What We Believe: The Church
Topic: AM Service Passage: Hebrews 10:23–25, Matthew 18:15–17
What is the Church? For some, it is an old, dusty institution that is no longer relevant. For others, it is a building that you can point at as you drive by. But according to the Bible, the Church is the gathered people of God who have been redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ. The word for “Church” in the New Testament means an assembly or gathering; most literally, it means “the called-out ones.” The Church is the Lord’s master plan. The Lord declared, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) The Church is the means that the Lord is using to build His Kingdom; the Church is the place where the Lord is gathering His people; and the Church is the place where Jesus is glorified (Ephesians 3:21). For all these reasons (and more!) it is important for us to understand the nature and purpose of the Church as we follow Jesus. Sadly, many modern evangelicals have lost a sense of the Church’s importance and mission. Individualism is the order of the day, and God’s covenant community does not get the focus it deserves. The solution is to look to Scripture and to find there “What We Believe: The Church” (Hebrews 10:23-24; Matthew 18:15-17).
“Worshiping alone or with one’s family is a valid replacement for regularly attending church.” - 46% of evangelicals agree
“My local church has the authority to withhold the Lord’s Supper from me and exclude me from the fellowship of the church.” - 50% of evangelicals disagree
I. The Church is God’s Plan
A. For Us to Hold to the Truth
B. For Us to Love One Another
C. For Us to Worship
II. The Church is God’s Means
A. To Resolve Conflict
B. To Make Disciples
C. To Preserve a Witness
Questions for consideration: (1) How can the Church (as an institution and individuals) help you to know and stand for the truth? (2) Why is love such an important element of the Church? What does showing love look like in your life? (3) Have you ever had conflict in the Church? What could you have done better in conflict? How has the Church helped in conflict?