Who We AreSeries: DNA. James Dewhurst September 27, 2020
Who We Are
Your DNA might be your propensity, but it’s not your Destiny!
The apostle Paul lays out to the church in Corinth, exactly what makes up the DNA of the church as a whole, in
1 Corinthians 12:12-27
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (ESV)
Just like each of us has our own DNA from individual contributing factors, the Bible tells us that the church corporately also develops its own DNA from individual factors.
Those individual factors are people! The church’s corporate DNA, according to Paul, comes from each individual person who becomes a part of the Body of Christ.
The church is simply one body, made up of many different parts! But it’s the sum of those parts that makes up what the church looks like, feels like, is known for, focuses on, and accomplishes. Real church corporately, is simply who we are individual!
But by far, the most important part from the passage we just read is how the Bible says we are to called to relate with each other. Paul said we belong to each other and are born of one spirit. The Greek word (pneuma) used for “spirit” means, “the same breath”. And the Greek word for “belong” means, from “the same family or race”.
We have been born of the same Spirit, belong to the same spiritual body, eat the same spiritual food, and serve the same Savior. For better or worse, we are forever family!
Interestingly, lots of people get saved, join the body of Christ, and start attending church. Those same people often start referring to their church as “Family”, but then something miraculous happens. When problems pop up and imperfections arise, those exact same people start referring to their church family as THEY and THEM, instead of WE and US!
One of the biggest issues in the church in America is that we have a disowning problem. We own whatever is beneficial to us, and then disown whatever is problematic!
We can’t just enjoy the fruits of the body of Christ & then disown its dysfunctions.
Too many Christians want the benefits of the family without the baggage!
If I really belong to you and you belong to me, we can’t disown each other!
The truth is, who we are corporately as a church is the sum of who we all are as individuals. The pronoun “We” is just a bunch of “You” all added up together!!!
If you don’t like “We” then maybe “You” should be part of the solution!
> Change starts in YOU and becomes WE!
> Growth starts in YOU and becomes WE!
> Hunger starts in YOU and becomes WE!
> Godliness starts in YOU and becomes WE!
– If we are a worshipping church, it will only be because you are a worshiping person!
– If we are a generous church, it will only be because you are a generous person!
– If we are a serving church, it will only be because you are a serving person!
– If we are a loving church, it will only be because you are a loving person!
The church is simply the sum of its individual parts, Nothing more, nothing less!
6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (ESV)
4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (ESV)
A wise person said – “Church is not an event we show up at, it’s a family we belong to!”
Someone once said – “Church is not a place, it’s a body tied together by the blood of Jesus Christ.”
Church – “Imperfect People, forming an imperfect family, serving a perfect God.”
Adrian Rogers – “The church is an incubator, a nursery, a grade school, and (a hospital). We start where people are and move them where they need to be.”
If we don’t get the church family thing right, then everything else we do will be wrong!
~Family may get on each other’s nerves, but they never turn their backs!
~Family may sometimes fight each other, but they always fight for each other!
~Family may be offended and hurt each other deeply, but forgiveness overcomes!
~Family may disagree or even become disappointed, but their support never waivers!
We’ve heard it said that blood is thicker than water. How thick is the blood of Christ?
Is it thicker than our pettiness? Is it thicker than our politics? Is it thicker than our pride?
Is the church really a family, or is it just a place Christians attend until someone offends?
Jesus goes so far as to call us brothers and sisters, in:
48 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (ESV)
It blows my mind how quickly we’re disowning our brothers and sisters in Christ in 2020!
The church has changed so much from what God intended. A church that started out as a loving, supportive, and inseparable family, has become divided by race, political views, and a pandemic. The gospel of COVID 19 has replaced the gospel of John 3:16!!!
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (ESV)
I want to close by sharing the DNA of our church, that we must actively choose!
The name of our church defines our DNA – Reborn Emptied, Adopted and Loved!
Our vision empowers our DNA – ???? Church exists to reach people who are far from God and place them on the path to life change! (We are an outreach church – MUGS!)
Our values multiply our DNA – ???? Church believes that every person is a minister and has a purpose. We are here to equip you not to entertain you! (We are a sending church!)
God didn’t save your soul to watch ministry. He saved you to do ministry!
We are a Serving Church!
Matthew 20:28 (NIV) “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Real actively serves the poor, serves our city, and asks everyone to serve somewhere!
We are a Loving Church!
1 Peter 4:8 (NIV) “Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
Regardless of people’s past, ???? church loves everyone who walks through our doors!
If broken people can’t find love in our church there’s no reason to open the doors
We are a Worshipping Church!
Romans 12:1 “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”(Worship is action in the church and a lifestyle out of it)
The reason worshiping God is often so difficult is because worshiping ourselves is so easy!
We are a Giving Church!
2 Corinthians 9:6 “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
Real church believes in blessing and gives 15% of our budget to missions and the poor!
Generosity not only blesses others, but it also blesses you! Giving is part of our DNA.
We are a Biblical Church!
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
We don’t adjust God’s Word to fit our lifestyle. We adjust our lifestyle to fit God’s Word!
Church, we belong to each other and this is our DNA. Whose in?
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