This past Sunday we officially began a new sermon series called "Mere Churchianity." Our goal is to grasp an understanding of what the church is and how that applies to Goshen Baptist Church. Although the previous two weeks have been centered on the church (one on the role of the church in suffering and the other on unity), we officially begin with a study of the story of the church.
There are a number of things to grasp from this story. First, we are part of God's divine story. God has blessed, redeemed, and built our church for the purpose of blessing others and being a light unto the nations which then results in His name being glorified. It is all about Him. It is not about us. So any attempt to make the church about us - our wants, needs, desires, traditions, etc. - misses the point of the church's existence. We exist to glorify God and we glorify God by being His light unto the world.
Secondly, this is why holiness is so important. The church is the Kingdom of God in miniature, thus when people think of Goshen, do they see holiness on display, or something else. The local church is made up of individual believers that make a collective whole. Holiness is critical to being a light.
I strongly encourage you to download the notes which offer a more in-depth study. I had to skip a number of passages due to time (like Revelation). Also, I encourage you to buy and read the book Light to the Nations, A: The Missional Church and the Biblical Story which was a huge influence and guide in this sermon. I have not found another book yet that surveys the entire Bible in an attempt to understanding what God is doing in His Church.
Sermon - July 24, 2011 | 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 - I Pray, Therefore I Am: The Emptiness of a Privatized Faith & Why Comfort Is Meant to Be Shared
Sermon - July 31, 2011 | Ephesians 2:11-22 - Brown & Black Don't Make Gray: Art, The Gospel, and Church Unity
Sermon - September 27, 2009 - Matthew 16:13-21: Don't Just Stand There. Do Something!
Sermon - Ephesians 4:12: How God Grows His Church
GBC - This is Who We Are: What a Baptist Is and Believes - The Church
GBC - The Church As Family
GBC - Do We Want a Museum or a Movement?
GBC - Cool Churches Are Empty Churches: The Wall Street Journal Wakes Us Up
GBC - Are We Contemporvant?
GBC - "Christ, Christ Baby!": Why I Do Not Seek to Be Relevant
GBC - How To Grow a Church and Fill It With Unconverted Believers: A Humorous But Sad Video
GBC - Will They Stay?: Rainer on Returning Guests
GBC - Me Church
GBC - A Divine Kick in the Pants: Jim Elliot and the Call to Go Out
Blogizomai - Accomodationism Breed Irrelevancy: Why Liberalism Fails and the Transcendent Gospel Triumphs
Reviews - "Do Hard Things"
Theology - Mohler: Youth Ministry in a New Key? Substance Over Sugar-Coating
Theology - Lets Get Back to Ministry: When Entertainment Creeps into the Church
Theology - Old Enough to Know Better. But I'm Still Too Young To Care
Reviews - "Start Right Here"
Reviews - "Already Gone"