Scripture: Ephesians 1:15-23
A sermon with no TITLE! A title gives you a preconceived idea. We will settle up on that in the end.
Here we sit among a world where there is increased criticism of the institutional church and the spreading of apathy toward all forms of religion. All of the while, a walk with the Bible will solve many of our problems. How many people do we know that say :”The church, who needs it?” Guess what? The people that say that need it the most! Don’t let anyone discourage you from attending church! Some churches now have assigned seats. That is going to keep you from going to church? Really?
I have been to plenty of church services in beautiful buildings that are void of the Bible. In fact, there is not even a Bible there! They use pre-published books done every 6 months. It is a money making operation because some religious organization is paying for those books. All you need is one $20. Bible to sit in that pew for 50 years. That’s 40 cents a year!!!
Do we need a church? Not unless it is a church full of true worshippers of God.
Bible scholars agree that the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is the greatest sermon ever preached. In his discourse about “kingdom living”, recorded in Matthew, Jesus presented to His disciples the way of righteous living for those who are in God’s family.
The Good Works
In Matthew 6, Jesus condemns doing what would normally be “good works” simply for recognition and not from the heart. No one needs the church if it does not proclaim the gospel and instead follows the “good person” theology. Through the salvation message, we learn that the “good person” theory is flawed!
If you believe that just being a good person is enough to get you into heaven, you’re not alone. A variety of religions teach that people will be rewarded after death if they simply do more good deeds than bad ones. But this is not what the Bible teaches. Also, this kind of thinking often leaves us with more questions than answers. Others say that you simply need to do just enough good deeds to tip the scales. If all your good deeds make up at least 51% of what you do, then heaven should be your final destination. But how can you be sure that at least a little more than half of your life has been good? Don’t some good and bad deeds carry more weight than others?
The Bible, however, clearly teaches that even our best attempts at being good fall short of God’s high standard. Ephesians 2:8-9 also specifically says that we are not saved from God’s judgment by our own good works. It says, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift-not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his creation-created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior? Without that good work, all is lost! If a church no longer believes solely in Jesus and that he died on the cross for our sins to be forgiven, then that is not a church. If a message is not delivered without scripture, it is not a church.
What is a church meant to be?
-The church is meant to be a redemptive place, a place where people would be comforted with God’s word and judgement and in love.
-A place where Jesus Christ is lifted up as Savior and Lord.
-A fellowship in which those who accept Jesus can have their spirits cleansed and go on to share the experience with others.
-The church is an institution that allows us to stand up to challenges when it matters the most.
Church is a place where we can give the best that we have to the best that we know… and we need a church for that.
Now let’s pick a sermon topic! What is the title that you would give it?