|Create Date||July 23, 2019|
|Last Updated||July 29, 2019|
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CHRISTIANITY WORKS BEST WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER
CHRIS KHOURY - SERMON SUMMARY - 21 JULY 2019
I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH: Jesus said! The church is important to Him. He loved the church so much that he gave his life for it. (Ephesians 5:25). The Greek word for “church” is ekklesia, which means an assembly. Among Christians, the word ekklesia came to mean: all who believe in Jesus Christ.
CHRISTIANITY WORKS BEST WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER IN COMMUNITY: 1 Peter 2:4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Peter said that we are all “living stones…being built into a spiritual house offering spiritual sacrifices”
(1 Peter 2:5).
The Book of Acts, that we have been going through is all about the establishment of the Church. First in Jerusalem, then Judea and Samaria and then to Asia and Macedonia and then to the ends of the earth. Towards the end of the book when Paul is being severely persecuted by the Jewish authorities and on trial before the Romans he appeals to Ceasar. As a Roman citizen he had the right to do that. So under armed guard he is escorted to Rome.
Acts 28:17 Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. 19 The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people.
30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!
That is the last official word that the Bible give us about Paul and his ministry.
This is the job of the church - to teach the truth about Jesus and to live by faith as the children of God.
As a church we are urged to assemble together regularly for worship and celebration in the presence of God.
Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not give up meeting together.”
1 John 1:7 “If we walk in the light…we have fellowship with one another,”
THE CHURCH NEEDS WORSHIPERS: When do you feel closest to God? When I am aware of the presence of God. This happens more often than not when we are interacting with other Christians. Be it a Bible study, a church service or when praying and reading the Word of God together.
GOD TOO SMALL: As Christians I think our vision, understanding, expectations and appreciation of God is too small. In our minds we limit God and as a consequence we do not experience God in the way that we should.
Matthew 21:18-22 NIV Jesus Curses a Fig Tree
18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. 20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked. 21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Do we still believe in miracles? What is your biggest desire or need right now? Do you believe God can fill that need? Can he perform a miracle on your behalf or in your mind do you think miracles are for another age, another time, someone else, not me!! When Jesus came to his home town it says he did not perform many miracles there because the people did not believe!!
Today when we look at our church finances and according to the “accountants” among us, (REMEMBER PHILIP - JOHN 6:5-7) it does not work out on paper. We are left having to trust God. There was a need for a miracle. Jesus wanted to feed 5 000 people. He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” Philip the accountant, Philip the mathematician, calculated the cost. Two hundred denarii would only be enough for each person to have just a little. Every church has a “Philip”. We don’t have the money. We don’t have the resources, the time, the man power. It can’t be done! We must never loose sight of God. Now we have to do our part as best we can - give a tithe and trust God to provide whatever else is needed for our church and our fellowship to grow.
Do you believe in miracles. The voice of unbelief says, “Yes, I am a believer. I believe the Bible. I believe in God and I believe that God can bless.” That is, I believe God will bless at some other time, in some other place and some other people. Not us, not here, not now!! If we allow the gloomy voice of unbelief to whisper to us, we might as well turn off the lights and go home...! We serve a MIGHTY God! (Psalm 89:5-8) Our religion is little because our god is little. Our religion is weak because our perception of god is weak. Our effectiveness as Christians will depend upon what we think of God. It is critically important that we have a knowledge of the Holy One, that we know what God is like. That might mean that we need to expand our concept and world-view of what God is like.
John 4:14 ...but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.
One characteristic of a healthy church is that they will be a Spirit-filled people. (John 4:14)
1 Pet 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Our relationship with God is both private and public, and we need both. Whenever we minister in the church, it as an act of worship. Not just setting up chairs, or serving tea, or presenting a sermon, we are worshiping God in all those activities. Christianity works best when we work together in community.