What does it mean to be the church?
Some people say, "I can serve Jesus and not be a part of the church."
Also, "I don't need organized religion."
The world at its worst needs the Church at its best.
lf we are the church we really need to get it right.
[Pastor challenged us to a brainstorming session with those near us, then we were to write down what we think the church is.
The Church is the Body of Christ, those individuals who have been born again.]
"Church" is a term used in many contexts. It is 1) a building, 2) a service, 3) a ministry.
It is important to know the truth about who we are, why we are here, and what we are doing.
[Old testament history shows God dwelling amidst the camp, first in a tabernacle, then in the temple.]
Jesus changes everything.
In John 1:14 we read that Jesus came and tabernacled with us.
All that God is, was, will be, is wrapped up in Jesus in the flesh. No longer God in the midst of the camp, but now God in our soul.
Too, Christ was the Lamb who was sacrificed on the altar for our sins.
Then to the disciples Jesus said, Go and wait and I will send the Comforter to you.
The Holy Spirit was made available to all, everywhere, all the time.
[In an aside, Pastor said he once heard a preacher say it was his job to preach, the people's job to listen, and both should end at the same time. Now I wonder why he interjected that?]
Reading of the scripture lesson, I Corinthians 3:9-17, in which we find
- God owns the Church
- The foundation is Christ. Without Christ there is no Church. Without Jesus the "gospel" fails to be good news.
- The builders are the apostles who preach Jesus Christ.
- The Church is the people of God. The collective is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
- The Church is not property, money in the bank, physical building, a system of belief, any temporal physicality. The Church is the People.
THE CHURCH IS THE SUM TOTAL OF ALL GOD'S PEOPLE CALLED OF CHRIST IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD IN UNITY.
Pastor Johnnie Blair