This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our preaching series entitled “Living the Creed: Connecting Life and Faith in the Apostles’ Creed.” This series walks through the Apostles Creed as a basic summary of our faith but also as a way to live our faith out with God in the world. Each weekend of this series will explore the biblical and theological roots of the Apostles Creed, while also providing specific spiritual practices and approaches to living out what we know as we ‘proclaim and embody’ the Creed in our daily lives.
This weekend I continued preaching on the third article of the creed: “I believe in the holy Christian church, the communion of saints.” This automatically raises the important question for today: can I really still believe in the church?
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
Do We Really Believe in the Church?
The challenge of the church
The challenge within us
Considering what it means to believe in the church
A Church Worth Believing In
The church is holy
- Made holy in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Peter 2:9)
- Becoming holy through the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25; 1 Thessalonians 4:3)
The church is universal/catholic/Christian
- What “catholic” means and doesn’t mean
- The universal mission of the church (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8)
- The multi-everything nature of the church (Revelation 7:9-10; Galatians 3:26-29)
The church is a communion of saints
- “Communion” as community unified by Christ for Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16-17)
- What are “saints”? (Ephesians 2:19-22)
Living Out Our Belief in the Church
Seeing the church through the eyes of Jesus
Expanding our vision through the global church
Being the church through the power of the Holy Spirit
This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:
- Memorize 1 Peter 2:9 or Ephesians 4:4-6
- Are there ways you have become embittered or cynical about the church? Take some time to pray or journal about. Ask God if there is anything He is calling you to do in relation to these things? Is there any way you need to ask God to soften your heart?
- Watch the Bible Project video, “Pentecost: Acts 1-7”: https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/gospel-acts-1/
- Consider reading:
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together