Handout for sermon: TO WHAT DO YOU BELONG? Understanding what you have been called to and for? February 4, 2024 Manchester TN
INTRODUCTION: Are you a New Testament Christian? Have you been born again? In our lesson today I want to help us all build a stronger understanding of why we have been called by God to be a follower of Jesus Christ! Some want to consider Christianity a very personal thing and may even indicate they think there are no collective responsibilities or concerns. They may think that being a Christian is all about themselves and their own faith and relationship with God. Is this a proper way to think of oneself as a Christian?
LESSON: 1.UNDERSTANDING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST. What is the intent and purpose of being baptized? Yes, we are baptized into Christ, but in what ways does this change me as to who I am? Do we truly understand the ramifications of being a true follower of Christ? Let us try to understand our relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord.
- CITIZEN – PART OF A KINGDOM
- SHEEP – PART OF A FLOCK
- PRIEST – PART OF A PRIESTHOOD.
- MEMBER – PART OF A BODY.
- CHILD – PART OF A FAMILY.
- CHRISTIAN – PART OF A CHURCH.
All these terms are Biblical and true and are references to those who are true followers of Jesus Christ. The need to think collectively, not individualistically.
CITIZEN/KINGDOM, John 3:3-5 You belong to a kingdom and as a citizen you have responsibilities. The Kingdom of Christ has a king, citizens, laws and blessings! We must realize we are not the only one in the Kingdom of Christ, there are MANY! We have fellow-citizens. We must think collectively. We gather on Sundays with other citizens, and we celebrate our King, our kingdom and our fellow citizens. Sunday worship should be a gathering of all the citizens gathered to celebrate.
SHEEP/FLOCK, John 10:11-18 There is no doubt Jesus is the shepherd. He leads and oversees the sheep. I am an individual sheep, but I am part of a flock. I am not the one lone sheep out in the field. Sheep are in a collective and we are to remain in the flock. We are to stay close and interact together, function as one flock.
PRIEST/PRIESTHOOD, 1 Peter 2:9-12 What are we designed to be and do? We become a special people and a priesthood. Yes, individually a priest but we are part of a priesthood, and my individual actions influence the whole priesthood. There are activities that the priests do collectively and the common purpose is to serve Christ and other Christians.
MEMBER/BODY. 1 Corinthians 12;12-27 Jesus built a body, not just a single member! Jesus takes the individual members and places them in or the body for a purpose and with intent! Consider the connection that you have in the body. There is connectivity, this is the way Jesus designed the body! There are to be no breaks nor divisions in the body! The body is all connected so it will work together, suffer together, love together, worship together, etc. We are all baptized into ONE BODY! Let us remember our connection with each other ALL week long, not just on Sunday.
CHILD/FAMILY. Mark 10:28-31 We are adopted into the family of God. Jesus makes this possible. When one is adopted into the family you gain parents and siblings! The entire family takes them in. You have a wonderful great and large family right here! So may mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters.
CHRISTIAN/CHURCH. Acts 2:40-47. Becoming a Christian means you are added to the Lord’s Church. You are added to an assembly, a gathering. Let us not always institutionalize the concept of the local Church. Biblically it is an assembly, you are a part of this assembly. This means you become a part of everyone here. We have “all things in common”, in gathering, in sharing, in eating, in studying, in gladness, in praising God and in simplicity of heart.
2.WHAT WE ASSEMBLE TO DO TOGETHER? Did you realize it is God’s will that we gather, that we assemble? God knows us and understands our need and the value of fellowship, being together. We NEED EACH OTHER!
- WE GATHER TO SING. Ephesians 5:18-21 The importance of speaking together.
- WE GATHER TO PRAY. Acts 4:23 The value of praying together with brethren.
- WE GATHER TO STUDY. Acts 20:6-12 The need to hear and study in a group.
- WE GATHER TO PARTAKE OF THE MEMORIAL. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 11:20-34 Partaking is to be done together! We wait on and for each other to do it together.
- WE GATHER TO GIVE. 1 Corinthians 16:1-5 There is power, motivation and joy in giving together. The more we give the more we can accomplish.
This year, let us all think more collectively about our faith and commitment to Jesus. Realize who you truly are and how important, valuable, and needed you are in this assembly, this Church. We have, we are, and we will continue to accomplish great things here with the Lord’s great blessings. Working, worshipping, and spending time together will cause this church to grow in all the areas God intended it to grow. Let us be people of great faith and push forward being the people we are called to be citizens, sheep, priest, member, child, and Christian in a collective sense! Not being this alone because then you are at a greater risk of being overtaken by Satan!