Notes on sermon preached 14 June 2009: “What’s all this about the church?”
All over the world, millions of Christians are “doing” church, in many different ways. How should we best understand what church is all about? Church is…
1. A Building
Not bricks and mortar, but a spiritual building which is built by God. Jesus said “I will build my church”. (Matthew 16 v 18) Paul said: “you are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit”. (Eph 2 v 19-21) Peter said: “you also like living stones are being built into a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2 v 5) Are we allowing God to build us into a building?
2. A Family
Just as we were born into a natural family, so we have been born again into a spiritual family, with God as our Father and other believers as our brothers and sisters. Jesus view on natural and spiritual family is very revealing (Mark 3 v 31-34).
Families that run well have order, discipline, love and acceptance. They have a home, family members and honoured guests. Are you living as a part of a family?
3. A Body
One of the most famous pictures in the word of God is Paul’s view of the church as a body (I Cor 12 v 12ff). In the church
– the head is Jesus
– every part needs to function for it to work
– every part is connected to every other part
– no one can operate independently
Are you a functioning part of the body?
“From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work” Ephesians 4 v 16
4. A Mission Community
• John 20 v 21 “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you”
• Sent to…
Make disciples (Matthew 28 v 19,20)
Peach the gospel (Mark 16v.15)
Be Jesus’ witnesses (Acts 1 v 8 )
Do what Jesus did…and greater things! (John 14 v.12).
Jesus has said that we may rightly expect that God will intervene in every area of our lives., but that the greatest work we can be involved in is to preach the gospel, see people born again and delivered from darkness into light for eternity. Are we living as a mission community for Jesus?
Questions for Discussion:
1. Consider the three pictures used for the church here – a building, a family and a body. What does each picture tell us about how we should live as a part of the church?
2. Are there any other pictures in the Bible used to describe the church?
3. What is our mission as a church?
4. What did Jesus mean when he said that anyone who believed in him would do what he did? (John 14 v 12)
5. What did Jesus mean when he said that we would do greater things than he did? (John 14 v 12)