Text: Exo 25v8, Matt 21v12-14, Luke 13v10, John 2v16
The church is given many definitions but with reference to this sermon the church will be defined as the house of: God, prayer, worship, praise, a temple, a Sanctuary, spiritual and physical healing. Also, it is a place of succor, honour and a place where the word of God is taught and learnt. It is the Lord’s house where fellow believers and worshippers are found.
Jesus said in Matt 21v13 “My Temple will be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” The church is not a house for buying and selling. Jesus said in John 2v16 to those who sold doves “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market.” The church is not a house of fashion, not a house for networking, not for gossip. It is a Holy place and it should be kept clean. God is looking for true worshippers; endeavour to become one of them. It is a house of expectations. Always go to Church with expectations and never go there ‘empty handed.’ That is, go before the Lord with praises, thanksgiving, your substance and with your heart, spirit, soul, and body. It is nice to be reminded the real purpose of going to church.
You go to church to worship your maker and your redeemer. Psalm 95v1 says “O come let us sing unto the Lord, let us make joyful noise to the rock of our Salvation.” John 4v23 says “But the hour cometh, and now is when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth for the Father seeketh such to the worship.” God expects you to go to church for worship. Any purpose or mission contrary to this negates God’s purpose.
John 4v24 says “God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” Be truthful and faithful in the church. Heb 3v5 says “Jesus was faithful to Him that appointed Him as also Moses was faithful in all His house.” That is, Moses was faithful in God’s house. Ex 25v8 says “And let them make me a Sanctuary that I may dwell among them.”
The Church is a dwelling place of God. Honour and reference God by your attitude, comportment, and behavior. Dressing to the Church should be moderate. Your dressing must not cause anybody to stumble in lust. Dressing is to cover your nakedness. Church is not a fashion house or fashion parade ground. Be mindful of your dress. Psalm 29v2 says “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name, worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness”. In the early Church, the people were great worshippers, no wonder there were manifestations of Power, Miracles and Healing.
The Church is a place where the Word is taught. Luke 13v10 says “And He was teaching in one of the Synagogues on the sabbath”. Here Jesus Himself was teaching and He even healed on this particular occasion. Apart from teaching, healing can be received in the Church.
Luke 20v1 says “And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel the Chief Priests and the Scribes came upon Him with the elders.” As a Minister or Priest, you are to teach the undiluted and unadulterated word of God, to preach, to admonish, to rebuke and correct in love. You are not to extort, exploit or confuse the congregation. Honour the house of God and use it appropriately, so that Holy Ghost fire can fall and you can be empowered. The Word being taught is “a Lamp unto your feet and a Light unto your path.”
The Church is a place for spiritual growth. As you teach, preach, admonish or learn you grow in grace and in the knowledge of the word. You also move to perfection in most things.2 Peter 3v18 says “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”. God’s grace will always be sufficient for you to do many things.
The Church is a house of prayer. It was in the Church that people rose to pray for Peter and he was set free, for God answered the members’ prayer. Jesus said that His Father’s house is a house of prayer. Matt 21v13. The Church is a solution centre and a place of Succour. Brethren, when you enter the Church, the first thing to do is to kneel and pray to God before you ever talk to someone or greet. The Trinity is already there waiting for you.
You also go to church to serve. Jesus said in John 5v17 “My Father is always working and so am I”. Brethren, the Lord saved you by His grace to serve him. Do not bury your talent. Jesus said in John 9v4 “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day, the night cometh, when no man can work”. Serve God in any capacity you are privileged. “All you needed His hands had provided”. Either as a teacher, a counsellor, an usher, a choir, prayer champion, pastor, prophet, evangelist, an apostle, be ready to serve.
John 14v12 says “verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my father”. Do you know that if you serve God diligently the promise in John 14v13 is your portion? It says “If you shall ask anything in my name I will do it”. Do not be an onlooker in the church! Get involved in the master’s business. Tell others about Christ. He has empowered you to do all things. Phi 4v13.
You can give your talents, time and substance to support the work of God, to assist the poor and the needy. Be ready to give willingly. God loves a cheerful giver. Also use your given talent wisely. Emulate the examples of people like Joanna, Susanna, Mary Magdalene who supported Jesus’ Ministry while on earth with their substance. Exo 25v1-2 says“ The Lord said to Moses, tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give”.
God expects you to give willingly. Give your tithe, offerings and vows. Be ready to assist others in need and to grow spiritually. Any association in the church must be spiritually driven.
If your purpose of going to the church differs from above, have a rethink!
May the Lord help you to know the real purpose of going to church and empower you to act according to that purpose. In Jesus name I pray. (Amen).