The Church Matters Charlie Boyd - 5/28/2023 Matthew 16:13-18 Audio Sermon Notes (PDF) Ask a Question SERMON SUMMARYOur summer sermon series title and the title of this message, “Church Matters,'' has a double meaning. First, church matters, meaning it is important. It’s not optional. It wasn’t an afterthought in the plan and purpose of God. The local church is the way Jesus intends to build/grow up His people in the faith, and it’s the way Jesus’ mission moves forward in the world. And second, church matters, meaning there are certain “matters” that make up a New Testament church—“matters” that make it distinct from other forms of Christian gatherings or personal worship. The “church” is a particular gathering of Christ-followers who meet in a specific location to hear and respond to God’s Word in congregational worship as they work together to move Jesus’ mission forward in the world.SERMON SCREENSHOTS & KEY POINTSKey passage: Matthew 16:13-18The church matters because it matters to Jesus. He is the architect and builder of the church. He died and rose from the dead to bring it into existence. And, He promises to preserve and protect His church until the day He comes back to put every enemy under His feet.The church matters because, by its very nature and definition, it is unique from other forms of Christian gatherings or personal worship. A “church” is a particular gathering of Christ-followers who meet in a specific location to hear and respond to God’s word in congregational worship as they work together to move Jesus’ mission forward in the world. The primary gathering Jesus had in mind when He talked about building His ekklesia/ ”church” was not the universal church (for example see Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24), but the local church. The unfolding story found in the book of Acts shows us this.The church matters because in congregational worship you can experience God in a way that’s impossible anywhere else—at least, that’s how it’s supposed to be (see the context of 1 Corinthians 14:25).Don’t let the world infect you with a low view of Jesus’ church. Don’t let imperfect Christians make you think less of Jesus’ church than He does. If Jesus loves imperfect people, maybe you can learn to do that too. Don’t tell yourself that you’re just fine on your own at the lake, watching from home, or just hanging out with a group of Christian friends. Those things aren’t bad. There’s lots of good in them, but they’re not the same as being a worshiping, contributing member of Jesus’ local gathering.Listen to the invitation extended to us by the author of Hebrews: “Let’s think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but instead—[come together to] encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25)*We are a church located in Greenville, South Carolina. Our vision is to see God transform us into a community of grace passionately pursuing life and mission with Jesus.