September 2017

The Church: A Learning Community

A Learning Community full sermon manuscript

The Church: A Called Out Learning Community

Passage: Various

Pastor Paul Davis

Sunday, September 17, 2017

 

We have been talking about the Church and misconceptions that have developed over time. We have been attempting to build a greater understanding of what the church is and what she is supposed to do.

One distinctively American misconception is “church” is often viewed as a spectator event. It becomes something to come to and watch. We may fit it into our busy week if we can and we may or may not show up based on our availability.

But, the Church is meant to be a community not an event. It is a community whose goal is to proclaim the Gospel to unbelievers and grow to maturity those who have believed.

As the Church we are called out to be a community of believers proclaiming the Gospel to unbelievers and devoted to growing as disciples.

 

Here are six community activities of discipleship:

Community Activity #1: Worship (Psalm 100:1-4; Revelation 14:7; James 1:22)

Community Activity #2: Confession (1 John 1:9; James 5:16)

Community Activity #3: Prayer (Psalm 5:3)

Community Activity #4: Word-Study (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Community Activity #5: Fellowship (Acts 2:42-47)

Community Activity #6: Mutual Submission (Ephesians 5:19-21; Philippians 2:3)

 

Church is not a spectator sport. When we gather, let us be intentional to:

Use our minds, emotions, and wills to fear, praise and adore God

Communally acknowledge our sins to the Lord and each other

Communally bring our requests and petitions to the Lord

Read, study, and meditate on the Scriptures, looking for them to renew our minds and make us more like Christ

Care and sacrifice for and with each other to meet the needs of the community

Humble ourselves in our relationship with God and others

The Church: A Giving Community

A Giving Community full sermon manuscript

We have looked at six very different passages. Let me wrap up with some conclusions from them.

 

1. If you are not faithfully, consistently and sacrificially giving to the Lord’s work, your heart is somewhere else.

Let’s quit fooling around; this is eternity we are talking about. If you find it difficult if not impossible to at least tithe, according to the passages we looked at this morning, your heart is somewhere but it is not fully devoted to the Lord. God’s Word says it is impossible to serve two masters. Take a moment to search your heart. If you have been devoting your life to lust for or the attainment of money, repent this morning.

 

2. Giving reveals in whom or what we are trusting and loving. I had an ethics professor in seminary that was brutally honest on this point. He would say, “Let me look at your checkbook, and in five minutes I’ll know whether you are a disciple of Jesus Christ.“ The righteous are givers. Where our hearts are, our dollars flow.

 

3. There are great and eternal rewards for secretly giving. Please do not miss a key truth tucked in each of these passages. The reason why covetousness and hoarding earthly treasures are so maligned is because they are horrible investments! They rot and rust and burn up. Humbly and secretly giving of your time, talent and resources builds an eternal portfolio of heavenly riches that never burn, rust or rot. Listen to how Paul told his disciple Timothy to teach these issues to the wealthy in his congregation. 1 Timothy 6:17–19 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. Why should we share and be generous? Because it builds the foundation for our eternal future, treasures and rewards that are the true and abundant life that Jesus promised.

 

Final Challenge: So, Calvary, let us set our hearts against covetousness and seeking earthly pleasures and instead seek those things which are above, where Christ is seated on the throne of glory. Let us give and serve and love in ways that store up treasures that will never rot nor rust. As a church, let us be known for our compassion, generosity and willingness to sacrifice for those in need.