This Is A Football

part of a Church

This is a football

 people lose sight of the game- move this thing down the field

Church- lose sight of what we’re supposed to do- be the church and wait for Jesus return

  • the book of philipians is our next book!
  • Paul and Timothy are exhorting the believers in Phillipi- they are extending to them grace and peace to them
  • I had a good conversation with someone this week about the NT- here’s what I want you to understand- the reason why these letters are in our canon is because our church fathers saw that when people read them their lives were changed-
  • Its still happening today- lives are changed through the power of the Holy Spirit
  • I want to focus on a key phrase today- “to all the saints that are in Christ Jesus in Philipi”
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Background

  • Paul is writing to a Church- a body of believers- a group of Saints– and to Paul- these Saints are the church- what does he want to give them? Grace and peace!
  • Few points about this book- Its written by paul, to the church, Paul was probably in Jail when he wrote it. He was trying to encourage them as he was in Jail, they had lost a friend to death. He was going to send timothy to minister to them in his absence
  • Phillipi had the first church in Europe. It was a big deal as far as the move of God in europe
  • Paul cared about this church- why? Because the members of the church mattered to God.
  • Paul wanted to serve them. He wanted them to grow spiritually. He wanted to see this church flourish
  • I think that sometimes people seem to forget that the bulk of the NT was written to CHURCHES not to individuals. We apply it individually but it was delivered corporately
  • The message of Paul to the church in Phillipi is the same to you today- Grace and Peace
  • I think its important for us to understand why “church” is so important why being a “saint” is such an honor
  • First off- you don’t have to go to church to go to heaven. (please don’t walk out)
  • You also don’t have to be in the physical proximity of your spouse to stay married. But the closer your relationship is with both, the deeper the marriage will be
  • I used that example because God uses that Example when he talks of the church
  • The imagery used in the bible of the church is the imagery of a marriage- The body of believers and Jesus- the SAINTS are the people OF the CHURCH- the BRIDE of CHRIST
  • Those who have trusted in Jesus as their savior and have received eternal life are the universal church- They are the SAINTS
  • Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
  • Just like in Bible times- when a bride and groom were betrothed, they would be separated until the wedding- the responsibility of the bride is to be faithful until the wedding
  • Deployed twice first 4 years of marriageto  Crystal– Vows kept us connected during that time- barely knew her the first deploy- in our absence of body that our love grew through letters
  • This is such an important part to understand about the life of the church- and the people of it
  • Now when I say “church” I’m not talking “building”  when I’m talking about church it’s the people- always the people- this building is not our church- just as much as the warehouse wasn’t
  • This building is our meeting place. Rain off our neck. Public place to gather its not the CHURCH
  • It’s a TOOL to accomplish the GOAL of creating a community of believers that gather and grow and wait for Christs return- but this BUILDING isn’t the CHURCH the SAINTS are
  • Paul so desperately wanted to protect God’s church and sustain her until Christ Return
  • 2 corinthians 11 Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity  that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!
  • That’s my heart as your pastor- I am either going to hand you to Jesus or another pastor
  • Folks- the body of Christ the CHURCH is serious business. Some people do not take it as such
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  • Some people want to sleep with someone elses bride and be married to someone else
  • Crystal is my bride- there is not one thing I will not do for her. To provide for her and protect her If someone is trying to hurt my bride- they are going to get dealt with
  • At work- young men said to G, C to the Boys, they to her- me- laced up and at the door
  • This is why people who claim to be followers of Christ should not be talking bad about his church.  This is why people should be defending and supporting and loving the Church which is the Saints- We are CHRISTS BRIDE- Not a club, not a place to meet a mate, get free stuff etc.
  • How do you think God thinks when he sees us not being his bride? Or worse yet hurting her?
  • At the Second Coming of Christ, the church will be united with the Bridegroom, the official “wedding ceremony” will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will be actualized
  • Revelation 19:7-9 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
  • Remember- in the book of revelation- certain churches are condemned and certain are praised- Some Churches in Revelation were scorned by Jesus, some praised- I want praise!
  • This is part of the reason why I am always curious when people say they are Christians but they don’t attend church- The NT was written to churches- the book of Rev talks about churches
  • Which church will they fall into in revelation? Does Jesus just judge those that go to a certain church, and the rest get a pass? Or is the expectation that we’d all be connected to a body of believers upon Christs return? How can you live out the “body” scriptures without church?
  • An individual can’t ‘be’ the church because the church is a group of people
  • ‘we did church’ or ‘we had church’ is truer than “great church service”

Why aren’t people committed to being the church?

  • Firstly- I know that there are people who want the church to ‘be the church’ to world and the community, and I agree to a point. but as they say, ‘charity begins at home’ so if we are not truly the church, and we bring people into a sickly body that is disjoined and cancerous is NG
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  • We have to get this right- we have to be the church that God intended for us to be
  • And it DOES start within these walls- Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship-
  • The MAIN goal of the church is to Glorify God- and prepare a bride for his return
  • Primarily a church is first supposed to BE before it can DO if you try to DO before you BE you are not going to be DOING from a right heart condition-
  • Poor-37 Church 120. Most of the scriptures talk more about honoring the poor than serving
  • My point is- its easy to go out and DO rather than BE- its not an either or its BOTH but one flows from the OTHER
  • Ephesians 4:15-16 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 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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  • How can you live that out as an individual?
  • In here we learn to worship God,love, to serve, to forgive, to build up
  • As THE church- God is preparing us for eternity with him first and foremost!
  • Did you know if you don’t like church you wont like heaven? If you don’t like worshipping you wont like heaven either- if you don’t like being around people, being in the city etc.
  • You’re still going to be you when you get to heaven, so if you don’t like God’s people now- what are you going to do if you make heaven and you’re in the new Jerusalem?
  • What did the early church look like?
  • A gospel preaching church that commits to the apostles teaching. There’s worship. There is prayer. There is relationships. They are committed to each other. They meet publicly. They are members. Baptized. Serve and love one another. They have problems. They have discipline.
  • Where ever people were saved- they had churches- Philipi, Antioch, Corinth.
  • Where did they meet? In the bible- the early converts met in homes, or rented facilities. Sometimes synagogues. They didn’t have the NT. They read the OT and saw Jesus in there
  • They got together on the first day of the week. (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2)
  • They took communion 1 Corinthians 11:17-33)
  • They received instruction in the apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42)
  • the congregation blessed each other by the spiritual gifts they had been given for the edification of the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:24-26, 14:26; Romans 12:4-5)
  • The church had  leaders for the church: elders/pastors/bishops. “Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in every church…” (Acts 14:23) (Titus 1:5)
  • The pastors cared for the spiritual health of those whom God had placed in their charge.
  • The early church never saw itself as the authority that must be obeyed, but placed itself under the authority of the Scriptures and to live out what the scriptures taught
  • The church was never a social movement. It was a gospel preaching life changing FORCE1111

So what does it mean to you?

  • Don’t be a Christian, be a Saint
  • The word Christian is in the NT hand ful- Saints- 64 times-
  • A Christian is a follower of Christ- a Saint is a part of the Body of Christ
  • I’m not saying that you shouldn’t follow Jesus, or you shouldn’t identify as a Christian. I’m saying, Identify yourself as a Saint. A collective member of the body of Christ. Not an individual
  • Its this idea that we should want to be connected, deeply connected to the body of Christ
  • People who believe in Jesus and belong to their local church are my brother and sister.
  • Often times I meet other Christians I say “get used to this face- you’ll be seeing it for eternity”
  • 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
  • You were called to be a saint!
  • Romans 1:7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Be committed to be the church
  • The bible is clear “where ever 2 or more are gathered” Jesus shows up-
  • But if my job is Ephesians 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ
  • You’ve got to be here to be equipped. You are not here for my benefit- I am here for your benefit
  • This is why I’m constantly giving you scripture- and encouraging you to serve- Its so you can GROW
  • It is so  so you can live out verse like
  • 1 cor 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ
  • 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
  • This is why involvement is so important
  • Things like Landscaping team- seems like mowing lawns- but if you’re down here on a Saturday with some of the other bros and sis- that’s where ministry happens
  • When you serve the kids, make a meal, show up early and leave late
  • And its HARD- MAN its HARD its PAINFUL its TIME CONSUMING its DRAINING
  • But I believe it touches the heart of God- it prepares us for eternity- it grows us spiritually
  • Ephesians 5:29-30 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body,of His flesh and of His bones.
  • Live out Grace and Peace
  • This gift that we’ve been given is supposed to be for everyone- Grace and peace we need to give
  • This world- they don’t need the church- nice people out there- loving people-
  • Join a club, a team, have a big family, get together with your work friends
  • They need the Grace and Peace that only Jesus Christ can provide. How? Through forgiveness of Sins- The GOOD NEWS is that we can have grace and peace through Christ Jesus
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