Sadly, the reputation of the church has taken a hit from outside observers. Criticisms of the church are rampant throughout society. Simultaneously, the church struggles to articulate who they are. In this sermon series we will explore some of the radical claims that define the church that Jesus established.
Any statement of beliefs embodied by the church starts with belief in God. This foundational truth is the impetus behind the existence of our church. Our belief in God informs us, inspires us and instructs us. Our belief in God, makes us, motivates us and moves us. The history of God’s church has always included professions and confessions of a robust belief in the Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Our belief in God determines our attitudes and our actions.
NT Wright wrote, “We read scripture in order to be refreshed in our memory and understanding of the story within which we ourselves are actors, to be reminded where it has come from and where it is going to, and hence what our own part within it ought to be.” Relegating scripture to just a manual or rule book diminishes the power and beauty of scripture, and obstructs us from seeing the fuller story of God and the role we play in His story.
“Love God and love others” is not some platitude to be followed loosely. It is the command in which the church has been called to flourish. In order for the world to know us by our love, they need to see our radical love on display toward God and toward one another.
From the beginning, God has shaped and prepared his people to serve. To embody the life and spirit of Jesus is to embody the heart of a servant. Our firm commitment to serve community and meet the needs of its inhabitants is a direct response to Jesus’ call to serve just like He did.
Satan doesn't like unity. He doesn't like when we come together. It's one of the reasons he uses the device of disagreement. Satan says, "You don't agree with that person. You can't work together. You need to expose him/her. You need to make your disagreement a test of your fellowship. You are better that that person, and until that person gets on your level, you cannot walk together."
All over this world, men and women are searching for a life that encompasses the hope of a “better than right now” reality. Unfortunately, many try to find this reality in material things or in other people. Our hope is one that is certain and it is demonstrated in the way we live on this side of heaven.