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I Love My Church Series – Part 1
“Who Is The Church?”
The Bible says that Jesus loved the church so much that He gave His life for it. The church is the most influential, counter-cultural, and enduring organization throughout human history. The apostle Paul reminded the leaders of the church at Ephesus to take care of the church they led (Acts 20:28) and my hope is, at the end of this series, you’re going to love the church more than you did before.
The church began over 2,000 years ago in 30AD, the year Jesus died, rose again and ascended into heaven.
Whose church is it?
It’s Jesus’ church and the powers of hell are continually trying to conquer the church because we are the medium which God chose to carry His love to a hurt, broken, and lost world. But the gates of Hell will not prevail against His church (Matt. 16:18).
The, I love my church principal is: The church is the hope of the world.
The church gives me hope for my:
- Future because I receive salvation and the church helped connect me with God.
- Family because I have a place to grow in my faith and be supported and encouraged by others.
- Friends because I have a place where I can invite my friends who don’t know Jesus.
Jesus’ church is the hope of the world because what’s broken with us is a spiritual problem that only Jesus can help.
Why is the church the hope of the world?
- The church’s founder: The resurrected Christ
Many times when we think of great organizations, we think of their dynamic founders like Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company, Sam Walton, Wal-Mart and Steve Jobs, Apple. As big an impact these men have made, it’s nowhere near the impact that Jesus Christ, the founder of the church, has made on mankind.
In Matthew 16:13-14, Jesus asks an important question, “who do you say that I am?” This is the most important question you will ever be asked, because your answer will determine the quality of your life and where you will spend eternity. Peter’s answer to this question “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” led to our main verse today, I will build my church on a large rock on which the gates of hell cannot prevail. The church is built on Christ alone!
For people who say, ‘I love Jesus, but I can’t stand the church,’ remember, Jesus says that the church is His ‘Bride’. You don’t want to love Jesus but not His ‘bride’. The church isn’t perfect. It never has been nor will be it be until Christ comes because the church is made up of flawed people.
As believers, we can’t truly love Jesus until we love His people, that is the church that He died for. So we must not gossip and tear down the people in the church, instead use our words to build it up. Pray for the church every day. The church is locked in a spiritual battle, so we need to be praying for our church. Make it a point every day to pray for our pastors, staff, ministries and members of New Life church.
2. The church’s foundation: Eternally Solid
The church is the only organization in the world that will last forever. Its foundation is eternal, It is Biblical, and it is solid. From the very beginning of Christianity, it was understood that the church was a central part of being a Christian. The church is eternally solid because it is theologically founded on the Word of God. Other things in this world will fade away, but God’s word, the Bible, has passed the test of time. That’s why here at New Life, every Sunday, we teach from God’s Word. It’s our standard; it’s the ultimate truth by which we base our lives, looking to it for direction for growth in our faith.
This is what the Church has done from the very beginning (Acts 2:42). We’ve been doing this for more than 2,000 years. The Church is the hope of the world, and we love it because it’s founded on Christ.
3. The church’s fellowship: Everyone is included
This is one of the truths about Christianity that makes our faith stand out from every other faith or religion. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone excluding none. The church is present in nearly every village throughout the world. No matter who you are or what you’ve done, if you turn to Christ by giving your life to Him, you can be forgiven and saved, that’s why He was crucified (Ephesians 2:19).
One of the biggest misconceptions about Christianity is that it is exclusive because you have to believe in Jesus in order to be saved. Christianity is the most inclusive faith because it’s open to anyone. Anyone can be saved, because salvation is based on what Jesus did for all. There’s nothing in your life, skin colour, or in your past that keeps you from being saved. Romans 10:9 ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ Christianity is inclusive, not exclusive.
4. The church’s focus: To reach a lost world
The church exists primarily for those who are not yet members.
Businesses exist to make a profit for their shareholders, they’re inwardly focused. Nations exist for the well-being and benefit of their citizens. But the church exists to be the hope of the world; its primary mission is to make a difference outside of its walls. To be relentlessly outwardly focused, to love those who are on the outside, to be selfless.
If you’re already a follower of Jesus, the Bible says God’s plan is for you to be a part of a local church, because the church: grows your faith, builds your relationships and helps you discover your gifts.
As a practicing Christian, you need to be a part of the church. But once you’re saved, it’s no longer about you who are already inside, it’s about reaching a lost and broken world with the love of Jesus Christ.
New Life is a hospital for wounded and broken lives! We’re a place where imperfect people can come and experience the perfect love of God, where broken lives can be mended, and the desires of our soul can be filled.
Maybe you’re on the outside of God’s family looking in and you heard what the church was really all about for the first time and it excited you. If you’ve never said yes to Jesus, but today there was something that resonated with you, it’s because you’ve come home. You were meant to be here. God loves you, and He wants you to turn to Him today. You can pray a simple prayer and say yes to Jesus today.
This sermon was preached by Pastor Elio Marrocco on September 5, 2018 at New Life Christian Church