WHAT IS THE CHURCH AND WHO IS THE CHURCH?--PART I
SERMON TITLE: WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?
SERMON THEME: YOU ARE THE CHURCH

THE CHURCH IS A MOVEMENT NOT AN INSTITUTION.

 

EPHESIANS 2:19-22
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

THE GERMAN WORD FOR CHURCH IS: KIRCHE

 

I) THE CHURCH BECAME A PLACE RATHER THAN A MOVEMENT.

 

MATTHEW 16:13-18
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”  16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[b] will not overcome it.

 

II) THE CHURCH IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH.

 

MATTHEW 28:16-20
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

ACTS 1:6-8
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

ACTS 2:22-24;32-33
22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[a] put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

III) THE CHURCH IS A GATHERING RALLIED AROUND JESUS THE RESURRECTED CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 

ACTS 2:36-39
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”  37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

ACTS 2:41
41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

 

CONCLUSION: WHEN YOU THINK OF THE CHURCH I HOPE YOU WILL REDEFINE IN YOUR HEART THAT CHURCH IS ABOUT A GATHERING OF PEOPLE AROUND JESUS THE LIVING GOD.  

EPHESIANS 1:22-23
22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.