5. All of its members are allowed touse their spiritual gifts to build it up.
6. It’s members are diverse, butunified under Christ as their head.
7. It has leaders within it whose job is to serve and protect.
8. It incorporates elements of communion and baptism, worship, prayer, teaching,community, and social service.
These are just some good indicators, they aren’t complete or infallible.God seems to have a lot of grace when it comes to what is and isn’t a church.
Okay, so I have a pretty good idea of what a church is now, but… Why should I be part of ?
1 Really good reason to be part of a church, and 7 pretty good ones.
1 Really good reason to be part of a church:God tells us to in the Bible!
Hebrews 10:23-25-So far Hebrews has been about…the Hebrews.-About how Jewish customs and beliefsforeshadowed Christ and were fulfilled by him.-Hebrews 10: the need for sacrifice is fulfilled andthe new covenant is here because of Jesus.- The author urges the reader to not let go of thehope they have because of Christ.
Hebrews 10:23-25“Without wavering, let us hold tightly to thehope we say we have, for God can betrusted to keep his promise. Think of ways toencourage one another to outbursts of loveand good deeds. And let us not neglect ourmeeting together, as some people do, butencourage and warn each other,especially now that the day of his comingback again is drawing near.”
Hebrews 10:23-25-The author of Hebrews, urges the reader to notstop meeting with others, assembling together as agroup, but to “encourage and warn each other”.- When we don’t meet as a church we miss out onthe possibility of encouragement in the story ofJesus and warning about the dangers in life.-Meeting with other Christians helps us frombacksliding.
1. One way people “see” God in theworld is by Christian love for each other.“No one has ever seen God. But if welove each other, God lives in us, and hislove is brought to full expression in us.”-1 John 4:12
2. Metaphors for the church are collective:-Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4)-Family of God (Eph. 2:19)-House of God (Eph. 2:20)-Temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16)- Flock (1 Pet. 2:25, 5:2-4)-”You are a chosen people, a royalpriesthood, a holy nation, God’s ownpossession” (1 Pet. 2:9)- Christ’s Bride (Eph. 5:22-32, Rev. 21)You don’t see Christians talked about as agroup of individuals, but as a community.
3. Jesus made it a habit of meeting with people at the synagogue. “When he came to the village ofNazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures.” -Luke 4:16
4. People need community, being part of a church helps provide that.“God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him." -Gen 2:18
5. Where else are you going to “one-another” other believers, or use your gifts?“Live in harmony with one another. Don’t be tooproud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” –Rom. 12:16 “Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church.” -1 Cor. 14:12
6. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper can only bedone in a church community.“ For you were buried with Christ when you werebaptized. And with him you were raised to new lifebecause you trusted the mighty power of God, whoraised Christ from the dead.” Col. 2:12“This cup is the new covenant between God and hispeople—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Dothis to remember me as often as you drink it.” – 1 Cor. 11:25 Junior high pastor’s communion elements.
7. Jesus loves the church, a lot.“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us andoffered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” – Eph. 5:1-2“…just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by thecleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her tohimself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.” –Eph. 5:25-28
There are lots of other good reasons to be part of a church…Ultimately we have to come to a placewhere in our freedom in Christ we bindourselves to others for their benefit, our building up, and the purpose of God. God didn’t call us out to live by ourselves, but in community.
The church fails over and over again…But God loves her. Shouldn’t we try to?