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MINISTRY IS NOT FOR THE FEW

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For those who don't know what the laughter was about their Connor is my son. So addressing me as mr. Clinton was unusual and honestly not what I was expecting when I saw the schedule come out and I saw that his moderating aligned with my teaching. I was honestly a little bit concerned. I thought Connor would take advantage of this opportunity with the mic to to pick on me a little bit, but I'm proud of you that you didn't so thank you are dismissed for for chill for Sunday school if they are not already piling towards the door now is the time.

Normally when the announcements come on, I feel like the the kids kind of get up in and migrated out on their own. So it's unusual for this after this announcement to be made.

Well, there's a there's a town over on the coast. I wear the land kind of just out in the ocean into a peninsula and that's he's a really rough there the weather can change suddenly and and it's a dangerous area. Small boats will get capsized by the waves some larger boats and fishing vessels, they'll they'll get run up against some rocks that are right under the surface. And they'll go down people will drown.

So if you are a few young men and women from that nearby town, will they decided to set up a watch so they would go out to the beach and they they would take a tent and some life jackets and life preservers and when a ship or when a boat was in trouble, they they swim out or roll out with their extra life preservers and try to rescue those that were drowning. And then as time went by they recruited some others to join this cause until they essentially they had a 24-hour watch set out on the on the beach. And then as as their numbers continue to grow some people in the town wanted to get involved one one man in particular said, you know, this is a great cause I want to be a part of it, but I'm not a strong swimmer anymore. So but when I can do is I can build I own a construction company. So he built them a barn kind of a warehouse right there on the on the beach with some big windows out overlooking the ocean. So they they didn't have to say out in the elements all the time. And then and then as it continued to grow in popularity to be a part of this. Was that mean? What should I do anything else? So as as this rescue center continued to grow in popularity more and more people would would go and they would hang out down there and and actually they had more people than they needed to watch the the ocean in a one-time. So if people and and then someone donated some sofas and television, maybe an Xbox until it actually it kind of became a pretty cool thing a pretty fun thing to hang out down at the rescue center. And as the years went by. People were less and less aware of what the purpose of the rescue center even was and if you would ask someone who came who who started coming recently. They just said, well, I I don't know this is this is just a fun place to be until it started happening. What will the ship started going down and and people were drowning while everyone was there having fun in the rescue center a few young men and women decided that set out a in a tent right in front of the rescue center and watch for for boats that were in trouble.

Now that story is completely made up just a little Parable that I think illustrates a point that is important to know why you exist not just as an individual but as a group, what are we here for?

So in that example the people in the rescue center, they they forgot what they were there for. And groups can do that churches can do that churches do do that? What are we supposed to be doing? What are you supposed to be doing at HCC? I honestly spent probably the first 20 plus years of my Christian Life not really knowing what the purpose of the local church was. I mean, I could have pieced together an answer but it would have been far from complete. It really wasn't until I move to Shanghai three years ago and I met some people that took their role in the local church really seriously that I decided to study the word through the lens of the local church. Time out really? What is the bible say that the purpose of the local church is?

Show me the last few months here at HEC we've been talking about. What kind of church we want to be? We've been talking about Church Life what we want to do and how we want to do it. We want to be a worship in church a Biblical church and then this month for moving into a new section a new category called a serving Church. the in the in the New Testament There's not a single passage that really lays out everything that a church is supposed to be. What the definition is what the structure should be how big it is bigot should be.

It's not like the Old Testament. It's not like the the Israelites where we're really God prescribed almost everything for them. When they should sacrifice how how big the temple should be who could go where what kind of clothes they could wear. It was all scripted out for them.

But although the Bible doesn't give all of those details to us as the church many of the New Testament letters were written to churches and we can learn a lot about what God expects of local churches from from those letters. Now seeing is that we're meeting in a in a hotel and I think we know that a church isn't just a building with a cross on top that's not what makes a church but sitting in a room with a bunch of people all facing one guy who's preaching after we've done some singing that's not what makes a church either. It's part of a church, but it's just one part. To what what should a church be doing? What is the what is the Bible say should be happening in the church. So over the next few minutes, but I'm going to try to do is pretty quickly. Just walk us through what some of those things are. I'm not going to do a lot of teaching or explanation. I'm just going to read a passage or talk about what what these passages say about the the local church and then we're going to move on to the next one. So I'm going to start in the book of Acts and Acts chapter 2 verse 42. This is one of the early churches in Jerusalem, and it says they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship to the breaking of bread into the prayers still in really one of the first churches in Jerusalem. They were devoted not just present for but they were devoted committed continuing to teaching to the unpacking of the Bible. The explanation of the word they were devoted to Fellowship not just shaking hands with newcomers, but they were two in one another's lives. They were devoted to that. Since they were devoted to the breaking of bread that probably refers to it to both communion what we call communion today and then and actually sharing meals together because at that time that's what communion was sharing a meal together that kids with fellowship and they were devoted to prayer again. Not just a few minutes that we spend in prayer hear that sound of ocean and always see here. It's a descriptions Arnold list of commands, but it's a description for what was going on and one of the first churches in Jerusalem. The next passage will look at is in 2nd Timothy.

So Paul tells Timothy I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus this pastor to do he says preach the word be ready in season and out of season reprove rebuke and exhort with complete patients and teaching. So Hear Paul Stelling this pastor to preach the Bible and then to correctly deal with sin. That's what reprove and rebuke me and then he tells them to encourage people to walk according to the word to live according to the Bible That's What exhort means The next passage in in Acts and Acts chapter 20 pay careful attention to yourselves and all the flock in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers or what we will call it what we call Elders here. To care for the Church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. So the people of God are to be cared for within the local church in there to be cared for by a by overseers or elders and in the next few passages that we're going to look at this scribe a little bit of what that care might look like.

Tell 1st Peter Shepherd the flock of God that is among you exercising oversight not under compulsion, but willingly as God would have you not for shameful game game, but eagerly not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock likewise you who are younger be subject to the elders and then in again back in Acts, and when they had appointed Elders for them in every church with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they have believed. So what do we see here? We see Elders leaders in the church and there's some latitude in terms of what those roles can look like, but primarily they they teach in a shepherd and they provide the leadership to the church. So there is there's a 40 in the local church. That's one of the ways that the the flock that the church is care for. And then in 1st Corinthians 5 and I'm not going to read this whole chapter but it's an example of Elders or leadership in the church exercising that Authority ultimately by removing someone who's in unrepentant Sin from the church. And this is done for a couple of reasons. It's done for the good of the church. So that someone who is walking in sand isn't destroying the reputation of the church and Christians in Christ, but also for the good of the individual because church discipline isn't to say to someone while you're not good enough now go we don't want you here church discipline. The point of church discipline is that that they would repent and come back. But they would be restored so church discipline is one way that that loving Authority is is exercised in the church. Ben in the book of Hebrews and let us consider how to stir one another up to love and good works not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day Drawing Near so regular regularly meeting together for encouragement. And what's the what's the purpose of a Batman you get Aces stir one other up to love and good works it literally it means to provoke love and good works out of people. Tips to help push out what's already there? And that's one of the reasons why we are such Advocates of small groups here because in a in a group of a thousand or even a group of a hundred a hundred and fifty like we have here it's too many people for that stirring up for that provoking to go to work still to take place that happens when you're involved in one another's lives not in a in a group of of 150.

Doesn't mean that there's no place for these larger group meetings. That just means there are insufficient to 2 to meet all of the requirements that are expected of a local church. It's been a few more passages and I'm not going to read but in 1st and 2nd Corinthians Paul describes a church that's giving financially and there are instructions that he gives on collecting an offering that's not something that modern churches have just invented to help make ends meet. It's part of the church in here. They're giving not just to the needs of the local church, but they're giving to missions as well. And even though Paul is acknowledging that they're giving out of their own poverty. So these churches were full of wealthy people. They were giving out of their own out of their own poverty. And then in 1st Corinthians 11 and in Colossians 2 Paul gives instructions on communion and he talks about the significance of baptism in the church. So so communion and baptism

Some some column sacraments sacraments most Protestants call them ordinances, but regardless of what they're called. They are symbolic reenactments of the Gospel message that Christ lived and he died and he rose again. They're they're kind of like visual aids to help the church better understand to better appreciate what price accomplished for us on the earth. So the early church was was commanded to practice these ordinances. And and and so we do that as well. Then back in the book of Acts. Again this early church in Jerusalem. They were helping one another with financial needs and they were praising God. If a group is gathering, but they're not caring for one another and they're not praising God. There's not a church. It's a Bible class. And there's a place for that but not in church.

So that list probably not exhaustive. I'm not an expert but it's a list of what the local church should be doing. Some of those things can happen outside the church, but they should be going on inside the the local church and you might look at this list and say, you know HTC doesn't measure up here. Doesn't measure up on that one or or or or this one and that's fine. We should we should hold our church to up to the measuring Rod of scripture and see what we're do we need to improve but we should do the same thing for ourselves because a lot of these things that are are meant to happen in the local church are really hard to enforce. It's hard to make someone Fellowship the connected a heart level. To look and examine yourself at the same time.

So if that really was just kind of a a pretext it was just a way to prepare us for the passage that we're going to look at this morning in the book of Ephesians.

So this passage that we're looking at infusions chapter 4 I think is really one of the most challenging passage passages regarding the the purpose of the church. So what what this list list was talking about was the things that a church should be doing and and we're going to get to in the book of Ephesians is really why are we doing it? What's the purpose in in doing it? So as I studied this really years ago through the lens of what's the purpose of the local church and really even a lot more. So the last couple weeks it has greatly challenge my thinking So in verses 1 through 6 up and up to this point in the book of Ephesians Paul has been talking about what is true of us as followers of Christ. What's true of us as Christians? Because the reality is we have been blessed with what he calls every spiritual blessing we have been chosen we have been adopted We've Been Loved forgiven redeemed and what that means is that we have been resource to live a certain kind of Life on this earth now,

and then when he gets to chapter 4 he transitions from all these things that are true of you as a follower of Christ and he says in verse one there for walk worthy of the calling to which you have been called. Antonia and the rest of the book really from this verse on he goes on to essentially describe that worthy walk. Any starts off with unity? So if God's is God's purpose is to bring back together everything in the universe that has been ripped apart through sin. Unfortunately, he's going to be a very important part of that.

And it's going to be displayed and his people in the church the people who are connected with him because of the work of Christ Unity within the church is crucial and so he talks about that and in verses 1 through 6, and there's a there's a whole different sermon right here, but I'll just say that part of the command that Paul gives part of a of a worthy walk is to maintain the unity in the spirit in the bond of peace. And if you're maintaining it. Did you have to manufacture it did you have to create it? No, you're you're simply carrying on with what was already given to you. What was already provided for you? Because there is one Lord. There's one fake. There's one baptism one. God and Father that unifies us. We have all of these core Central things in common. Why would we lack Unity over anything? That's that's peripheral and really not that important. Certainly not that important compared to one Lord One Faith one baptism one God and Father that we all share. So the chapter starts off with unity, but it doesn't mean that there's no diversity at all. There's a lot of diversity. There's a lot of diversity in the church and some God planned diversity. So we reach gifted gifted differently and with a unique ability to contribute to the body of Christ in different ways. So in versus 7 and 8, he says but Grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ gift. Therefore. It says when he ascended on high, he led a host of captives and he gave gifts to men.

So we we each have been blessed by Price each one of us has been gifted and those gifts have a purpose. And that's going to become clear in the next section but one of the ways that we fit into the body is using those gifts that Christ gave us. You know, I meant to put this in the PowerPoint, but I didn't but I don't know if you can tell what this is. I'm sure you can't because it's about the size of my fingernail. It is a wall hook and it is really handy because it can be tapped into wood or concrete which is really handy in China because all of our walls are concrete and so this side with the 4th little nails are there small enough and thin enough and strong enough that they can they can go into concrete and then there's this little hook on the side that a picture frame Can the wire on a picture frame can can fit on? So it's used with a wall and a picture frame if I had a wall but nothing to hang on it. Then this wouldn't be that useful. It's really not that pretty to look at and if I had a picture but I lived in a tent again. This isn't useful. This is used in concert with a wall and with a picture frame. This particular one has never been used. I bought it probably 15 years ago and she on and it's sat in my toolbox ever since it is it's not worth the the maybe the 5-mile that I paid for it because it's never fulfilled its purpose. It's never been used. You see that. What will likewise each one of us we've been gifted in those gifts have a purpose. We've been gifted in different ways. And those gifts are to be used within the body. We're meant to do something meaningful and useful for the kingdom of God. And for this local body for HCC. That's how those gifts are meant to be used. And if we're not using them they're wasted.

And I and I want to make note because I get a little anxious whenever I talk about doing things and in our faith and kind of the same sentence that this is not talking about earning our Salvation. This isn't talking about improving our standing before God. It's not talking about that are standing for before God was provided for us. We inherited that through Christ snow. This is about how God saved us and then he's given gift to us that we saw and verse 7 And then this is why and how we use them. This is how we fit. This is what we do within the body. So you fit into the body of Christ because you're connected to it. And because you play a role within it this Hangar sitting in my toolbox is not fulfilling a role it could but it's not it's not connected to a wall is not connected to a picture. It's not fulfilling its purpose. And then that takes us 2 verse 11. We're going to get to to our passage. I'm going to spend a little bit more time in today. So I'm verse 11 and the first part of 12. Paul says any gave the apostles the prophets the Evangelist the Shepherds and teachers to

to what?

What are the apostles prophets evangelists Shepherds and teachers supposed to be doing?

Few months ago. I was in the states and I met with my pastor in the from my home Church in Indiana and and he was sharing how a few members in the church were suggesting that he higher and Outreach Pastor evangelist because the church was in an area with a lot of a lot of homes and somebody needed to go take the gospel to these people in the homes that surrounded the church. Since I asked him how you responded to the suggestion, and he said well, I took him to this passage. So let's all stand and let's read this passage together effusion chapter 4 11 through 16.

And he gave the apostles the prophets the Evangelist the Shepherds and teachers to equip the Saints for the work of the ministry for the building up of the body of Christ until we all pain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God to mature manhood to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ so that we may no longer be children.

By every wind of Doctrine by human cunning by craftiness in the steeple schemes rather speaking the truth in love. We are to grow up in every way into him. Who is the head into Christ from home the whole body joined and held together by every joint with which is equipped when each part is working properly makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Okay. Can I have a seat?

so any surprises

these people these these leaders in the church, and I'm not going to break down. What each of their roles was but these leaders in the church are given a job to do by Christ. And the job that they're given is to equip the Saints that's you and me the church. for the work of the ministry So when my pastor in the US took these these folks in his congregation to this passage what he was saying is I don't really see my job to be that of hiring an Outreach Pastor to reach out to the community around the the church. I see my job as equipping you to reach out to the community around the church and even if we do higher and Outreach pastor and evangelist, I won't see their job as reaching out to the community. Their primary job is going to be able is going to be teaching you equipping you to reach out to the community. to equip the Saints to do the work of the ministry. And I don't get stuck on a real narrow definition of of what Ministry is Ministry isn't just something that people are called to as a as a job as a vocation. It's not something that they just happens up here on the stage or when you're sharing the gospel with someone God's mind is a lot bigger than ours. It's not just preaching or sharing the gospel, but it's doing anything that cares for others and doing it in Christ name. That's Ministry.

Caring for the homeless in Christ's name for widows and orphans for the women in the red light districts, like eating does its teaching Sunday school? That's a Ministry to both the kids and then the parents that get to sit in here and be equipped. That's all Ministry. So the Saints every single one of us is called to do the work of the ministry. Not just the people that you see in front on Sunday mornings. We're called to do the work of the ministry in connection with other parts of the body.

And so we do we work in unity in connection with the local body and then in verses 12 through 16th. We see a clear picture of what this movement is towards we seat we see our goal. So the church is a body moving towards this goal of matching Christ.

And versus Pretty Kitty versus 12 and 16. I think they give us some structure that kind of booked into this paragraph and we're going to start with those two verses and then we'll work out through the middle sew-in verse 12 the same to us. We're called to do the work of the ministry for the purpose of building up the body. And then in verse 16 from home and he speaking of Christ the whole body joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped when each part is working properly makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. So here is what these two verses have in common. First of all, it tells us that the church is is a body and it's a body under a head Christ. So and will working two together to build ourselves up. The body works or everybody is working everybody in the the the body is working and that's called Ministry and verse 12. So the body is doing the ministry and the result of that Ministry is the building up of the body itself.

The first of all we have these connected Saints connected together like a body and then verse 16. It says that we're being held together by joints. So the point is that everybody in the body is connected and has a role to play the bought the body is holding together because of the joints are connected and and thank thank God that that that Unity the connection that's provided for by Christ the remember verses 2 and 3 maintaining the unity of the spirit that we've all been given. We also have a job to do and it's in the context of the whole body. There are some individuals that are recognized In this passage. And there a passage that talk about individual maturity and in some of the same language. This isn't one of them this passage isn't talking about individual maturity. This passage is talking about the maturity of the body of the local church. As a group so as we as we talked through and walk through this passage this morning. Think about it in the context of HCC.

It's the group maturing not the individual.

The first of all were connected and then second of all we see that the though we're working to build the body up. We're doing something we're not just sitting in a room simply being connected where active smell your action your ministry your work might be praying. So what's going on in your head in your heart? That's but that's the work of the ministry. You might be seeking out newcomers making them feel welcome connected to the body. So the ministry is again, not just what you see going on on the stage. And then the result of all these individual parts of the body. Coming together doing the work of the ministry is that the body itself is being built up the church Bros. It's it's strengthened it matures. And Paul, he uses this illustration of the body all the time. And I'm sure it's way better than my hook illustration, but I'm a little uncomfortable. Sometimes talking about the body in a congregation that has so many Physicians, but the body is amazing. How so many parts work together long speeding oxygen into the blood and then getting rid of the waste carbon dioxide blood that goes through the kidneys to to filter out waste products and then picks up nutrients from the digestive system and then is injected with hormones from glands. And then it all works together down there at the cellular level so that we can live and do life it all works together.

except for when it doesn't

If you disconnect any of those parts, it's it's called a something ectomy. If you disconnect any of these parts if they stop doing what God created them to do the whole body has a problem. The whole body goes to the doctor, right the whole body suffers. You don't just mail in your kidney.

So we have a bunch of different parts working together for a certain goal. That's what the human body is. And that's what the body of Christ is. That's what we are in the point is that we have to stay connected or get connected if we're not already. And do what we've been gifted to do we do this because we're working towards a common goal.

What's the goal? Building ourselves up towards what what's the end result through 15? Until we so here's the goal until we've all the team the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God to mature. Manhood solar stop right there suppose using a masculine term, but he's not talking about you the individual he's talking that was talking about the maturity of the individual. He's talking about the maturity of the body. The local body and the goal is that that body that were connected to an active in becomes mature, but it grows up.

And this is going to happen through the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God. So while we're each doing our individual thing working out of our individual gifts, what keeps us connected is this that we believe in one thing and what it what I mean by that is that what is at the very core of our being what we hold as most important to who Christ is what he did for us. That's something that we don't have in common. And we can differ on a lot of the peripheral things, but we have to agree on that one faith and knowledge of the same Jesus Christ. That's what unifies US. And so we're growing together as a local body to become a true man a mature man. But but again, what does that look like and then the rest of the verse 13 gives an answer. So we're working together in the context of the body towards mature manhood to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ and in really, I think I just purchased a poetic way to say that were connected and working together until we become a church that looks like Jesus. That's the goal.

Christ himself is the head. So that's how we have hope that we're ever going to look like Christ cuz the heads already there the heads good. Unfortunately what's connected to this. Perfect. Amateur head. It's is a 7 year old body. A body that's not finished.

the body of Christ us have some work to do have some growing to do before we match the head but HCC is meant to look like Jesus. The measure and stature and fullness of Christ. And here's the wonderful thing because again this passage isn't talking about you individually. It's talking about us the church and what that means is. We could Among Us have a very mature individual who's part of a relatively immature local church. Or we can have a relatively immature individual who's part of the other up a pretty mature local church.

And I I just say that to emphasize that this is not talking about an individual but he's talking about us and the good news is that if you feel yourself lacking not sufficient to be doing this, that's true of all of us. The resources come from Christ. We all have growing to do and you're not in it alone. We're talkin about us together. And this is our goal to attain to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

so that when we get there first verse 14 We may no longer be children tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of Doctrine by human cunning by craftiness and deceitful schemes. And it's not saying anything bad about children saying what we what we already know they're teachable. And persuadable. And therefore they are a deceivable. But when we grow up into maturity we and she see you won't be like that.

And you're something pretty cool that the church in Ephesus a really had a lot going for it. There were no major sins that Paul was confronting when he wrote them. It was it was a church, but Paul's assumption was that they were at that time children? None of us have arrived yet. No church has Now, is it a deformity to have a little kid's body attached to a mature fully formed head? Yes. That's a deformity in every church that you have ever been a part of including HCC is deformed in just that way. In our job is to do our part exercising our gifts so that the body grows up to match the head.

So that we not just you and me but we corporately look like Christ. And then we will no longer be like children deceived by those who are telling lies see them deceitful schemes. But instead we will be with the people who are speaking the truth in love. So there's a contrast there were supposed to catch it. So lies coming from Bad motives versus truth coming from love as we mature and verse 15 And again that true that he's referring to is it just what's coming from this mic on Sunday mornings? It's what we're saying to one another and we chat or signal. It's happening in small groups and families throughout the week.

That's where the truth is spoken in love. We need that and we need to do that for one another. And we're doing that and in doing that we are growing up in every way into him. Who is the head? So what are you saying here? Is that in obedience to this? A local body is going to grow to fit the head.

Verse 16 from whom the whole body joined together held together by every joint with which it is equipped when each part is working properly makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. So from Christ the body grows, What great news is that for us? For those who might be discouraged with with church with with HTC in particular? This is encouraging news the body grows from him. He's supplying what's needed. The resources for growth are coming from Christ. The heads doing its job.

Are you connected with the head? Because apart from that there are no resources. You need to connect to Christ. Otherwise this this is all irrelevant. So you can do that. You can connect with price you can connect with price right now. Just through prayer. Just telling him. That you want to be connected that you want the Forgiveness that he offers that you want to be a part of the body of Christ. So we have resources from him the whole body grows and fills itself up in love as each part. Does its work? And then I'd like to attempt to describe.

To the best of my ability. What a mature Church would look like

And it's kind of hard to imagine because like I said every church that I've ever been a part of is in process. We're not there yet. But as a church matures, it's going to grow its going to resemble Christ.

The body as a group will be acting more and more like Jesus. So, what did he do? When you when you read the gospels, you see what Jesus did on this Earth and he's our model. Not just your model and my model but hcc's model. Ephesians 4 is really pretty radical as it as it should affect. What we think and what we do has a local body. So what will HCC be doing as we mature as we grow to more and more resemble price. only doing what Jesus did and one of the main things that Jesus did when he was on this Earth with make disciples. That's why when he left he told his disciples one last thing you told him to go and make more disciples.

So what is a mature Church do a mature church that looks like Christ makes disciples. I just means to help people follow Jesus. ACC Will Make Disciples to the extent that we look like Christ

Not only that he proclaimed good news.

So will Proclaim good news because that's what he did. Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is here. The kingdom is open. It's open to you. And this church as we look more like Christ will be proclaiming that good news to those around us to those inside and and more importantly to those outside HCC.

When I was working on this message, I came home from the office and I I asked my family what are the things that Jesus did and Isabelle was the first person to speak up. She usually is and she responded he forgave people.

That didn't make my list originally as a bit of an oversight. But to the extent that we resemble Jesus we will be a forgiving body. And some parts of the world today in America in particular the church has a reputation for condemnation and and some of that might be unfair some of that is perhaps fairly earned but a reputation for condemning those who are outside the church. I think honestly here in China. It's not so much judging and condemning non-christians, but it's really more about judging and condemning those inside the church. There's a legalism that that the church might be more prone to hear an Asian. You need to measure up to my set of rules.

Now Jesus didn't just ignore Sandy didn't look the other way. But Jesus never had a reputation reputation for condemnation. He was known as a friend of sinners. And as we grow to more and more resemble him. We will be a forgiving Church. Now Jesus did have harsh words for people. But but who did he speak most harshly to? Pharisees religious hypocrites people who and accurately represented God and tried to put Earthly burdens extra burdens on people in order to connect with God. Jesus had a really harsh words for them. And to the extent that we are a mature Church like Christ, we will make no room for four people who follow in the footsteps of the Pharisees.

What else can you do? He cast out demons. The Bible teaches that there is a spiritual world and a spiritual world that is even more real than the physical one around us and that we are engaged in battle. And as we grow as a church to be more like Christ, we will be more engaged in that spiritual battle. He loves children. He healed the sick. He cared for the poor the disciples. Remember, they had this bag that they They Carried money around in and when when the prostitute poured perfume on Jesus's feet they were upset to think that money could have gone in the bag to give to the poor. They had a they had a bag for 4/4 at

and to the extent that were mature and look like Christ will be doing the same thing. Loving children Healing The Sick caring for the poor.

They're really more than anything else. I think one thing that sums up the whole of Jesus's Earthly Ministry was that he submitted to his father. He humbly sacrificed himself for his people.

And to the level that HCC becomes like Christ, we will be less about our own comfort and convenience and we will be eager to expend ourselves. In the plan of God in the lies of people inside and outside of HCC.

And some of those things they can happen here on Sunday morning. mini cannot

and you might not be a part of everything that I mentioned there because remember we all have different gifts right and their employee differently within the context of the body. These are the things that we do individual and corporate lie. A Mite my point is that Jesus? He's our model. And if you want to know what the church should look like. We look to Christ.

Let me pray for us while the worship team comes back up.

Father we do long to honor you belong to honor you individually and as a group we long to resemble you. individually and corporately Lord may you be glorified may your body be built up as we stay connected?

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