Faithlife Sermons

Why You Should Love the Church

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Introduction

Conversation with church member – most significant invention of the 20th century – deodorant. Been in places where people don’t wear deodorant. Not pleasant.
· Conversation with church member – most significant invention of the 20th century – deodorant. Been in places where people don’t wear deodorant. Not pleasant.
Deodorant not as significant as the church. Jesus took twelve men, gave them a mission, and out of that grew a movement that has been impacting the world for over two thousand years.
The church at Colossae is a church Paul loves even though he didn’t start this church, nor has he ever met any of the members of this church. The church was started by Epaphras, who came to faith in Ephesus under Paul’s ministry. Paul writes this letter to Colossae while he is in prison, and he writes to warn this church of a group of believers within the church that are denying that Jesus is fully God.
Paul loves this church even though he’s never met them. This passage shows us why we should love the church as well.
· In the first few verses, you can see how much Paul loves this church even though he’s never met them. This passage shows us why we should love the church as well.
Much to be concerned about in the modern church: division, declining attendance, not effective in sharing the Gospel, conflict, etc. Even though the church is far from perfect, the church is God’s chosen instrument to spread the Gospel. God loves His church, and so should we. Three reasons in this passage why we should love the church.
· Much to be concerned about in the modern church: division over secondary issues, declining attendance, not effective in sharing the Gospel, conflict, etc. Even though the church is far from perfect, the church is God’s chosen instrument to spread the Gospel. God loves His church, and so should we. In fact, I don’t believe that you can experienced sustained growth in your walk with the Lord without the church. Three reasons in this passage why we should love the church.

(1) The church bears the fruit of the Gospel. (Internal Change)

· Reminder: Church is not a building or place but people redeemed by Jesus.
Church is not a building or place but people redeemed by Jesus.
Encouragement: even though the church is flawed – “We thank God for you,” Notice what Paul is thankful for about this church – their faith in Christ, love for the saints, and hope in eternity. (See ) Faith, hope, and love abide.
· Paul is so encouraging in these verses; even though the church is flawed – “We thank God for you,” Notice what Paul is thankful for about this church – their faith in Christ, love for the saints, and hope in eternity. (See )
The church is growing in faith, hope, and love because they understand the Gospel (Good News) – the word of truth (vs. 5) The Gospel is the truth about your separation from God and the truth about God’s love for you which compels Him to save you through Christ.
· The church is growing in faith, hope, and love because of the Gospel (Good News) – the word of truth (vs. 5) The Gospel is the truth about your separation from God and the truth about God’s love for you which compels Him to save you through Christ.
Notice: the Gospel came to you. (vs. 6) You didn’t go seeking after God. He came seeking after you. You were dead in your sins, and He came to you and made you alive in Christ. () Also notice: the Gospel is bearing fruit in you and through you. (throughout the whole world.) (vs. 6)
· Notice what Paul says about the Gospel. First, it came to you. You didn’t go seeking after God. He came seeking after you. You were dead in your sins, and He came to you and made you alive in Christ. () Second, the Gospel is bearing fruit. It has been bearing fruit in you since you trusted Christ, it continues to bear fruit in you, and the Gospel is bearing fruit throughout the whole world.
Notice what Paul says about the Gospel. First, it came to you. You didn’t go seeking after God. He came seeking after you. You were dead in your sins, and He came to you and made you alive in Christ. () Second, the Gospel is bearing fruit. The Gospel is bearing fruit in you and through you. (the Gospel is bearing fruit throughout the whole world.)
Why we love the church – we are the fruit of the Gospel! We (the church) are the only people on the face of the planet that are changed by Jesus Christ. No other religion can claim to actually be changed by God, but God has changed us.
· This is why we love the church – we are the fruit of the Gospel! We (the church) are the only people on the face of the planet that are changed by Jesus Christ. No other religion can claim to actually be changed by God, but God has changed us.
The change that God brings about is first internal that manifests itself externally. (NLT – Bearing fruit by changing lives.) Lots of things change your life - kids, eating healthier, a bad diagnosis, job promotion, etc. - Experience all these changes and still be the same inwardly but God’s purpose is to change us inwardly. Ultimately, Christ is the only one who can change us internally. (Change of desires, perspective, etc.)
· The change that God brings about is not merely an external change but inward. (NLT – Bearing fruit by changing lives.) God’s purpose is to change us inwardly. (Change of desires, perspective, etc.)
· Think of the fruit the Gospel produces in us: Fruit of the Spirit – – Love – because I have been loved I now love others. Joy – Because of what Christ has done, I have a different perspective on life. No matter the challenge, nothing can take away what Christ has done in me. Peace – No matter what happens in life, I have peace with God. Patience – God has been patient with me, I can be patient with others, etc. The fruit growing in us is the outworking of what we believe about Jesus in the Gospel.
Think of the fruit the Gospel produces in us: Fruit of the Spirit – Love – because I have been loved I now love others. Joy – Because of what Christ has done, I have a different perspective on life. No matter the challenge, nothing can take away what Christ has done in me. Peace – No matter what happens in life, I have peace with God. Patience – God has been patient with me, I can be patient with others, etc. The fruit growing in us is the outworking of what we believe about Jesus in the Gospel.
· We are the fruit of the Gospel – Our lives are evidence of God’s work in us as He changes us from the inside – changes our character, motives, desires, etc.
We are the fruit of the Gospel – Our lives are evidence of God’s work in us as He changes us from the inside – changes our character, motives, desires, etc.
(Ill. - using a skill saw - I learned a skill - I can learn skills but I can’t change my heart - only the Gospel can.)
Why we love the church – it’s full of changed people. People who are growing in the fruit of the Spirit. Don’t you want to be around changed people? People who exhibit the fruit of the Spirit? But, the fruit of the Gospel only develops as we submit to the Spirit’s work. Are you seeing continued fruit in your life?
· Why we love the church – it’s full of changed people. People who are growing in the fruit of the Spirit. Don’t you want to be around changed people? People who exhibit the fruit of the Spirit? But, the fruit of the Gospel only develops as we submit to the Spirit’s work. Are you seeing continued fruit in your life?

(2) The church is the living example of the Gospel. (External Change)

NoticeI don’t love the church because of what it does for me but instead what it does to me. I don’t love the church because it offers me a great group of friends, something for my kids to do, songs that I like to sing, recreational opportunities, etc. I love the church because the church teaches me how to live like Christ. Investment in the life of the local church causes me to grow in such a way that I live differently than I did before I came to Christ. I love the church because the church is the living example of the Gospel.
The Gospel changes us inwardly (character, attitudes, motivations, etc.), and the inward change manifests itself in outwardly so that people might see the inward change in the way that you live. (Whatever is inside of you is going to come out of you.)
The Gospel changes us inwardly (character, attitudes, motivations, etc.), and the inward change manifests itself in outwardly so that people might see the inward change in the way that you live.
· The Gospel changes us inwardly (character, attitudes, motivations, etc.), and the inward change manifests itself in outwardly so that people might see the inward change in the way that you live.
· When the Gospel gets inside of you and changes you from the inside this is what you see externally:
When the Gospel gets inside of you and changes you from the inside this is what you see externally:
When the Gospel gets inside of you and changes you from the inside this is what you see externally:
Knowledge of His will – You know what God wants and you have the spiritual wisdom and understanding to do His will. (Notice, not knowledge of God, but knowledge of His will. You can have knowledge of God without knowing or doing His will.)
o Knowledge of His will – You know what God wants and you have the spiritual wisdom and understanding to do His will. (Notice, not knowledge of God, but knowledge of His will. You can have knowledge of God without knowing or doing His will.)
Walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel, fully pleasing to Him. (, “Whoever says He abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”) If Christ has changed you inwardly, it’s going to show in your actions, your decisions, your conduct.
o Walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel, fully pleasing to Him. (, “Whoever says He abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”) If Christ has changed you inwardly, it’s going to show in your actions, your decisions, your conduct.
o Bearing fruit and increasing in knowledge of God. You have a Gospel impact on the lives of others. Others are changed because of your Gospel witness. Remember, the Gospel came to you so that it could go to someone else through you.
Bearing fruit and increasing in knowledge of God. You have a Gospel impact on the lives of others. (external fruit) Others are changed because of your Gospel witness. Remember, the Gospel came to you so that it could go to someone else through you.
Strengthened with His power – to live a changed life – to endure difficulty, to be patient, to accomplish His mission. We’re constantly pointing to God in anything we accomplish. “It’s not me, it’s Him at work in me.” When you’re able to share the Gospel, it’s God at work. Whenever you’re able to not lose your temper, it’s God at work in you. Whenever you are able to be patient with the person who hurt you, and you choose forgiveness, it’s God’s work. You are strengthened with His power to be who He wants and do what He wants. There is power in living for Jesus.
o Strengthened with His power – to live a changed life – to endure difficulty, to be patient, to accomplish His mission. We’re constantly pointing to God in anything we accomplish. “It’s not me, it’s Him at work in me.” When you’re able to share the Gospel, it’s God at work. Whenever you’re able to not lose your temper, it’s God at work in you. Whenever you are able to be patient with the person who hurt you, and you choose forgiveness, it’s God’s work. You are strengthened with His power to be who He wants and do what He wants. There is power in living for Jesus.
I love the church because I see the Good News lived out in the people who belong to Christ. As I see you longing to know and do His will, as I see you living like Christ, making an impact on the lives of others, and depending on His strength, it encourages me to live out my faith. I need the example that you set for me in living like Christ. And, you need the church too. You don’t need the church to entertain you, to cater to your needs, or to bow to your preferences. You need the church to show you how to live like Jesus. You should love the church not because of what the church can do for you but what the church can do to you – push you and encourage you in your own spiritual growth.
· I love the church because I see the Good News lived out in the people who belong to Christ. As I see you longing to know and do His will, as I see you living like Christ, making an impact on the lives of others, and depending on His strength, it encourages me to live out my faith. I love the church because I need the church. I need the example that you set for me in living like Christ. And, you need the church too. You don’t need the church to entertain you, to cater to your needs, or to bow to your preferences. You need the church to show you how to live like Jesus. You should love the church not because of what the church can do for you but what the church can do to you – push you and encourage you in your own spiritual growth.

(3) The church is the inheritor of the hope of the Gospel.

· We love the church because as a part of the body of Christ we get what no one else on the face of the planet gets – the inheritance of eternal life.
We love the church because as a part of the body of Christ we get what no one else on the face of the planet gets – the inheritance of eternal life.
· We will be together for all eternity as a family because of what Christ has done. God has qualified us (vs. 12) for eternity through the death and resurrection of His Son. We didn’t qualify. We were disqualified from eternity because of our rebellion. But, one came for us who was qualified to inherit eternal life and was qualified to give us eternal life. Jesus lived the life you could not live, died the death that you deserved, and rose from the dead to qualify you for eternal life. What qualified Jesus for the inheritance of His father has been given to you. His righteous life has been applied to your sinful life as He took your sin and gave you His righteousness at the cross. You were delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of His Son, who has bought you out of this sinful world with His blood and has forgiven you of all your sins.
We will be together for all eternity as a family because of what Christ has done. God has qualified us (vs. 12) for eternity through the death and resurrection of His Son. We didn’t qualify. We were disqualified from eternity because of our rebellion. But, one came for us who was qualified to inherit eternal life and was qualified to give us eternal life. Jesus lived the life you could not live, died the death that you deserved, and rose from the dead to qualify you for eternal life. What qualified Jesus for the inheritance of His father has been given to you. His righteous life has been applied to your sinful life as He took your sin and gave you His righteousness at the cross. You were delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of His Son, who has bought you out of this sinful world with His blood and has forgiven you of all your sins. (Pinnacle Club - only one way in - to know someone who has earned it for me.)
· Has Christ qualified you for an inheritance? You can be qualified by repenting of your sins and trusting Jesus. You can be a part of His church – His family, and you can experience inward change that leads you to live a life of purpose.
Has Christ qualified you for an inheritance? You can be qualified by repenting of your sins and trusting Jesus. You can be a part of His church – His family, and you can experience inward change that leads you to live a life of purpose.
Church: what do we do?
Thank God for the church more than you talk about the church. Without the influence of the church you would not be saved. (Consumer vs. Grateful)- The church belongs to GOD - be careful what you say.
Be more concerned with sowing into the church than reaping from the church. We invest in what we love most. We take from what we don’t really care about. General principle: you can’t reap until you sow. (Consumer vs. Investor) And, the more you sow, the less you complain. The more you attempt to reap without sowing, the more frustrated you become.
· Be more concerned with sowing into the church than reaping from the church. We invest in what we love most. We take from what we don’t really care about. General principle: you can’t reap until you sow.
· Quit looking for a perfect church and begin extending grace to your current church. The church at Colossae was far from perfect, but Paul loved the church. BSC is far from perfect because it is made up of imperfect people. Don’t get bent out of shape every time you don’t agree with leadership or every time someone in the church offends you. Don’t gripe when our ministries aren’t as attractive as the church down the street. Quit looking for a perfect church and be gracious in the place that God has planted you. Forgive, pray, invest, invite, and enjoy what God has given you in this church.
Quit looking for a perfect church and begin extending grace to your current church. The church at Colossae was far from perfect, but Paul loved the church. Northwood is far from perfect because it is made up of imperfect people. Give grace. We all want grace, but we often don’t want to give grace. Quit looking for a perfect church and be gracious in the place that God has planted you. Forgive, pray, invest, invite, and enjoy what God has given you in this church.
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