Is it self-aggrandizing for me to urge you to belong and be personally invested in a local church for your own sake? Statistically, one out of four church attendees are considered "church shoppers," with no real devotion to any particular local church.An estimated 15-20 million Americans have said they are Christians, but don't want to be a part of the church.We want to be certain that we already have vital truths in place before the bottom drops out from under your feet.Truths worth believing like…And the sixth truth that you need to nail down in your life is a personal commitment to a local church.Come with me to a passage that is often used about marriage, Ephesians 5. Wives I want to ask you to not be examining your husband as we walk through this passage.
Now listen, if you can see that look on the groom's face, then you have a small understanding of the intensity of Christ's love for His church. "What stands out [here]," writes John Stott, "is the sacrificial steadfastness of the heavenly Bridegroom's covenant-love for His bride." What makes this passage even more striking for me is that I am part of His church.
The marriage I have in mind is not my marriage or yours.
Nor is it the institution of marriage, which seems to be moving in dishonorable and God-ignoring directions at every turn in our country.
Scriptures: Ephesians -32In a few moments, we will take communion together, with Christ, remembering how we came to be His sons and daughters by faith, and recalibrating our lives to the incredible reality that we are loved by God.
To prepare for this time, I want to talk to you this morning about a marriage.
Some have been hurt by the church, in some cases deeply. There's a wall that rises when you come to a place like this, a kind of automatic attitude that keeps anything that might be said or done or experienced here this morning at arm's length.