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The Church Delivers No Products, It’s Meant to Be the Body of Christ

As a preacher, and having preached and been in churches from coast to coast, I have heard in conversations and (strangely) online reviews of congregations disappointment in people concerning the Church and its people, and the expectation of what they feel the Church is supposed to be versus the reality of what the Church actually is supposed to be are usually far off. All too often, people desire to have a church that makes them comfortable, caters to their needs, and one in which they have little to contribute: I come once a week, I drop money in the plate, deliver me my weekly dose of Grace, and I’ll go back to my life. The Church isn’t meant to be a product, though, it’s the Body of Christ, and each member has a role to play. As I heard one preacher say, when a body is a product, that’s prostitution.

Loved ones, we shouldn’t come to a congregation hoping to get a product that suits our liking. We should come to Christ hoping to be conformed to His image, and seek His holiness throughout every aspect of our lives. Christ did not say “Sit in your <comfortable brand> recliner and follow me…online!” He said “deny yourself, pick up your cross daily and follow after me.” Which means we have to change. We have to become like Him. We have to give up everything, yes, even our own lives, and follow after Him. The Church delivers no products. YOU are the product, conformed in to the image of Christ, so that you may be a member the body of Christ, using your gifts and talents for the glory of God and to bring others to Christ.

Philippians 2:1-18

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

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