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Church Defined | Choose The Higher Way
The best thing to do in a flood is to head to higher ground
I think that a flood is an appropriate image of the world right now
- Floods are chaos and destruction
We have often thought of our decisions as forks in the road — LEFT or RIGHT
- They are UP or DOWN
Noah and the flood
- Chaos consumed the chaos
- This one person choose UP instead of DOWN
When you think this way, you see it all throughout the Bible
- Some choose DOWN, and it always leads to destruction
- But some choose UP, and it leads, quite literally to their SALVATION
UP = SALVATION
DOWN = CHAOS AND DESTRUCTION
Those same elements are present in our society
- Chaos and destruction
- Either choosing UP or DOWN
When looked at in that way, it is quite obvious that they choose DOWN instead of UP
- CHAOS over SALVATION
While we must always have a legislature that helps protect the life of ALL KINDS…
- WE are the people of LIFE
We have to admit that it can seem like the floodwaters continue to rise
- Chaos is more prevalent than Salvation
In a situation like this, it’s easy to point fingers and BLAME
- It’s the parents’ fault
- It’s the Governments’ fault
- It’s the leaders’ fault
- It’s the internet’s fault
But To a certain extent — It’s society’s fault
- We wanted a culture with no rules and no truth
In a well-built building, knocking a few pillars of support won’t make an IMMEDIATE DIFFERENCE
- But over time the damage begins to show
We have torn down structures and rules in our society without worrying about the consequences
Marriage and the Family
- Divorce as a culture was much less common
- Now, Half of the marriages end in divorce
- “Christians” is not much better
MARRIAGE is the PILLAR of the FAMILY
- once you start knocking that away, things will start to break down
- Easy Example: It’s hard to keep moral authority as a parent when going through a divorce
What I’m trying to say is, that we, as a culture, have collectively chosen DOWN more than UP
- We shouldn’t be surprised when we see ourselves surrounded by CHAOS
SO WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
Not an accident that we are in a series about DEFINING THE CHURCH
- Last week — The Church is a different kind of family
Christianity is the antidote to chaos and disorder
- Because we serve a God of order
1 Corinthians 14:33
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
When we choose to follow Jesus, we are choosing the HIGHER WAY
- Choosing up instead of down
- Salvation over Chaos
And the CHURCH is CENTRAL to God’s Mission on the earth
The local Church is the hope of the world and is the light of Jesus to its community
1 Timothy 3:15
…I have written so that you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
We the Church as God’s Pillar and Foundation of truth in the world
- If truth is lacking, the church isn’t doing its Job
When culture gets dark, we are to bring the light of Jesus to the brokenness
As the Church of Jesus, we must be active in showing the world the HIGHER WAY
- How to choose up instead of down
16 I say, then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things—as I warned you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Scripture shows us exactly what choosing up or down looks like
- Our culture is living in the consequences of choosing down
- We are living out that chaos that scripture says
There is just so much at stake!
- Those who choose down are not going to inherit the kingdom of God
When something bad happens on the news of any kind, what is your reaction?
- Not Surprised/Indifferent
- Your heart is broken because we are seeing the word of God lived out, which means people are going to hell because they chose chaos OVER salvation
How do we fix what we can?
1 Corinthians 12
14 Indeed, the body is not one part but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” it is not for that reason any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” it is not for that reason any less a part of the body. 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 as it is, God has arranged each one of the parts in the body just as he wanted. 19 And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 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 On the contrary, those parts of the body that are weaker are indispensable. 23 And those parts of the body that we consider less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unrespectable parts are treated with greater respect, 24 which our respectable parts do not need.
Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, 25 so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. 26 So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it.
The solution is us, the body of Jesus
The church must remember our calling of being a hospital for the sick
- We are supposed to be seeking out those lost in the chaos and bringing them into the order and love of Jesus
Here’s the problem
We have made church something we come and consume, not something we belong to
- But that is LITERALLY UNBIBLICAL
There is no such thing as just coming and watching
- You are literally part of the body of Christ or you are NOT
We have a pandemic of disconnected body parts and nonfunctioning limbs
So we should not be surprised at the world around us, because we haven’t been doing our job
- We have not been the hope of Jesus to our community
We are taking this serious at our Church
We have been a place to come and sit for a very long time
- The hope was that people would get involved over time
- That didn’t happen
CULTIVATE – To help grow and mature
YOU CAN NOT GROW IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD WITHOUT TAKING PART IN HIS CHURCH
I’m asking that you come to take part in bringing order and light to the chaos of our society
- How would those lives have been different in someone took them to church?