Locally Grown: What is Church and Why Bother?

Locally Grown: What is Church and Why Bother?

Locally Grown  – Nov. 21, 2021

What is church and why bother? 

Jesus invented the church

Church is the Gathering

Matt. 16:16-18 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

The Gathering is made up of Believers

The Gathering wins people from captivity

The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life (Rev. 22:17).

Church is the Gathering of Believers tasked with rescuing people

The Gathering is Jesus’ body

Colossians 1:24 I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church.

The Gathering is Jesus’ body

The Gathering is Jesus’ bride

Revelation 19:7-8 Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself. She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.” For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people.

Jesus loves his local gatherings

Theologians recognize there are two kinds of gathering, Universal and Local

Rev. 1:20-2:1 This is the meaning of the mystery of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the messengers (angels or pastors) of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Write this letter to the messenger of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands

The local church is a lampstand

A local church is a real thing

Eph. 3:10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 

Hebrews 13:17 Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.

The local church is a heavenly reality, with elders in charge, gifts fit together for their mission together, open to everyone.

Heb. 10:23-24 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

The local church is Jesus’ body and bride and how he works in this world