Faithlife Sermons

Why Church

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Increasingly there is a trend with which believers more and more are disengaging from Church. This is due to either not wanting to deal with people or being hurt by people. The Church is more than a building though and each member is needed and each memeber needs the church. Paul explains why church in Ephesians 4:11-16

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Introduction

An unfortunate consequence of the American culture affecting the church is the consumerism mentality
That some how the church exists to provide a service for people
Those who go to a church go for what they can get out of it or for what it can do for them
Once the church stops meeting our needs then we find another church
This mentality and view of the church is completely wrong but there is a worse view also
The idea that we dont need church
That we want Jesus but not His church
Most often this comes from issues from among the people
The way to fix that is to refocus our belief on what the church is and what the church is for
The church is not a building, but a people
The people gathered in the name of Christ who is their Savior and the head of the Church (His body)
The bible teaches that we are the body and Christ is the head
The church exists as the means for the Body of Christ to come together and grow and mature in all things under Him
This evening I want to answer this question of Why Church
There are 3 types of church goers I see and encounter
The Have To’s
These are those who - have to go to church
Church has always been something done out of obligation and for them Church is - “doing their time”
Obligation
The Need Tos’
These are those who life situations are such that it drives them to church
Issues and problems and other things - they cant put their finger on it but they NEED to go to church
For them church will fill their need or hole - so they NEED to go
Necessity
The Want To’s
These are those who know Church as their life and it is desirable
They are more concerned with being the church than they are about the church
Desire
So taking these 3 phrases - Have To, Need To and Want To I want us to see Why Church!
SLIDE
Ephesians 4:11–13 NKJV
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
Ephesians 4:11-
SLIDE
Ephesians 4:14–16 NKJV
that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
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Have To

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Ephesians 4:11–12 NKJV
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Ephesians 4:11-12
This where Christ has provided some overseers for the body as whole
He (Christ) gave some - gave some people gifts to be leaders in the church
These leaders and the gifts of these leaders are given at the discretion of Jesus
This where some get the 4 fold or 5 fold ministries
Apostles - Sent ones
This was those who had seen Christ resurrected
These also laid the foundation of of the church
We do not have Apostles in the same respect
Eyewitnesses to Christ’s resurrection are long since gone
There is a foundation laid and a new one is not needed
Missionaries are our sent out ones now - they go and start churches usually
Prophets - those who speak the word of God
We do not have prophets in the same respect either
Before their authority came from the truthfulness of what they said
It came to pass they spoke truth - receive them
It didnt they were liars and to be stoned
We have prophets and prophecy today - but it is under the authority judgment of the church and foundation laid by the Apostles
Held to the standard of consistency with the written word of God - Scriptures which we have readily available now
Evangelists - those who preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Pastors and Teachers
Some see these as separate and some join them together
These Shepherd the flock primarily through teaching the word of God
These are those prescribed by Jesus for the church to accomplish His purpose of the Church
SLIDE
The purpose of the Church is expressed explicitly in verse 12: 1. Equipping of the saints for the work of ministry and 2. For the edifying of the body of Christ
Equipping of the saints for the work of ministry
In the original language the Greek word used for equipping carries the idea of “to put right”
This word was used to describe setting broken bones or mending fishing nets
These leaders through their ministries together work to produce strong, mended fit Christians
When it comes to ministry it is not just for the “professionals” but for every ONE
All of God’s people are to be doing the work of ministry
These leaders with the gifting from Christ are just to have the first responsibility to equip people and direct their service as God leads
Edifying of the body of Christ
To edify is to build up - it has the idea of making more able
The idea is the strengthening through teaching
Progress resulting from patient effort
The leaders are to patiently through much effort make the body more able
SLIDE - Chuck Smith
The primary purpose of the Church is not to convert sinners to Christ, but to equip the saints for the ministry and edify the Body
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Why Church? We Have To - It is how Christ has provided for the equipping and building of His body
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Need To

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Ephesians 4:13–15 NKJV
till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
Ephesians 4:13-15
To Accomplish in us - there are 3 things that God wants to do in us through the Church and its leaders
Unity of faith
“til we all come” - this means it is on-going we arent there yet
There are some further in the faith and in the sense of unity and there are some just come into the faith
Church and its provision from Christ is necessary and needed until all come to a unity of Faith
This is a spiritual unity - not structural or organizational - around our common faith
Knowledge of the Son of God
This knowledge is speaking of intimate knowledge of the Son of God
To know thoroughly - recognize something to be what it really is
Experiential knowledge of the Son of God
Maturity
To a perfect man - a mature manhood
Stature - speaks of age, span or maturity
The measure of which is Christ
Everyone has the same standard of maturity = Christ
SLIDE
Until you measure up you need to mature. Maturity in Christ is not about how old you are in Christ, but rather it is about how like Christ you are as an individual and as a church body
For our protection
That we would no longer be children
Children require someone to do everything for them, to look out for them, to have safety locks
They are not mature enough to see danger and avoid it - they put things in their mouth and touch hot things
Children are also naive in their thinking
We would be stable in our walk
No longer tossed to and fro - literally tossed by billows - by every kind of doctrine or teaching
Speaking metaphorically of an unsettled condition of the mind influenced and agitated by one false teaching after another
Characterized by that immaturity that lacks firm conviction coming from the truth
Able to withstand the deceit and trickery of men
They lie to deceive - but knowing the truth and being mature in the knowledge of truth
No longer gullible
Gullibility is a sign of immaturity
SLIDE
Evidence of maturity = Christlikeness, Stability, Truth joined with Love, and cooperation/unity
SLIDE
Why Church? We Need To - for growth and maturity in Christ and it is for our protection and good

Want To

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Ephesians 4:16 NKJV
from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Begin to see yourself as a member and as a part
Every person in Christ Jesus is a part of the whole Body
Each and every part has its own role in the overall development of the whole body.
The human body consists primarily of bones, organs, and flesh.
The bones are bound by joints and ligaments
The organs are attached by ligaments.
Each and every joint and ligament fulfills a role in the growth and usefulness of the body.
So it is with the body of Christ!
SLIDE
No member is superficial, useless, or can be missed - even the most humble part is quite necessary
Be a part of the body - any body when its parts are missing or dont function properly is disabled in some way
Every part is necessary and must be doing its share
Find your role and do your part
Every member ha a gift from the Holy Spirit - that is how you know your part in the body
Want to know the gifts? - just remember the 2 12’s and 2 4’s
As each believer fills their role - the body grows
In a very real sense - the body causes growth of the body
A part (person) might be in the right place but if it is not functional, then it still can’t rightly help others.
We all need to be diligent in not just having people come to church but that they are effectively trained so they can rightfully serve. No training means no proper working.
The parts all fulfilling their own role necessary and in unity - effective working
SLIDE - David Guzik
Some people think of the church as a pyramid, with the pastor at the top. Others think of the church as a bus driven by the pastor, who takes passive passengers where they should go. God wants us to see the church as a body, where every part does its share.
This effective working causes growth in both size and strength
As well as edifying itself in love
This is not Christ’s love for us or our love for Him, but our love for one another!
SLIDE
Why Church? — We WANT To - In order for proper functioning of the body we must assemble together
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Change Why You Gather for Church

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Hebrews 10:24–25 NKJV
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Remember the 3 type of church goers I mentioned?

Have To’s
Need To’s
Want To’s
Stop thinking of yourself and consider one another
Most of us coming into church are considering only ourselves
What will I get out of it
It is time to challenge ourselves to grow in this area and see church differently
Stop thinking of the individual and think of the body
I dont feel like going today, weather is bad, its too early, I am too tired - or they wont miss me anyway
Would you miss a body part if you woke up and it wasnt there?
We are all one body - every part is needed and important
As we gather together - we stir up one another to love and good works
stir up - provoke (in a good sense) a sharpening - used figuratively meaning an encouragement to some action or feeling
Out of conflict - think of iron sharpening iron
contention creating opportunities for love and good works
We may bring issues or feelings with which people can respond with love and good works
We may be the ones who come and respond that way
The idea is we together - as we assemble are used to bring out love and good works
Exhorting one another
urge implore encourage, strengthen, invite, spur one another
Notice the authors emphasis is not on what a believer GETS from assembling together, but rather what they can CONTRIBUTE to the assembly — this applies to Pauls passage of Ephesians as well
We must ask our selves this question
SLIDE
Am I a container or a conduit?
If you are a HAVE TO go person - then change the outlook - its not obligation is a schedule you keep out of love
If you are a NEED TO person - challenge yourself to go for others more than yourself
Strive to be a WANT TO person - every part doing it share - every person considering one another to stir up love and good works
Working together doing our part in the body to bring growth in the body and in love for the body. Thats WHY CHURCH
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