not mean idle worship where we just show up but involves a commitment and effort to God and each other.
Commanded in Hebrews 10:25
Belonging to a church family identifies you as a genuine believer
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. –John 13:35
A church family keeps you from self-centered isolation
And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. –1 Corinthians 12:26
I have been reading Blue Like Jazz and it has an odd way of convicting even though it’s theology is a bit off but he spoke of having a house in the country where he was alone and how he experienced a disconnect with people. When he moved into a house with other believers he had trouble reconnecting with people.
One problem is that he said it is easy to get wrapped up in yourself when your not around other believers..
Will help keep you from backsliding
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. –Hebrews 3:13
What are some of the most common reasons people give for not going to church? How can we answer them?
What barriers keep us from loving & caring for other believers?
Gives needed fellowship
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. –1 John 1:3-7
What do you think of when you think of Fellowship?
What is the bases of biblical Fellowship?
Common cause moving forward
Waking honestly in accordance w/God’s Word
Does my level of involvement at church demonstrate that I love and am committed to God’s family?