Jesus Loves His Church

To know Jesus is to know his church. And to love Jesus is to love his church. This is why, as Christians, we must wrestle with what it means to be the church, not just with our ideas of it. In this sermon series, Pastor Mark spends 11 weeks exploring what the church is, why it exists, and what it means for us.

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Jesus Gives Through Us

Jesus is the most generous giver ever: he was rich but became poor, sacrificing himself to pay our debt to God. Everything we enjoy is a gift from him; we give because he’s given. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor—are you generous? Generosity is measured by sacrifice, not percentage. It’s not a question of rich or poor, but righteous or unrighteous stewardship. God loves a cheerful giver.

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Jesus Works Through Us

Jesus works through the church, the body of Christ. Like a body, the church has many members who are one. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus says we will do greater works than he did—not in kind, but in number. The church needs people like you, and unlike you. No one can say to another, “I have no need of you.” There is unity, but not uniformity; there is diversity, but there need not be division. Which part of this body are you? Where will you serve?

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Jesus Loves Us

John, the one whom Jesus loved, couldn’t stop talking about Jesus’ love. He tells God’s children to love one another, not to hate one another. “Hate” can be hot hostility or cold indifference. It can mean that you want to kill someone—like Cain did his brother Abel—or you just want to critique them. We’re more like Cain than Abel, but Jesus still loves us. Love is defined at the cross of Jesus. Stop hating others by closing your eyes to their needs. Jesus loves, then we love. Jesus serves, then we serve. Jesus gives, then we give. It starts with Jesus. He changes us so we can be more like him.

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Jesus Reconciles Us

How should Christians deal with conflict? Jesus tells us (the offenders, the offended, and those in the middle alike) how to deal with interpersonal conflict in Matthew 18:15–20. He gives us eight painful questions for reconciliation between Christians, culminating with, what does Jesus think about your behavior? Jesus the God-man is the only one who can reconcile us to both God and one another.

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Jesus Gave Us Communion

Meals are eaten with or without God throughout the Bible. Adam and Eve ate the first meal without God. Jesus, our Passover Lamb, fulfilled over 1,000 years of the Passover meal at the Last Supper and established Communion, which is about Jesus’ broken body and shed blood for sin. It’s a meal eaten with God and his repentant people. We look forward to our last meal, the wedding supper of the Lamb.

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Jesus Gave Us Baptism

Pastor Mark answers common questions about baptism, such as: What is baptism? How do we baptize? Why do we baptize? Who do we baptize? Does baptism save? Baptism is all about Jesus, his life, death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus commanded baptism, so it is an act of obedience. Turn from sin, trust in Jesus, and get baptized to show the world what Jesus did for you and that you trust in him.

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Jesus Preached the Gospel

God preaches and sends out preachers, from creation forward (OT prophets, John the Baptizer, Jesus Christ, NT apostles, and pastors today). Satan also preaches a false sermon, contradicting the Word of God, saying that God is a liar; he preached it to Adam and he’s still preaching the same sermon today. Not all preaching is biblical or honors God. True preachers preach the Bible and repentance.

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Jesus Builds His Church

Jesus said that he would build his church. The way he built his early church in Acts is the way he continues to build her today: regenerated church members, qualified leadership, preaching and worship, rightly administered sacraments (baptism and Communion), Holy Spirit unity, holiness, the Great Commandment to love, and the Great Commission to evangelize, make disciples, and plant churches.

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Jesus Gives Life

The Christian life is an amazing, supernatural life. You can’t get it from the church, or baptism, or Christian parents. It only comes from Jesus. It’s Jesus’ life coming into yours and radically transforming your whole life. When you receive the Spirit you get a new nature, new desires, and new power. You cannot live the Christian life apart from the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.