OSL-25 061001AM For a moment think of Jesus with me–Jesus founded His Church, purchased His Church, and now ever lives for His Church. Jesus is all about the Church. And what is Christ’s complete focus at present? He is building His Church. So Christ’s priority, Christ’s focus, Christ’s activities are all centered upon the Church. That is where the action is. That […]
OSL-24 060806AM We have gathered today to celebrate the power of endless life that we have as members of Christ. Life, endless life, abundant life, Christ’s life lived out in and through us is what we celebrate this morning. Please open with me to Acts 5:20 as we study this morning the power of our shared life. […]
Calvary Bible is a church that belongs to Jesus. He is building this church, and as we celebrate our 80th year as a local church, Jesus has great plans for each of us. Every believer has been specially designed by God, to do ministry in Christ’s church.
Please open to the verse that is on the lanyard holding our nametags. Find the reference on your lanyard or someone’s around you (and if you don’t know them, say hello and meet them).
When you have opened to the verse, stand with me for the reading of God’s Word. First Peter 2:5 is a “design-check” verse. It is God reminding us that we all need to check if we are together doing the ministry He designed us to do in Christ’s church.
Join me in Matthew 6 and Jesus reminds us how to make life count for God.
This week, more than any other week, we can all sense time flying by. The old year is almost gone; the New Year is just in front us. In this spot, once each year we can see both the passing and the oncoming years more clearly than at any other time of the year.
Life continues to move in a river racing at 60 minutes per hour, but at the end of the year it seems clearer. Each minute is unstoppable and irreversible; but each minute is also redeemable and investable.
We share life as saved and born-again believers, we are all God’s building, we are all God’s house, we are all members of His family. Each of those word pictures describe who we are and what we are here to do.
If I were to give you the short form of our shared job description as believers it would be:
We are all employed as workers in a Divine Construction Company. God is the Master Builder, and the project is building up the Body of Christ.
But now comes the wonderful part. This truth is what has strengthened Christ’s church through all these centuries since Pentecost—when we gather obediently as Christ’s church, He is present; and when Christ is present He uses us to do his work of repairing one another from the injuries of life’s struggles.
This is what is repeatedly demonstrated throughout the pages of the New Testament:
Mended Lives Get Repaired And
Built Up by God’s Word and People
This morning, as we open to Ephesians 4, we are Christ’s church; and, as a member of Christ’s Church, we each need to understand what God expects from us.
Christ’s plan for each of us is to focus on our part of the mending/equipping, and building up/edifying of other believers in His Church. To clarify God’s plan, we need to ask and answer some simple questions:
• Why do we come to this same building each week called Calvary Bible on Drake?
• Why do we go through all the hoops to join this fellowship of believers formally, and become members of CBC?
• Why do we submit to the direction of the elders and seek to follow what they prayerfully present as God’s plan for this church?
• Why are we celebrating these past 80 years and wearing these nametags?
When Jesus first met His disciples as He walked along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, do you remember what they were doing? Fishing, right? As we open to Matthew 4, think with me about the type of men Jesus called to start His team of disciples. The first four were noted as “fishermen”.
Jesus Called Some Fishermen
As His Apostles
Up before dawn, out in all types of weather, sitting in hard planked boats, straining over wet and smelly ropes and nets, fishing in Century One was not quite modern day sport fishing with a bass boat sporting swivel, high back, cushioned seats and a cooler of Cokes. Fishing was a messy, physically taxing, and never ending hard work.
Please open with me I Corinthians 12:27. This morning God declares to us that we are Christ’s Body, and being a part of something that big and that important has enormous responsibilities. Note what Paul says:
I Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
You and I are each individual pieces, parts, members of Christ’s Body. And as a member of His Body, we have shared responsibilities; to accomplish His plan we each must do what we were made to do! The Body of Christ is complex, made of many individual parts, each with a special job to do.
What does it mean to each of us, individually, that we are part of Christ’s CHURCH? That is the challenge to each of us today—we should become all that God wants us to be in His Church. To summarize my vision for CBC that I shared with the elders ever since we began to talk about our ministry here it would be:
“100% Employment—Every Member in Ministry”.
Are you functioning as a healthy member of Christ’s church this evening?
For just a moment remember that there are no less than twelve metaphors in God’s Word for the Church . Each metaphor is a powerful way for us to see how God looks upon us who are Christ’s church.
This morning we are starting a year-long celebration of CBC’s 80th year of ministry. We often refer to this church by three initials, the initials CBC stand for:
• Calvary (and hence the Cross up on the wall behind me, reminding us that Christ died for our sins);
• Bible (and hence the constant usage of God’s Word in all of our ministries and programs, and every public worship service);
• Church (and that is the special topic we will be focused on as we gather to celebrate these 80 years)! And especially this year our goal and focus as a church family will be:
Becoming All God
Wants us to be
What does it mean to each of us, individually, that we are part of Christ’s CHURCH?