Why Believe in the Church of Jesus Christ?

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Why Believe in the Church of Jesus Christ


The News

The News is a 24/7 business these days. I remember growing up as a kid that I always hated when my dad would want to watch the news. I thought it was boring. Of course one of the more interesting things is that the news used to be a limited engagement. I can remember that the news was something that you got at 6 am or with the morning paper, and about 5 to 7 pm each night if you turned to the right channel. Then there was that fabled 11 o’clock news that I wasn’t sure if it existed because it was after my bed time.
It is a recent phenomenon that the news cycle has become integrated into our everyday life. It is only recently that with the birth of the internet and more consistent access to television across the country that the News is a part of every minute of our day if we choose to.
This has become so true that in 2018 the American Psychological foundation did a survey to find out how the News was affecting Americans.
The 24/7 news cycle and its affects
1 in 10 Americans check the news every hour
2 in 10 Americans check social media “constantly”
Causes stress, loss of sleep, anxiety, and fatigue
This is a result of our acceptance of the News as being something of value. The other reality is that the news is a source of information that we think we need. Yet, the Media in general focuses on Negative stories because as humans we suffer from a concept called Negativity Bias. Negativity Bias is the concept that our brain is wired to pay attention to information that scares us. This is why often we see News Creators (yes i used that word Creators) create commotion to have enough “news” to fill the broadcast. We must always remember that when we choose to tune into a news channel or get on a website, or even pick up a newspaper the sources has a mission to sell you something and they do that through content you enjoy.
What does this mean for the church? Why does this matter to us this morning? The reality is the message that the Church has is in constant competition with the world and the things that grab our attention. We as Americans choose to listen and believe in the News for our truth and we look to the News and other organizations for our perspective and truth in the world. It forces us to ask the Question why believe in the Church? I should be clear here when I use the word Church I am referencing the idea of the “Church Universal”, not a denomination, not the Bridge, I am referencing the body of Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ. I again ask this question, why believe in the Church of Jesus Christ? I am going to tell you why I believe we should believe in the Church.

The Church is the only Organization committed to addressing issues of eternity

A statement like this begs to question, What about other religions? Yes, you could argue that other religions deal with the same issues yet, if we are true to the Christian faith we have a couple key factors that separate us from those organizations.
The Church has Absolute truths
The Church and exclusivity
Concern for the physical world
Concern for everyone's eternal status
We have absolute truths that we adhere to. We are consistent on the necessity of faith in God for salvation. We are consistent that there are things in this world that it is black and white and no grey on what is right and wrong.
The Church expresses exclusivity in that there is only one way to heaven and a relationship with God and that is through Jesus Christ.
John 14:6 NIV
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The church is concerned about the physical needs of this current world. This is apparent in the role that Jesus took on a regular basis to take care of the poor, the hurt, and those in need. We can’t ignore the needs of the world and claim to beleive in the next point.
The church is concerned about the eternal stat of everyone. Our goal, our mission is to make disciples of Jesus through all the nations. This also requires us to be consistent and faithful to the need of repentance of sins and faith in God. These are key elements that make the Church an organization that is concerned about bigger issues than any other organization in the world.

Christ, the Gospel, and the Church give dignity and hope

When I wrote out this point I struggled with this one. I should state first I believe it is absolutely true and that it is what the church is supposed to be. That was the key for me. This is one of the areas I believe that the Church has struggled the most. We have not done a good job of providing Dignity to people.
Human Dignity—The Unalterable, inherent value due every person by virtue of being a human being.
This is something that we must wrestle with because it is apparent that we are falling short of remembering that all humans are created first in the image of God, and that we are to treat them in that fashion. Though the Church has failed many times in this because let us be honest we are humans and we fail we must remember that this is to be the Church’s goal to provide dignity and hope to the world.
Ephesians 5:25–33 NIV
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
This passage helps us see the ideal through our relationships within the world. Now I know that people will take issue with this passage because we talk about the idea of wives submitting to their husbands. First, this is not the sole focus of this passage. This passage shows us that there is an element of mutual submission through all of our relationships. Love and respect must be the basis of our relationships in the world.
Submission to one another provides mutual love and Respect. It brings dignity to everyone.
Submission is something that in America we don’t like the idea of. We don’t want to hear that we have to submit ourselves to others. It isn’t a part of our DNA as a country. Yet, it is a part of our Faith. We must learn to recognize the needs of others before our own needs. It is a struggle but this reality is something we must do out of love just as Jesus did for us.
This idea of submission naturally leads to the next value of the Church.

The Church of Jesus Christ is a moral and Spiritual Compass for the World

We Turn to Jesus for guidance on the importance of our influence and guidance Christians and the Church provide for the world.
Matthew 5:13–16 NIV
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Salt is a useful mineral. It really has so many valuable uses it absolutely amazes me.
Salt and its uses
So much more...
Salt today has even more uses because we have purified it and separated it and refined it and can use its base elements to create and build upon. Its really amazing to me. Yet, when we look at this passage we shouldn’t think about our modern day table salt. We need to think about Ancient Salt which was not purified and would often contain other minerals. This is how we get this concept of Salt losing its saltiness. The salt would dissolve or fade and only the other minerals may remain. Now what was thought to be salt instead is some other combination of minerals.
Likewise we can’t allow our view of what we do in this world to fade. We have a tremendous influence in the world and we must be faithful to that. We must call the world back to a morality that is focused on glorifying God. This is hard at times because it will bother some to hear that the things they are committing to are morally wrong. That we can’t just live our lives how we see fit as humans but instead we are called to be better. We must not shy from this responsibility.
This responsibility leads to the final point though that we are to be a community of love and healing for all people.

The Church is a Community of love and healing for all people

This is an important concept that we must embrace. Healing comes to all through the church. No matter what they are going through the Church needs to be a place of healing and love that they can come to know God.
This includes all
Social Status
Economic Backgrounds
Education strata
Race & Cultures
Sexual Orientations
Political affiliations
Any other group
The reality is that no matter where anyone is at in life they can come to know healing and love in the church. Love for God, love for one another, and healing through a relatinoship with our savior Jesus Christ. This isn’t an easy task bust it can be done if we focus and live our life as Paul instructed in Ephesians.
Ephesians 4:29–5:2 NIV
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Walk in the way of Love. Forgive one another. Is there really anything else we need to say.

Why believe in the Church of Jesus Christ?

The Church is a huge topic to tackle all in one sitting. Each one of these points could have been an individual sermon that would be easy to expand upon. Yet, these overviews of why we need to believe and have faith in the Church remind us of how important the church is in our world. The Church is not a foreign or unnecessary concept as some would have us believe. No, the Church is absolutely essential to the health and well being of all humanity.
In perperation for this sermon I read a blog from Karl Vater about why the church and the gathering of believers is essential. This is also for me why we must commit ourselves to believing and understanding the value of the church.
“I’ve discovered that the more I grow in Christ, the more I need the Church-and the more they need me.”
“It’s not Church when I’m alone. No matter how special or holy the moment may be with just me and Jesus - and I have plenty of them - It’s not church unless there’s - at least one other believer experiencing it with me. The Together part of Church is not just a helpful habit, it’s an essential part of Spiritual health and maturity.”
We are faced with the reality that the Church isn’t perfect. That the Church presented by Jesus and by Paul is an ideal. It is something for us to strive for. It is something though that we must believe in and must push for and that is why we must believe in the Church of Jesus Christ.
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