Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.
For I know the plans I have for you”–this is the LORD’s declaration–“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
God has a plan for your well-being now and His plan includes your future. The hope we have, both now and for the future, is found in Jesus Christ and His Church!
In God’s Church there is no room for idleness. God has a plan for you as part of His Church; you cannot be idle if you want to have hope now and have the future that awaits His people. Please keep in mind, This is not about those who are unable to work but those that are unwilling to do their part as citizens of the Kingdom and as members of their society/culture (See 2 Thessalonians 3:10, 13). Hebrews 5:9 tells us that, “Jesus is the source of Eternal salvation of all those obey Him.”
Last week we looked at being the Church:
- Being obedient, attending church functions, services, and so forth to practice the one anothers.
- That we were, and are, responsible for protecting and preserving God’s Truth and the ministry of the Gospel as servants of the Living God.
- That we are responsible to, and for, one another, We need to do what we have to in order to do that we need to know one another, so that we can encourage and help one another in our walk. And that includes correcting, according to the Word, out of love for the other. Which is why Paul wrote these letters, to correct wrong thinking and to rebuke wrong doing.
In being the Church you must be, according to the Word, discipling others and in discipling others, you are preserving the Truth. In Ephesians 4 the Holy Spirit tells us that we are to speak the Truth in love and thereby we will grow more and more Christ like, “But speaking the Truth in love, let us (The Church) grow in every way into Him who is the head — Christ. From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.” The church builds itself up in love as each part does its work.
You have work to do in the body of Christ, His Church. 1 Corinthians 12 tells us that God placed you here as part of this congregation, part of your duty in the Body of Christ is the ministry of words. Some of us are better than others in this ministry… but there is not a person here that can’t talk, use your words, speak the Truth in Love, and help others within the congregation to grow.
The Word of God tells us in Ephesians 4:25, “Speak the Truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another.” Our words should be “good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.” You should also be willing to “hear” as you may have need of correction and, by grace, you need to listen and accept what is being said. Are you willing to be encouraged, helped, and even corrected in love by those around you? That is how it is supposed to be within the body of Christ. We have forgotten how to go to one another in love… and definitely how to receive what we are told in love…
Basic Christianity is with others and we are responsible for each other. If we are “Being the Church” that means we are building up other believers in knowledge and faith and thereby fulfilling part of our calling as a congregation in the Great Commission – by making disciples (See Matthew 28:19).
How can you expect others to do what you are unwilling to do? Is it not the Church’s responsibility to practice the one anothers and make disciples? Are you not the church? Are you speaking the Truth in love? Helping? Serving? Are you bearing with one another? Forgiving? Loving? Growing? That’s what happens when we are being the Church! If we are not obedient in this…
1 Peter 1:22-2:10: Church, you are chosen to be witnesses and disciple makers of the Most High God, you are agents of the Truth, a royal priesthood whose duties are to proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. You are a light bearer. You are to pierce the Darkness with what light you have. You proclaim Jesus to those outside the will of God, to the lost and hurting, to the unbelieving gentiles in our communities. We are God’s people, and as a royal priest you are a go-between, you bridge the gap, you intercede and introduce them to Jesus. A priest represents God…
2 Corinthians 5: You are acting as agents of salvation! A Representative of Love and Forgiveness. And since you have experienced the Love & Forgiveness found in Christ your life; ours, should reflect the Truth of God’s Word to those outside the church in both word and deed. “I have been given New life in Christ,” you represent Christ to everyone you come in contact with! Love your neighbor as yourself…
It is all about Jesus: we are His ambassadors working in neighborhoods, in our communities, and among our family members, our friends, and our Co-workers to bring them to Christ!
Every blood bought, born again, Christian has been reconciled to God. Every Christian has received the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we plead and we pray for those of the world, sinners, to be reconciled to God. We reach out to our neighbor with the love of God.
This is Being the Church! This is the calling you have received, this is your responsibility were God has placed YOU! Those outside the church, who are not a part of her, are going to experience eternal destruction and the roaring fires of Hell. Who do you think will be held responsible for not telling them; for not fulfilling YOUR purpose in God’s plan? In Matthew 5 Jesus said that we are to be salt and light to the world. You have a purpose – God has a ministry that you are to be doing.
- How are you a part of the Church?
- What makes you a part of the local congregation?
- Are you part of God’s plan—Being the Church?
- Bonus Question: What does it mean for you to be obedient in God’s Kingdom?
Further Reading: Ephesians 4:11-5:2, Romans 12, Colossians 3:1-17, 1 Peter 1:13-2:12, 1 Corinthians 12:7, 12-27, 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, Hebrews 4:12, 1 Peter 3:15, Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8, John 15:1-27, Matthew 7:21-23