The Wonderful, Impactful and Amazing Church of the New Testament.

The Wonderful, Impactful and Amazing Church of the New Testament.

June 8, 2024

HANDOUT FOR SERMON: THE WONDERFUL, IMPACTFUL AND AMAZING CHURCH OF CHRIST.  June 9th, 2024, Manchester. TN

INTRODUCTION: I would like to start today with a question to you: “What does Jesus Christ mean to you?”  If you were to ask me, all kinds of thoughts would rush into my mind and heart of which I have learned from scripture. Such as: John 8:12, John 14:6, Matthew 11:28-30, Acts 4:10-12, Colossians 1:13-14.  Because of Christ and who He is – that’s why I love Him.  I also love the things of Christ, such as the church that Jesus built. I appreciate the body of Christ, I value the family of God, I honor the temple of God and I celebrate and gladly serve in the kingdom of Christ.

Jesus means the world to me because: He loves like no one else, His mercy is unending, His forgiveness is always available, His care and protection is ever present, His patience is like none other, and His gifts are abundant.  In our lesson today I would like for us to focus on “The Wonderful, Impactful and Amazing Church that Jesus Built.” The Church is a true gift to humanity, Matthew 16:18.

LESSON:                                                                                                                                                            1.THE NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HIS CHURCH ISThe Church would not exist without people. People are His Church. The Church is not a building.  From Scripture we learn that Jesus is all about saving people from darkness and sin!

Scripture: Revelation 7:9-10, Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:9-12, Acts 2:38-47 Jesus describes His followers as: a congregation or gathering, the family of God, His body, a temple and His Kingdom.  In 1 Peter 2 we learn that we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation or kingdom. He calls us a people who were not a people but now the people of God.

Read: Acts 2:38-47 When the Church became a reality. Please note what was required of the people. Then please note what these saved people filled their lives and days with.

2.THE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH WHICH JESUS BUILT. Why did Jesus build His Church? Who would benefit from such? Did He do so for a particular purpose?

Read: Luke 19:10. If we understand the purpose of Jesus coming to the earth we might then understand our purpose in this world as followers of Christ. We learn that Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost.

Scripture: Matthew 5:13-16, 1 Peter 2:9-12, Matthew 22:37-40, Matthew 28:18-2

  3.THE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE VALUE OF THE CHURCH THAT JESUS BUILT. Please remember the many characterizations Jesus used to describe His Church: a flock, a kingdom, a family, church, a priesthood, a temple and a gathering. We see from these that Jesus wants individuals to be a part of a collective.  All Jesus teaches, does and requires of us is for our benefit.  So, what is the benefit or value of the Church He built and that He added us into, Acts 2:47?

Scripture: Galatians 6:1-6 & 10, Philippians 2:1-4, Ephesians 4:24, 31-32, Hebrews 10:18-25

Jesus knows humanity because He is our wonderful creator. He knows we do not do well alone and isolated.  We need each other, we depend on each other. This is true in our spiritual family.  Jesus our master has shown us how to love, how to care, how to forgive, how to feed and how to encourage.   Peter was commanded by Jesus to “feed my sheep” in reference to the other followers of Jesus.  Do we truly understand what the Church is all about? It is NOT just gathering to sing, pray, break bread and listen to a preacher teach! We gather because we love, we care, we help, we support and we encourage.

4.THE NEED FOR THE CHURCH THAT JESUS BUILT TO LOOK OPENLY AND DEEPLY AT THE FRIST CENTURY CHURCH WHICH JESUS BUILT!                                                      Being the New Testament Church requires much more than just following a “pattern” and going through the points listed in the New Testament.  In the ministry of Jesus Christ, Jesus put great emphasis on the “heart” of man and very little on rules, regulation and patterns. Why did Jesus do such?  Jesus understands humanity because He created us plus, He came to earth in the flesh and He knows what it is to be flesh.  Unless our hearts are completely set on accepting Him as Lord, then we will never be the people He desires us to be.  Are we truly the disciples of Christ? Followers of Christ? If our hearts are not solely led by and focused to submit to Christ and be like Christ, then we will never be the New Testament Church.  The beginning of the Lord’s Church is in Acts 2. From reading this chapter you will learn that people repented of sin, submitted to Christ in baptism in His name and the Lord added those being saved to His Church.  We also learn that these individuals “devoted themselves “or “continued steadfastly” to several things in their lives. (Acts 2:42-27)

They continued in:

  • The Apostles teaching (teaching about Jesus, His kingdom and His will.)
  • Fellowship (the sharing in spiritual worship, such as Lord’s supper, giving.)
  • Breaking of Bread (partaking of the Lord’s Supper, yet also sharing common meals.)
  • Prayer (uniting their heart to the Lord.)

Consider the locations mentioned in Acts 2.

  • In the Temple
  • From house to house.

New Testament Christians had a good balanced approach to Church and Church related activities.                                                                                                                                      The first Location: at the temple courtyard, a place where everyone comes to hear the scrolls read, a place to pray, sing, honor & worship God. Jews met there and engaged in worship and study, Sort of like our Sunday service today!                                                                               The second location: “from house to house.” What did they do from house to house? Breaking bread, they ate their food with gladness. Jesus should always be the center of our life and conversation.

From Acts 2 we learn that both were vital activities for the Church that Jesus built. I want to suggest that “worship” and “hospitality: are equally important for the Church of Jesus Christ today.

What does Jesus teach about hospitalityGospels: Mark 2:1-2 & 13-17, Luke 7:36-50, 10:38-42, Luke 24:28-35 Book of Acts: Acts 2:43-47, 16:14-15, 31-34, Acts 20:7-12, Acts 28:1-7 Direct instruction: Matthew 25:34-46, Luke 14:1-14, Romans 12:5-13, Hebrews 13:1-2, 1 Peter 4:8-9, Titus 1:8, 3 John 5-8