The Origin of the Local Church

How important is the church?

I have been a pastor for over 25 years and I have been a follower of Jesus for 45.  If I have not learned anything else in all my experience, I have learned that the most important elements of the Christian life are time with God in prayer, time with God in His Word, and time with God’s people, specifically through local church involvement.  I have also learned that those are the things Satan most wants to keep us from.

Now I think we all know those first two items are important.  I’ve never heard anyone give a serious argument against them, but what seems to be optional in so many minds is the third element – time with God’s people through local church involvement.  When it comes to church involvement, Satan has not just worked at keeping Christians busy elsewhere, something he is very good at by the way, but he has successfully downplayed the value of church in many minds.  Satan has also succeeded in corrupting the church, causing it to look nothing like what God intended.  Furthermore, our American culture has produced an extreme individualistic and consumer mindset that is resistant to the spiritual community God wants to develop amongst His children.

In this series, I want to address all these issues.  This first sermon will begin the series by showing where the idea of church came from, and what the essentials are that define a biblical church.  I will show from Scripture that God has always intended for His followers to exist and grow in spiritual community; that it is essential to functioning as God intended.

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