What’s the church’s identity? I mean, what are we really all about? What’s the purpose of the church? It’s not to attend church every Sunday when you feel like it; it’s not to learn about Jesus. It’s not about being good; it’s not about being better than the world. In the bible God clearly states what the identity of the church is.
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27 NIV)
Now the body is not made up of one part but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear were to say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” and the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor, and the parts that are unpresentable we treat with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to those who lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that the parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:12-27 NIV)
Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 MSG)
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism. (Corinthian 3 NIV)
And He (Jesus) said to them all, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:23-26 ESV)
1. We were made in the image of God; therefore, we should try our hardest to be like God.
2. We are the body of Christ, and each one of us is important and indispensable.
3. Our bodies are to be used for the Lord’s glory, not our pleasure.
4. We need to set our hearts on things above. We need to live our lives according to heavenly standards, how our actions will affect eternity, not by earthly standards, for the earth is only temporary.
5. We need to put to death sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry, anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from our lips.
6. We need to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We need to forgive each other like God forgave us. We need to put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
7. We need to do everything we do in the name of Jesus. Now, let me clarify something: doing something “in the name of” someone is to do it “for the sake of”, or “for the interest of”, which would mean “to the advantage or benefit of.” So we need to do everything we do to the advantage or benefit of Jesus.
8. We need to deny ourselves and take our cross upon our shoulders for Jesus daily. In other words, we need to give away our life for the Lord; we need to be a living sacrifice.
9. We need not be ashamed of Jesus, lest He be ashamed of us when He comes back to earth.
10. And last, we need to Go and make disciples of every nation, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.