The Nature and Calling of the Church

By Joe Boot / October 7, 2012

Series The Church and Our Calling

Context Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic The Church

Scripture Malachi 4:1-6; Matthew 28:16-20

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Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20

Sermon Notes:

  1. The church is not a place where perfection is found; it is full of sinners, yet it is a true church because of God's call upon us.
  2. We may be correct and truthful, but still be lifeless if we're not living out the truth and making it known in our era.
  3. We can also err when we compromise the truth of God to be "culturally relevant."
  4. Church is more than a building, an institution, and forms; it’s the grace of faith emphasizing Christ and His Word in kingdom service.
  5. We’re the called-out people of God and we're called to serve, as children of Abraham (Isaiah 41:8-10; cf. Hebrews 11:8-19).
  6. God’s kingdom purposes have been at work in the church through all of history; we are not an afterthought, and we’re called out to fulfill God’s purposes in the world.
  7. We see two seeds in history: Cain and Abel; City of Man and City of God.
  8. The purpose of God in history is to advance the kingdom and reign of God by Christ reconciling all things to Himself.
  9. We're then to apply the righteousness, holiness, and dominion of God in every area of life.
  10. Like Christ, we’re being equipped to serve as prophet, priests and kings.
  11. We’re God’s co-labourers in His mission in the world.
  12. Our faith is built when we are in the battle, in the race, being tested as part of God’s work in history.
  13. We as Gentiles are grafted into the olive tree, receiving the blessings of Abraham.
  14. The early church was centered in Jerusalem, and spread outwards to the end of the earth. It began with the model of meeting in the family home under the rule of elders.
  15. Marcion was a cult leader who rejected the Old Testament and part of the New; this is a popular view today among Christians who simply want to go to heaven, rejecting God’s kingdom calling on their lives.
  16. The primary calling of the church is to testify to the Word made flesh and His rule in the world. We are agents of God’s reign and government in the earth.
  17. Christ is King in a parallel kingdom in the world until God puts all His enemies under His feet.
  18. We need a faith for all of life, with every sphere of activity committed to God’s Word.
  19. Our calling as a church is more than being personally nice to one another; as we grow in maturity, we are to pursue the reconciliation of all things in Jesus Christ.
  20. The church is not ego-centric. It is about God and His purposes.
  21. We are blessed in serving as we reconcile all things to Christ.
  22. We are sent out in terms of the total authority of Christ to teach, everything that has been commanded (Matthew 28:16-20).
  23. Christ shall reign on earth through the faithful action of believers. We must be Christians in our home, school, vocation, recreation, etc.

Application Questions:

  1. What is the essence of the church? How should this guide our priorities and emphasis?
  2. What is the significance of these petitions of the Lord’s Prayer: Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?
  3. Are we tempted to emphasize our church polity? Or are we part of the overarching mission of God in history?
  4. Which areas of our lives whether recreation, family, work, economics, etc. need to be brought under Christ’s reign?
  5. How is the error of Marcion manifest in the church today?
  6. We all want Jesus as our priest, but are we willing to have His kingship in our lives such that we follow His marching orders?
  7. What resources can be helpful as God's people seek to apply God’s Word to every aspect of their lives?

Our calling as a church is more than being personally nice to one another.

Sermon Notes