A Place Of Grace
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- O Praise The Name (Anástasis)
- Man Of Sorrows
- Lord, I Need You
- THE CHURCH: Who & What Is IT?Today we begin a new sermon seriesI thought what better place to begin to define and describe the church than in a park in our communityI pray you will fully engage in thought and heart as we pursue THE CHURCH in the scriptures.It was the heat of the day.It was a time of day that many would seek out shade or a respite from the afternoon sun.However, there she walked, carrying a heavy pot to soon be filled with water and brought back.The burden of the heat and more difficult task was far better than going when the other women would look down on her and cause her more difficulty.Poor choices plagued her pastShe longed for someone to want HERShe desired so much for someone to care for herThe ones who did want to be with her, did not truly care for herSo this day like many before, she walked alone with her thoughts to the well, thirsting for someone to care, thirsting for something MORE she walked on to the well...Then she saw Him sitting there John 4:7-26 records this encounter for us…Thirsting for Relationship vs ReligionThere is a lost world out there thirsting for something realEach one carrying their own baggage just as this womanJesus here offers this woman, and all who come to Him something realRELIGION:Gives the feeling of something realGives you list of dos and don’tsGives a specific place focuses on four wallsRELATIONSHIP:Is real about who you are moving past feelingsSays I know who you are what you’ve done and offers betterGoes beyond four walls into every aspect of lifeLocation: No Walls!IMAGINE: thinking that you had to be or go to a specific location to worship…Jerusalem at the Temple… true worship happened thereMount Gerizim on a Mountain… the outcast worship thereIt’s not a building or even open spaceJesus makes a powerful statement in a conversation with His disciples… in Matthew 16:13-18When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.Jesus is Building His Church“UPON THIS ROCK” could mean a variety of things:The rock mountain to the underworldTo Peter being the church leaderTo the disciples being the foundationOR to Christ Himself being the Chief cornerstone!!!Jesus is building His Church… not with bricks and mortar, BUT something far BIGGER, STRONGER, far more EFFECTIVE!Not limited by time, culture, location… His Church is people! (PEN ILLUSTRATION)Consider what Paul declares to the church (PEOPLE) in Ephesus… Ephesians 2:19-22So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.A Holy Temple… where God lives!This is NOT religion folks this is relationship!Paul would explain it to the Corinthian church (PEOPLE) this way… 1 Corinthians 3:9-16For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?WOW! You and I are called to work and serve in this TOGETHER! (sheep need a flock)Jesus Christ is our foundation… we build together with HimCasa de la Biblia, Grace Bible, Light House Assembly and so many others in our valley with a solid foundation on Christ!We are His Temple! You and I are the church… close down the four walls, destroy that building at 755 Spencer Parkway and the church will still THRIVEThe Gates of Hell will not prevail will not conquer!Jesus Christ is at work still today… are you working with HimWhat we do matters… Wood, Hay, Stubble or gold, silver, jewelsJesus that day at the well… went to the woman.An outcast where she was and He met herHe didn't wait for the Sabbath and wait for her to enter the temple, He seized the momentThe time had come where the Spirit would indwell those who believe John 3:16“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.Jesus was crystal clear with her… I AM THE MESSIAH!That day, the woman and her household believed along with many Samaritans. If you have been thirsting for something and seeking it in religion, I want to offer you today a relationship with Jesus Christ that will quench your thirst. Jesus Christ who lavishes His love and grace to all who will believe.Church it is time we discover the Strength and power of a church with no walls… a living temple of the Living Spirit of God!
1 Corinthians 3:9–16NASB95
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