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What is the Church?

Did you know the word church is not found in the Old Testament. The first person that I know of that used this term was Jesus himself. He is the one who initiated the concept of church. In the New Testament the word church is used 73 times. It is a New Testament concept.

Before we look at what the church is – let me say what it is not. It is not a social club. It is not a business. It is not a museum. The church is not even a building. Did you know that that the first Christians did not even have the concept of the church as being a building? How could they – they had no buildings – but they still had churches. What is the Church then?

The Bible says the church is a FELLOWSHIP

Fellowship is not just something the church is – it’s something we do. What is fellowship? You’re all headed in the same direction. You get to know each other and associate with one another because you’re going in the same direction. That’s what fellowship is. Fellowship is all of us together heading in the same direction. As Christians, we’re all headed to heaven. God wants us to be in unity with one another. Think of this: We are all going to spend eternity with one another; shouldn’t we get good at getting along?

In First Peter we find: “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing” 1 Peter 3:8-9

The Bible says the church is a FAMILY Did you know that when you become a Christian some things change? God becomes your Father, Jesus becomes your Savior and other Christians become your brothers and sisters. We are part of God’s family – that is why we can pray together the Lord’s prayer and say, “Out Father who art in Heaven…” How do families operate? They operate on the basis of relationships, like a family – that’s what the Bible says. The Bible says we’re to treat each other like a family because we are children of God. We are to get along like brothers and sisters in Christ. And, yes, brothers and sisters sometimes squabble but in the end, they have each other’s back. We are to treat each other with respect. We are to listen to our Father and obey Him. We’re not a country club. The Bible says we are family.

The Bible also says the church is a FLOCK This was Jesus’ favorite description of the church. He called it “My little flock”. Therefore, the church is cared for and led by shepherds. Shepherds lead, feed and oversee. In a church a pastor is to take care of a flock. My primary job is to lead, feed and oversee. The shepherd is to take care of the flock. I want you to notice something in John 21. Not one time did Jesus ask Peter if he loved sheep. He asked Peter if he loved him. I think what Jesus is saying is if you love me – love my sheep also. In the New Testament we are told to – greet one another – encourage one another – live at peace with one another – build up one another – comfort one another – admonish one another – love one another. A flock is to watch out for one another. So it is in the church. We are to watch out for one another. We are a fellowship, we are a family, we are flock.

Loving my little flock, my church family

Pastor Rich


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