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|Posted August 8, 2011|
Moving the Church Back to its Original Mission
(Sermon delivered by Rev. Jacques Dady Jean at the First Congregational Church of Boston August 7, 2011)
|Rev. Jacques Dady Jean|
"Christians must be careful because God has not
allowed us to discover the imperfections of the church so we can become
proficient at identifying stains and flaws. God does not simply give us the
intelligence to identify spots and blemishes within the church, but once
identified, God empowers us, as purification operatives of the Holy Spirit to
polish the church by removing those spots and blemishes. This is your role as
Christian. Is that what Jesus Christ would do?"
Rev. Jacques Dady Jean
Good morning, may the peace of the Lord be with you. As you have already witnessed, Rev. Brooks is not among us this morning. I spent two hours with him last night at the hospital, and he asked me to replace him this morning. I am grateful for the confidence that Rev. Brooks has placed in me and for the opportunity that the Lord gives me this morning to stand here and to propagate his Gospel.
I am asking you to open your bible and read Rom 10:9-17.
My sermon today is based on (Rom. 10:9-17) Moving the Church Mission Into the Mission of the Church. Let me first remind you about the basic purpose of the church. The term "church" translated from the Greek word ekklesia emerges more than one hundred times in the New Testament. Literally, church means "the called out of the mainstreamĒ. When the term "church" is used in connection with Christ as in "church of Christ" (Rom. 16:16), it is considered as an invitation to join the Christian community. Therefore, we can affirm that the Christians are called by the gospel, out of the world of darkness into the glorious light of the kingdom of God. It is written in (Romans 1:16; Colossians 1:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9). The various designations given to the church in the scriptures emphasize its nature and characteristics.
Last night as I was striving to put my thoughts together over this theme of
"Moving the Church Mission Back Into The Mission of the Church", I saw it as an
almost never-ending topic. Just the theme or the topic itself suggests that the
church is not where it ought to be, it is a sad reality. The objective of our
new church movement is to shift the church from its present condition unto itís
intended destination. This is a tremendous ambition and I am glad to be a part
of this holy mission. The real church shall not be an economic opportunity or a
political platform; it must be a place of worship.
According to the scripture, Christ established his church to preach the gospel to all nations of the world. This is quite obvious after reading the progressive steps that Jesus instructed to the apostles. As far as the record goes, the last words that Jesus spoke before his ascension were the following: ďAll authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I command you: I am and I will be always with you, even unto the end of the world.Ē (Matt. 28:18-20). Although, in different terms, Mark used the same recommendations: ďGo ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.Ē (Mark 16:15-16). Christís final order before he left was to preach his gospel to every creature on earth throughout the generations.
What was this gospel that our Lord mentioned? Every one of you in this assembly should be able to respond, ďThe good news of Christ.Ē In order words, ďeverything that Jesus said and everything that Jesus did as recorded in the books of the New Testament.Ē Apostle Paul also gave a definition of the gospel near the end of the I Corinthian letter when he said, ďNow I make known unto you, brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you ...Ē He then proceeded to emphasize the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord. In short, the gospel is the message of Christ as proclaimed in his own words and by his life. It is a story of indefinite love, the message of the redemption story of mankind.
preacher should not need anyone, to tell him that he is out of the scope of the
true Gospel of the Lord. Through the radio talk shows, even from a few of my
students, I have heard that many folks, including preachers, are critical of the
church, some of them are quick to point out the imperfections of the church,
they focus on the problem of spots and blemishes in the church, instead of
focusing on the solution. We, as Christians, must focus on how we will bring the
true Gospel to the nations as the Lord ordered us to do.
Christians must be careful because God has not allowed us to discover the imperfections of the church so we can become proficient at identifying stains and flaws. God does not simply give us the intelligence to identify spots and blemishes within the church, but once identified, God empowers us, as purification operatives of the Holy Spirit to polish the church by removing those spots and blemishes. This is your role as Christian. Is that what Jesus Christ would do?
God is looking for a church without spot or blemish, there is no doubt about it. This is the reason why I am standing here this morning but that does not mean that the church is perfect, it means that God is looking for a church that has allowed itself to be purified by the Holy Spirit. Because the church is made up of people, some of us are ordained ministers, some of us are confused and are looking for the truth, some of us are looking for a relationship and others are blessed to be believers but none of us are perfect and I just happen to be one of those people. As a result, Iíve come to the conclusion that Iím nowhere near perfect, nor will I ever be perfect while on this side of Glory. As my Lord Jesus Christ allows me to see the light of redemption and I understand the consequence of sin and the benefits of being a child of God I am taking the opportunity that the Lord allowed me to be cleansed by his blood through the gift of forgiveness, I made the right choice and I am trying to clean the church.
I love this statement; "The church is an imperfect place, made of imperfect people." Everybody ought to come to church, because everybody has imperfections. Some churches may decide to exclude an individual or a group of people in our society. This is wrong, the church was not created for the perfect but a place for the imperfect to find the opportunity to learn the word of God and be given the opportunity to benefit from the salvation.
We should be different from
the ignorant and we expect Christians to have a different attitude toward the
church. Even those who never grace us with their presence in the House of
the Lord have their solution on how to fix the church, believe me, Iíve heard
them on local radio shows proposing, with arrogance, their solutions to fix the
church. Isnít it amazing that folks who never go to church know exactly how to
fix the church... they even know everything thatís going on in the church.
I donít need anyone to tell me how to fix the church, I donít need any non-believer, I donít need a Ph. D. in theology to know how to fix the church, nor am I going to those who have allowed political activism and money power to take over the church for advice on how to fix it. In my search for direction of our churchís movement, I talk to Jesus Christ because He is the founder of his church. He procured the church with His own blood... Heís the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls... that was His Spirit that infused the church together to become one body.
I was in a store browsing the bookshelves and my eyes spotted a small book in which I read a text which boldly declares the eternal importance of gospel preachers in the world. I sincerely believe it was the Lord who led me to this text. And when I say preacher, Iím not speaking about my fellow colleagues who had the opportunity to go to bible school or theology school. Iím speaking of every preacher in every corner of the universe whose life has been dedicated to propagate the true Gospel of the Lord, whose soul has been instructed by the Lord, and whose spirit has been shaped by the Spirit of God.
If youíve been born again, youíve been baptized into the body of Christ, you are a minister; in the body of Christ every member is a minister. As a pastor of the First Congregational Church, I would ordain as a minister every Christian who can testify in the name of Jesus. If youíve been born again, youíve been embodied by the Spirit of God, according to Acts 1:8, God gave us His Spirit to empower us to be witnesses unto Him and His gospel. Come to me, I will approve your work and ordain you as a minister by the power and authority that the Lord places on me.
Letís take our responsibility to save the church of our Christ Jesus.
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