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Why Church? Part 1

Why Church?  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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A Message about Why We attend Church

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Intro

The Secular:
My daughter, Bailey, is 3yrs old and she has, probably in the last year hit that stage in life where she questions everything with the word “Why?” Doesn’t matter what you say, she’s going to ask why.
She also has been dealing with her new little brother. A few nights ago I was watching the 2 of my children and I as putting Bailey to bed, Zackery was crying and so I picked him up and took him to Bailey’s room with me. Immediately, Bailey asks, “Why is he in here?” I said, “Because he’s crying and he’s your family.” Her response, “I don’t want him in here. I didn’t ask for him. Why is he my family?”
Funny stuff from the mouth of a toddler. But I’ve heard and seen Christians and non-Christians act the same way about the Church and the people in it. There’s a lot of “why?” Christians who like to ask “why?” about everything. Many particularly like to ask this question when it comes to church.
You hear questions like: “Why Should I attend Church?” “What’s the point of it?” “Can’t I love Jesus, but not go to Church?” “Why should I go to church with a bunch of hypocrites?”
“Why are they here? I knew I should
And we treat our brother’s and sister’s in Christ who may think differently than us like siblings we don’t want around.
Christianity is a large tent with a lot of diverse people, but we often act like anyone who doesn’t think like us or act like us, isn’t in.
I think we will be surprised when we get to heaven by who makes it and who doesn’t.
This is the question I want to ask tonight - “Why Church?”
What’s the point of it?
Why should I even bother with it?
Is it really worth putting up with the people who may rub me the wrong way?
This is the point I hope to make: Love it or hate it, we need the Church. There is something God wants to do in your life and in my life that only happens when we come together.
My dad often uses this illustration: Imagine a group of porcupines on a cold winter night. In order to get warm they come together. But when they come together, they end up poking each other. The moral of the story: we need each other, but we needle each other.
Transition to the Biblical Text:
This is the question I want to ask over the next couple of messages - “Why Church?”
The birth of the Church tells us a lot about why we need it. Let’s take a few moments and look a text this morning.
What’s the point of it?
This is After Peter has preached his sermon at Pentecost and he’s wrapping up and is about to tell his listeners how they should respond to his message.
Why should I even bother with it?
Is it really worth putting up with the people who may rub me the wrong way?
This is the point I hope to make: Love it or hate it, we need the Church. There is something God wants to do in your life and in my life that only happens when we come together.
Biblical Text:
Acts 2:37–47 ESV
37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Transition to Points:
This morning and tonight, I want to answer the question - “Why Church?”

Points

Why Church? Because it’s a place of Power
I know we can experience God's Power in a lot of places, but the truth is, if we think about it, some of our most powerful, life changing experiences have either come at church, because we where at church, or in the presence of other believers.
Now, I know we can experience God’s power in a number of places and spaces, but there is something that happens when we come together.
For some reason, God likes to use other people and show up powerfully when we come together.
This group of 120 believers came together on the command of Jesus. Jesus had told them in to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:4–5 ESV
4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Acts 1:4–8 ESV
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:4–7 ESV
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:4–6 ESV
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Acts 1:4–5 ESV
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
They had been praying for some 10 days before the power of the Holy Spirit falls.
They had been praying for some 10 days before the power of the Holy Spirit falls.
5 Times in the first two chapters of Acts we get something said about them being "Together."
5 Times in the first two chapters of Acts we get something said about them being "Together."
Evidently, when they came together, prayed, and worshiped Jesus, something powerful happened.
When they came together, prayed, and worshiped Jesus, God poured out the Holy Spirit and gave them power to be witnesses for Jesus.
They changed their communities, their cities, and their world - But it all started when they “Came together...”
The world is looking for power.
Turn on the TV and you’ll see show after show interested in all things “Supernatual”
Men and women spend their lives trying to obtain power through money and political influence.
What the world needs to see is a place where God’s power is demonstrated. This happens when we, “come together...”
People are looking for power because they’re frustrated
In this room we all have frustrations and problems that will only be fixed as encounter the power of God.
Some of us are dealing with anxiety and depression - It's in His presence that we find "fullness of joy." It's the Holy Spirit who gives us peace.
Some of us are dealing with sickness and pain - It's His power that can make us whole and bring healing.
Some of us are dealing with sickness and pain - It's His power that can make us whole and bring healing.
Some of us are working through major life decisions - It's in His presence that we can find direction.
Some of us are working through major life decisions - It's in His prescence that we can find direciton.
Some of us are dealing with bondage and sinful habits - It's in His presence that there is freedom.
Some of us are dealing with bodnage and sinful habits - It's in His prescence that there is freedom.
All throughout the book of Acts people experience healing, peace, direction, and freedom - THIS IS WHAT THE CHURCH IS SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE. THIS IS WHAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE OFFERING THE WORLD.
throughout the book of Acts people experience healing, peace, direction, and freedom - THIS IS WHAT THE CHURCH IS SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE. THIS IS WHAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE OFFERING THE WORLD.
Why Church? Because it’s a place of healing
Notice what our passage says: “Many wonders and signs were being done...”
We go on to read throughout the book of Acts that as the Church moves forward, God begins to heal.
In a lame man is healed
In crowds of people gather to be healed.
In Phillip heals many who were paralyzed and lame
In a paralyzed man who had been bedridden for eight years is healed
In a young lady named Tabitha is rased from the dead
In a cripple man is healed while Paul is preaching
We could Go on, but suffice it to say: The Church is to be an agent of God’s healing in our community and our world.
Not just physical healing
We are to be an agents of emotional healing as well
God wants people to be whole, and he tends to use the church to bring this about.
I know the Church can also be a place of hurt and pain at times.
The church is full of people and sometimes people fall short and mess up.
We need grace with each other
Just because we get hurt
Illustration: I know there are people who have been to hospitals and they’ve been hurt by the dr.’s who were supposed to bring healing. But that doesn’t change the mission of the hospital and it doesn’t mean there aren’t good hospitals and dr.’s out there - And you know what happens when someone gets sick again? They still need the hospital.
You may have been hurt by the church or someone in the Church - But don’t let that keep you from also experiencing the healing that you need from and in the Church.
I know from first hand experience that church people can sometimes be horrible and viscous to one another. But I determined a long time ago I wasn’t about to let the few people who didn’t get it right keep me from being loved and cared for by rest of the Church who does get it right.
When we don’t have the strength to make it on our own, we need each other
- Notice verse 20
Luke 5:17–26 ESV
17 On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18 And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, 19 but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. 20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 25 And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26 And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”
Notice something in this passage of scripture - “Their faith..” Sometimes you don’t have faith fo believe God and you need someone to stand with you. This is the picture of the Church. We believe with you and for you even when you can’t believe for yourself!
Why Church? Because it’s a place of Love and community
So the church is supposed to be an instrument and a place of God’s power and healing in the midst of a world that’s broken.
Notice in our passage -
Acts 2:44–45 ESV
44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
Acts 2:42–47 ESV
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Acts 2:42–47 ESV
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
They were together, they were unified, they ate together,
They were together, they were unified, they ate together, they enjoyed each other’s company, and they took care of one another!
The world around them saw this and was amazed!
We ought to be a loving community!
I’ve been reading a book recently called, “Christians are hate filled Hypocrites..and other lies we believe.”
In the book, the author works to dispel common negative stereotypes we have a christians and to dispel the bad statistics we get (Like the divorce rate)
At the end of the book he gives Christians a grade in certain areas like morality, etc. Want to know where we score the lowest? In the categories where we are to love people different than us.
You and I are called to love those within the church, but we are also called to love those in this world who are broken and hurting. This should be a community that’s open to everyone!
The problem is that sometimes our unity begins to equal uniformity. We slip in to thinking we all have to look alike, think alike, vote alike, and talk alike
Solution? Invite someone to dinner who isn’t a christian.
Solution? Go out of your way to Make friends with someone from a different faith. Ask questions, get to know them, and simply LOVE THEM!
Jesus tells us to love our enemies!
I was thinking the other day, You know Jesus had all sorts of groups during his day that wanted to use him. They wanted his approval or vote or
The world is so polarized today!
As Christians, we are called to the way of Love.
Let’s experience God’s power, healing, and Love together!
I don’t know what frustration you may have come here with
I don’t know what sickness you have come here with
I don’t know what emotional hang up you have come here with
I know we are here together, praying, and worshipping Jesus - and I know that seems to be a recipe for something great to happen!
You may feel like you don’t have the strength or the faith to even get out the prayer - That’s why we’re together!

Conclusion

Closing Story
Restate the MI
Restate the MI
The Church should be a place of God’s power, healing, and love. Don’t let yourself be kept from what God wants to do!
Now What?
Tonight I want to invite us to pray.
If you need physical healing I want you to gather around this side
If you’re dealing with sort of other hurt or pain, I want you to gather around this side.
If you just say, I just need to feel God’s love and power working in my life tonight, I want you to gather on this side.
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