November 3, 2019
Sermon Title: God's Committed Community: The Nature of the Church (Part 1)
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1 Peter 3:8-9; Romans 8:16-17; 1 Corinthians 12:12
Scripture Text: Matthew 16:15-18
'But who do you say that I am?' Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Jesus answered and said to him, 'blessed are you Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.'"
God's Committed Community: The Nature of the Church (Part 1)
Circle the words - My Church. The church belongs to Jesus Himself. That means that He considers the church to be important - n fact - it is so important that I am willing to risk saying this statement. 'You cannot grow to full Christian maturity - without involvement in God's church. '
Let us examine The Nature of the Church. Before we look at what The Church is - let us understand what The Church is not.
It is not a social club. It is not a business. It is not a museum. It is not a fraternity. The Church is not even a building even though we often speak of it in that manner. The Church is not a man made institution.
What then is the Church? It is a creation of God - founded by Jesus Himself. The Bible gives us several metaphors (comparisons) of what The Church is.
This morning we are going to look at four of them. From these metaphors we can gain a greater understanding of The Nature of The Church.
The Bible tells us that The Church is:
1. A FELLOWSHIP.
2. A FAMILY.
3. A BODY.
4. A FLOCK.
Point I. The Bible says, The Church is A FELLOWSHIP.
Fellowship is not just something the church is - it's something we do.
In the dictionary the word "fellowship" is both a noun and a verb.
FACT: A top priority in fellowship is HARMONY.
Point II. The Bible says, The Church is A FAMILY.
When you were born you were born into a family. When we become "born again" we are born into a new family - The Church.
Our relationships change.
FACT: A top priority in family is RELATIONSHIPS.
Point III. The Bible says The Church is A BODY.
There are many verses in Scripture that says the church is the body of Christ. We're a body, not a business. We are an organism, not an organization.
FACT: A top priority in the body is UNITY WITH DIVERSITY.
Point IV The Bible says The Church is A FLOCK.
This was Jesus' favorite description of the church. He called it "My little flock". Therefore the church is cared for and led by shepherds.
FACT: A top priority in the flock is TOGETHERNESS.
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