Why be part of a church

Speaker: 
Andrew Fountain
Date: 
Sun, 2018-09-16

Sermon Outline - Why be part of a church?

  • I recently saw a blog post by someone giving the reasons why he rarely went to church.
    • I engage with God best when I’m working on my business
    • I have more fun working than in church and I’m sure God wants me to have fun.
  • A lot of people had responded to him, and there were even blog posts
    • But what shocked me was all the bad answers he was given. (He did get some good responses as well)

Goal

To answer the question:
Why be part of a Church?

Outline

  • What church is and what it is not
  • What it means for us

The Mystery Revealed (Eph 3)

  1. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given,
    to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
    9and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery
    hidden for ages in God who created all things,
  2. so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
  3. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord

Metaphors for the Church

  • Bride of Christ (love and relationship)
  • Temple or city (dwelling place of God)
  • Body (unity and love for one another)
  • Army (victory and purpose)

What does the word mean?

  • Greek ἐκκλησία (ekklesia) literally means “gathering”
  • Congregation would have been a better translation
  • Used for a riot in Acts 19:32
    Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the gathering was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together.

Universal Church

  • So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. [Acts 9:31]
  • to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. [Eph 3:21]
  • But 80% of the time it refers to individual congregations:
  • And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. [Acts 15:41]

Kingdom

  • God’s new creation life inside us
    • Power, rule, values
    • Invisible, like yeast
  • The church is the visible manifestation of the new Kingdom community
    • imperfect, impure
  • The true church will be revealed as the pinnacle of the new creation

A Church

  • Regularly meet together (the word “church”)
  • Significant commitment to one another (body life) -not a preaching or worship centre
  • Committed to a body of truth
  • Operation of the gifts of the Spirit for the building up of one another
    • Not just to receive, but to give as well
  • A New Testament model of leadership

Parachurch

  • ministries, societies, businesses, independent charities
  • prophetic ministry, healing ministry
  • Bible Colleges, missionary societies, publishing companies
  • Christian record labels, bookstores, clothing companies
  • Speciality church:
    • youth, bikers, surfers

The Body: Eph 4:1-7

  1. I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
  2. with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
  3. eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
  4. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—
  5. one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
  6. one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
  7. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

based on NET Bible with some changes by amf


Christianity

  • People who call themselves “Christians”
    • Bible is full of errors, no literal resurrection
    • Bible is insufficent—we need other books and traditions
    • The Bible is God’s Word and is our authority (Evangelical)
  • Evangelical=Good News (We are saved by God’s free gift, not our own works)
    • Cessationist (Supernatural gifts of the Spirit have ceased)
    • Continuationist (Supernatural gifts continue)

New Life

New Life

Acts 18:9–10

  1. And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent,
  2. for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”

Updated on 2018-09-18 by Andrew Fountain