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WHAT'S RIGHT WITH THE CHURCH?
Intro: This majestic passage uses the human institution of marriage to illustrate the relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and His Bride, the church. When we talk about the church, we need to be clear that we are speaking about every saved person wherever they may be found. You see, the word church comes from a word that means "a called out assembly." The true church is comprised of every person called out of sin and assembled together in Jesus Christ. When we think of the church, of course, we think of our local assembly. That is right and proper. Every person where, who has been saved by grace, is a true member of the church of Jesus Christ.
Now, people are always finding fault with the church. In fact, there are far too many people who are far too good at pointing out what they think is wrong in the church. Well, unless you haven't figured it out, no local church is perfect. Anytime people are involved in an organization, that organization will be far less than perfect. Therefore, if you are looking for fault, you can be sure that you will find it!
(Ill. Spurgeon tells a story of an American fruit-grower who once tried to persuade a friend to taste apples from his orchard. The friend did not accept the offer, and the fruit grower was offended. The friend frankly told the man that he had once picked up and tasted one of the apples that fell over on the other side of the wall that bordered the orchard and admitted that he had never tasted such a sour apple in his life. Relieved, the grower then explained that he had put those sour apples across the fence to discourage children from stealing from his orchard, which in reality contained some of the sweetest apples to be found in that part of the country. Many people today make the same mistake of judging a church by one "bad apple.")
Of course, if you are the kind of person who looks for fault in the church, you ought to look at your own heart first. It is evident that you have a problem! I would also like to point out the fact that, more often than not, when I have seen something I thought was wrong in the church, it has always turned out to be something wrong in my own heart instead. Tonight, I do not want to point out what is wrong with the church, I want to talk about What's Right With The Church! You might want to look around and say this or that is wrong, and needs to be fixed, but I want to let you know that I'd rather focus on what is right. And, there is plenty right with the church. Let me share that with you tonight.
I. IT HAS THE RIGHT CREATION
1 Cor. 3:11
II. IT HAS THE RIGHT COMPONENTS
Eph. 5:25-27; Eph. 1:4-5
III. IT HAS THE RIGHT COMMUNICATION
1 Cor. 15:3-4
IV. IT HAS THE RIGHT CHALLENGE
V. IT HAS THE RIGHT CONCLUSION
Conc: There's too much right with the church for people to be finding fault with her! If you have a problem with the church, then you need to talk to the Lord about it and see whether or not thee is a problem in your own heart first. I will say this, the church is too valuable to allow a few disgruntled whiners to tear her apart. So, when someone has a problem with the church, they have a problem with me! Folks, this church business is bigger than you or me! Therefore, we cannot allow anyone to tear it apart.
So, instead of finding fault with the church, why don't we rejoice in what is right with it? Why not thank God that He has blessed us with a church that is alive, growing and honored with His presence? Why not look around tonight and thank God for the people who make up this church body? I say there is plenty right with the church! That is what I want to look at. That is what I want to focus on tonight, and God helping me, that's just what I will do!
I think that I shall never see
A church that's all it ought to be:
A church whose members never stray
Beyond the strait and narrow way;
A church that has no empty pews,
Whose pastor never has the blues,
A church whose deacons always deak,
And none is proud, and all are meek;
Where gossips never peddle lies,
Or make complaints or criticize;
Where all are always sweet and kind,
And all to others' faults are blind.
Such perfect churches there may be,
But none of them are known to me.
But still, we'll work, and pray, and plan
To make our own the best we can.