The Church: The People of God

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
The church is made up of people who have a heart for God, who choose to abide in Him, and desires to serve Him. The challenge for the church is to do all of this in today’s world, where there are many who choose to live according to their own way. God desires to reach everyone and to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It is up to the believer in Christ to identify with Christ in their life and in their actions.

We live in the real world. While we are in the world, we are not of the world. Our behavior in the world should not reflect what the world does, but instead what Christ would have us to do. We are to be the peacemakers and to help others prosper (Jeremiah 29:7).

Luke 5:27-32; 15:1-2
27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” 28 So, leaving everything behind, he got up and began to follow Him.

29 Then Levi hosted a grand banquet for Him at his house. Now there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were guests with them. 30 But the Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to His disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

31 Jesus replied to them, “The healthy don’t need a doctor, but the sick do. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

15:1 All the tax collectors and sinners were approaching to listen to Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes were complaining, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!”

Matthew 5:13-16
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Philippians 2:12-16
12 So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. 16 Hold firmly to the message of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run or labor for nothing.

The church is made up of God’s people in this day and age. They are called and sent by Jesus to minister to the world. They are His chosen people.

John 20:21
Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

John 17:15-16
15 I am not praying
that You take them out of the world
but that You protect them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world,
as I am not of the world.

Romans 8:33
Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect?
God is the One who justifies.

Colossians 3:12
Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

1 Peter 2:9-10
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people for His possession,
so that you may proclaim the praises
of the One who called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light.
Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.

Romans 8:29-30
29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.

Jesus made it all possible for you to be the image of Christ in the world. The believer must make the distinction to be godly in his or her actions before others.

Titus 2:11-15
11 For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, 12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.

15 Say these things, and encourage and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

Three truths concerning the church:

1. There must be unity.

1 Corinthians 10:17; 12:25
Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for all of us share that one bread.

12:25 so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other.

Romans 12:4-5
4 Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, 5 in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.

2. There must be diversity.

1 Corinthians 12:3-6, 17-23
3 Therefore I am informing you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

4 Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person.

17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. 19 And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? 20 Now there are many parts, yet one body. 21 So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 But even more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have a better presentation.

3. There must be mutuality…an understanding…an exchange of knowledge.

Ephesians 4:25
Since you put away lying, Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another.

These points reflect that there is a dependence within the body with one another and a cooperative function within the church.

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About melvingaines

I am a communications professional, author and speaker with years of experience as a business owner and corporate supervisor. My philosophy is “excellence in leadership-by-example with integrity and without compromise.” I am a member of the National Association of Black Accountants and served as President of the National Association of Credit Management, Greater Akron (OH). I have also held memberships with the American Collectors Association International, Inc. and the Commercial Law League of America. I am Church Administrator and Sunday school instructor at Akron Alliance Fellowship Church in Akron, Ohio. I have taught adult Sunday school for over 25 years and facilitated numerous bible studies and church cell group sessions. Every now and then, I fill in for the pastor with a sermon. I am a longtime advocate of Christian-based elementary and high school education. I am a graduate of The University of Akron with a degree in Business and Organizational Communication, and recently earned a Master’s degree in Christian Studies at Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minnesota. I am also a member of the Chaplains Association of Ohio, and involved in Clinical Pastoral studies for possible full or part-time chaplaincy. I am a native of Cleveland, Ohio and I am married to my lovely childhood sweetheart, Lynn. View all posts by melvingaines

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