[00:00:00] So today we're going to begin a brand new series, and I'm always excited when we begin a new series, because it's just being able to launch out kind of on new territory. And what we're going to do is we're going to talk about a series. We're calling it Foundations, alright?
[00:00:12] It's kind of the bedrock of our church. It's kind of the idea of how it all works and how it all holds together. And what we are going to talk about in this series is how to build a faith that endures. We're going to talk about this because tragically the pandemic and the racial strife and the economic fears and the... we can go on... has spun a lot of people in ways they never thought they could be spun. And so we're going to talk about this. How do you have a faith that makes it through the tough times? And again, I'm sure I'm talking to people who have a faith that made it through the tough times. We're gonna talk about how to strengthen this thing, alright?
[00:00:50] We're gonna cause you to think deeply about your faith. How did you come to faith? What were the circumstances? What is this thing in your life? How do you [00:01:00] benefit from your faith? And there's two questions that we're going to chase after. Really, how do I know if I have faith? And that's not as easy of an answer, a question to answer, as you might think it is.
[00:01:10] How do I know of have faith? And then the second thing, how can I grow in my faith? How can I have even more faith? So we're going to go after these questions and we're just going to break it down. Now I want to say something that is going to be counterintuitive, alright? Now you might not agree with this and that's okay.
[00:01:25] But I want to challenge you to think about something- the longer you have been in the faith, the less you probably think about the faith. No, no, no, not that you don't care, you care, but the longer you you've been in the faith, the more it's just intuitive to you. The more it's just there, the more it's just the way it is.
[00:01:43] The longer you've been in the faith, the longer it was when you weren't in the faith. And for some people, they, I don't even remember what that was like. If you're new to the faith, you're in a different boat. If you're new to the faith, you've come through a storm of personal reflection. You [00:02:00] have vigorously had to think through.
[00:02:02] You have faced questions about Jesus, you have faced concerns and doubts, and you've gone through all kinds of inner gymnastics. And if you're here and you're a person of faith, it's because you worked through it and you came to peace with all the, just the challenges of what it means to be a person of faith.
[00:02:19] But the longer you've been in it the longer ago that was, and then it's almost like we can just become creatures of habit. We just believe cause we just believe. Now, let me ask you a question. Do you ever believe in something just because you believe in it? In other words, do you ever do anything, but you just do it cause you do it and you don't even know why you do it?
[00:02:36] Faith can be like that. Christianity can be. I just, I dunno. I just never think of it. I can't imagine nothing. I just do. This is what I do. Uh, so I'm reminded of this woman who grew up from her mom learned how to cook and she was teaching her daughter. So I'm talking about the middle one here, teaching her daughter how to cook and it was the holidays.
[00:02:57] And so they were baking a ham. And [00:03:00] so she pulled out a ham and she was explaining to her daughter now, you know, this is what we do. And we got to first thing we've got to do, we've got to cut the ends off the ham and we've got the ends off the ham and they put the ham in the pan. They put the pan in the oven and then the daughter asks mom.
[00:03:13] She said, mom, I'm just confused. Why, why do we, why did we cut the ends off the ham? And she said, well, honey, you have to cut the ends off the ham. And then the daughter said, well, I don't really know why, why did you have to cut the ends off the ham? She goes, we wouldn't cook it without cutting the ends off.
[00:03:29] And she goes, well, why I don't get it. Why? And she goes, you just, because! You just, you just gotta do that. And then she said, mom, that makes absolutely no sense. Now here's the point- for the first time in her life, mom actually thought about the pointlessness of cutting off the ends of the ham. And she goes, you know, I've never really considered why we do that, but my mom always did that and I learned to do that and I've always done it.
[00:03:53] And, and so the two of them said, well, let's call grandma and ask why. [00:04:00] So they called her up and she says, we've been making a ham. We cut the ends off, like you taught me. And, and then she's asking me, and I for the life of me or what mom, why, why did you cut the ends off the ham? And she said, Oh, darling, that was obvious, honey, honey, honey.
[00:04:15] That's the only way I could fit the ham in the only pan that I had. You had to cut the ends off the ham. So how much of your faith in God in Jesus is just there because it's just there? You follow Christianity just because? You have faith, just because? Why, why do you follow, if you do, why do you follow Jesus?
[00:04:40] Why do you follow Jesus? Why do you walk in this walk and walk in this way? Have you given him a shot? It's been so long, but, but see if you think about it, if you follow Jesus, you ought to be able to articulate why you follow Jesus. When's the last time you've articulated to someone why you follow Jesus?
[00:04:59] When's the last time you [00:05:00] sat someone down and said let me just explain it to you. This is why. Now scripture is very, very clear. And Peter who failed the test was put on the spot and choked. He said this, but in your heart, this one referring to when the little girl pressed him about the crucifixion or the arrest of Jesus, but in your heart, revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
[00:05:26] So whenever somebody wants to know, you gotta be able to put it into words. But if you've never thought about it or haven't thought about it for a long time, you're going to choke on the test. And if you're like me, I don't like tests. Amen. Anyone. How many of you liked it? When the teacher said, Hey, pull out a pencil and paper, and we're going to see what you actually know.
[00:05:45] I don't like tests. But you know, scripture literally tells us to test ourselves? That you're supposed to test yourself. In fact, you ought to test yourself and not on an easy sliding curve. Let me show you this. This is from 2 Corinthians 13:5. Examine [00:06:00] yourselves to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.
[00:06:03] Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you? Unless of course you you fail the test. So I think that means we ought to think really hard about what we think about our faith. I think we should think hard about it. And so we're going to wrestle with this, alright. Could you defend, could you graciously, kindly explain to somebody why you believe what you believe? Now, here's the dilemma. Alright, now listen carefully. All right. Here's the dilemma. So many of us went through. A lot of us were handed the faith by our parents to us. And as we were growing up, we were going to church. Our parents said we should go to church. And we went to church and we learned stuff at church.
[00:06:47] And often this is what happened. So listen carefully, because this is really an important point. So often would happen is our kids would come to us, and they would have hard questions of the faith. And they would ask mom and dad, you the hard questions. And you knew [00:07:00] you were put on the spot, you knew your faith was being tested.
[00:07:03] And did you ever, do you ever remember shutting down those conversations? Cause you were uncomfortable. Do you ever remember going, uh, yeah. Uh, and then redirecting them back to the church? You ever done this? It's very common. So in other words, your kid comes home, ask you the question, stumps you, you don't know, you don't want to look stupid.
[00:07:22] And so you basically, you say whatever you say, and then you send them back, you go, you know what, honey, why don't you go talk to Caleb about that? Caleb would be a Kate would be a great choice. Why don't you go get Kyle and go talk to Kyle? And we head them off to one of our youth staff for one of our children's staff and they go, and they do their best to answer the question, but see, we didn't pass the test because we were put on the spot by the people who look most to us to have validation for the faith that's budding and growing inside them.
[00:07:54] Now, let me tell you the way this plays out. Let me tell you the problem. So. If questions [00:08:00] don't get answered and they didn't actually go back and resolve those issues, what happens to many people, and this is, you know, this, is they go to college and they end up in some class, maybe a world religion class or something along that line where they thought they were going to grow their faith.
[00:08:17] And they get some skeptical agnostic, atheistic professor who just delights and revels in destroying the faith of young people. And they start firing off these things and our kids sit there and they're like deer in the headlights, never heard of this and don't know what to say. And it blows them out.
[00:08:39] It's an important issue. Folks, a lot is riding on it. You know, tragically. So many of us now I'm going to say something. And again, I don't stand up here to offend people. I do stand up here to challenge people, but I'll tell you what the tragedy is for so many of us, we are simply what our parents are. Or were, what do, I mean, [00:09:00] a lot of Christians simply borrowed the faith of their parents and stuck it into their life.
[00:09:07] In other words. So if, if your parents were Lutherans, it's very unlikely and I'm not picking on any of these groups there, that's not the point, but if they were Lutherans then you grew up, I'm a Lutheran. And if somebody asks you, what is a Lutheran.
[00:09:24] I am. I'm what a Lutheran is. Doesn't have to be a Lutheran, it could be a Baptist, could be a Methodist. Could be any of those. It could be a Catholic. I'm a Catholic, why are you a Catholic? Because my parents were Catholics. Of course I'm a Catholic. It could also be a Jehovah's witness or any other. It's just because I've never really thought about it.
[00:09:44] I've never had to really think about it. When are you really going to think about it? See, we're talking about the difference between borrowing your faith and owning your faith and folks. The difference between borrowing and owning when it comes to faith is it's bigger than the difference between borrowing and owning a [00:10:00] rental car.
[00:10:01] Now, let me explain. How many of you have ever, I've never done this personally. Yes, I have. So have you, how many of you ever rented a car and treated it differently than you would treat your own car? You want to know how fast your car will go? Get a rental car. I'm kidding. I'm having fun.
[00:10:24] People do to rental cars, what they would never do to their own car. Can anyone go yeah, I get it. Anyone. Oh, Tyler, come on. Come on church. You are in the house of God. He's watching you. He knows how you drive rental cars. So a rental car gets treated one way and your own car gets treated a different way.
[00:10:45] What's the difference? It's all about ownership. That's it. Let me ask you a simple question. People of faith, do you plan to have your faith for a long time? It's how you treat it. It's how [00:11:00] you approach it. It's how you value it. It's how you nurture it, how you care for it. And it makes, uh, it makes all the difference.
[00:11:06] So we're going to talk about foundations. The message is simply titled a faith of your own, a faith of your own. Not, it's not your parents. It's not your friends. It's not your spouse. It's not your significant other. It's yours. It's, it's a faith of your own. And I'm just going to throw this big idea out and it should be obvious what this means at this point.
[00:11:25] A borrowed faith will not sustain you throughout a lifetime of trials and difficulties. This is the issue. A borrowed faith will not sustain you throughout a lifetime of trials and difficulties. It just won't go the distance. And so you gotta wrestle with what's your faith. What does it really what's it mean to you?
[00:11:45] And. What we're gonna, I'm going to show you something. I hope. I'll see, you'll see this, but go ahead and open your Bibles to John chapter three. And while you're finding John chapter three, and again on all of our campus, just take a moment, just stop and go find John [00:12:00] three in your Bible. And this would be a really good time for me to say what I have said many, many, many hundreds of times, uh, make a habit to bring your Bible when you come to church. Now, we can't always because of the nature of the message go straight to one scripture and just, you know, dissect one passage. So a lot of times we're moving because we're trying to show you the, kind of the collage of scripture over a subject. But my favorite way of teaching the Bible is just go to a scripture.
[00:12:24] So go to John chapter three and we get to do that today. And as you're doing that, I want to just take a moment and make sure you understand the mission of our church, right? And then some of you have come to us through the pandemic. You found us online and. Uh, you're local. And so you've ended up on one of our campuses, which is awesome.
[00:12:45] Uh, but you might not know this fundamental thing about what this church is built upon. It's this simple idea right here. This is our mission statement. It's as simple as we know how to make it: leading people to discover and fully own faith in Jesus. [00:13:00] To discover, because if you don't know who Jesus is, you're going to miss out.
[00:13:03] So we gotta do everything we can do to help people coming to know Jesus to, to discover who Jesus is, but to fully own your faith is this subject right here that this becomes your faith. That, that it's, it's not, it's not an addendum. It's not somebody else's addition built onto your house. It's your faith.
[00:13:23] It's crucial. All right. So if you'll just find John chapter three, and if you haven't gotten there yet, let me just explain what you're looking for. So the Bible is broken up and let me just give you a real quick. Crash course, it's, it's, there's two halves, but they're not haves. This is about two thirds.
[00:13:38] And about a third, the first two thirds is what's called the old covenant. That was the covenant between God and the ancient Israelite people. All right. That is everything up to the time of Jesus Christ. So you got, you got Moses and David and the Kings and all of that. The prophet, the major prophets of the old Testament, all of that is the old covenant that had [00:14:00] Leviticus would explain how you would deal with sin. You'd sacrifice animals. That was the old covenant. And then about two thirds in, you can see it switches over and then it's called the new covenant, the new Testament. This is the new deal, if you would, between us and God, this is the old deal. And this is the new deal alright. Not new deal politically, but new deal in sense of this is how the new covenant will work.
[00:14:26] And the new covenant will not be about shedding the animal of the blood of animals, which is the old covenant. It will be the, the shed blood of Jesus that will take away your sins. It's the new covenant in his blood. That's the idea of the new covenant. All right. But it begins with the book of Matthew.
[00:14:43] Now this is important, again, just foundational. So you can know how to read your Bible. The first four books of the new covenant are biographies of Jesus and the, you know, what a biography is this when somebody writes about somebody's life. So there were four guys who followed Jesus around and basically recorded [00:15:00] what they saw. All right. So Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were all insiders as it were to the life of Jesus and they wrote their account in those four biographies. So if you want to start reading the new covenant, you're going to read the same story four times over, and you might be wondering, does this ever change.
[00:15:19] They are biographies of Jesus. The fourth one is the one we're going to look at. That's the gospel of John. It's different than the other three, and it was written much later than the original three, but it has a perspective that is incredibly insightful. And that's what we're always looking for when it comes to the word of God.
[00:15:36] So we're going to just jump in here and this is where we're going to be going. John chapter three. Verses one to nine. Now I'm going to break as I read this, so I can just explain a couple of things. Now, there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus, who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. Let me stop here.
[00:15:54] Okay. Now the Pharisees were the set apart ones. The Pharisees were the most zealous, the [00:16:00] most intensely religious people of the Jewish tribe as it were. Okay. The Jewish nation, they were the ones who took everything literally. I mean, literally we're going to do everything meticulously the way it was scripted.
[00:16:12] And there was a guy them named Nicodemus Nicodemus is the, he's the main character of this passage Nicodemus. And it also tells you he was a member of the Jewish ruling council. What was that? That was called the Sanhedrin, the Sanhedrin was made up of 70 men. It was like the Jewish high court. Or the Supreme court of the Jewish nation.
[00:16:32] Now the Jewish nation is subservient to the Roman empire, but they're operating as if you know, this is how we function. So you need to understand Nicodemus is a big deal. He is a big wig. He is somebody important. And then I need you to see the next verse chapter two. It begins with this, he came to Jesus at night and said, now we've got to stop here.
[00:16:55] He came to Jesus at night. Why did he come to Jesus at night?
[00:17:02] [00:17:00] Because he was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He was a high standing Pharisee and he was afraid to be seen in public with Jesus. That's exactly what is going on here. He knows there's a lot to lose if I am seen in the presence of Jesus. But he's got this strange curiosity, that's driving him and he's like so many of us.
[00:17:31] I want to know, but I'm a little afraid of what I find out. And if you keep reading verse two, in fact, I think it is going to come up here. He says this to Jesus. He says, rabbi, we know we're not dumb. We know that you are a teacher who has come from God. It it's pretty obvious what we're seeing for no one could perform the signs you are doing.
[00:17:53] If God were not with him now, here's all you need to understand from this question. We cannot figure [00:18:00] you out. We cannot figure you out. We know who you are. It's really scary to think about who you are, but you intrigue us. And this is the beginning of faith in anybody's life. You got to get intrigued. Now I want to warn you about being intrigued by Jesus.
[00:18:18] All right. Most of us are here today because one day we were intrigued by Jesus. When you are intrigued by Jesus, he has a way of pulling you in and I'll show you why he pulls you in. But, but when you're intrigued by Jesus, you just have questions. And when you're intrigued by Jesus, I'm going to give you a heads up folks.
[00:18:35] Jesus will begin to mess with you. He'll, he'll kind of get in your, in your thinking. All right. And, uh, it's a great mess. I mean, it's a great thing he does. But it will, it will mess with you. He's intrigued, but he's afraid. He's afraid for the exact same reason many of us are afraid to pursue Jesus and our faith and grow it.
[00:18:53] What will my friends think? What will my peers think? That's his issue. That's why he's here at night. [00:19:00] I don't know. Uh, what would they say? What would my bud say? You know, what would. And so he's got this dilemma he's sorting through. We'll just, and again, I've got to hustle here, pick it back up here in three.
[00:19:13] Um, Jesus replied, well, very, truly I tell you no one can see the kingdom of God unless they were born again. So Jesus goes, Hey, there's one way of getting a mess with you. I want to throw an idea at you. Jesus says I'm going to talk to you about being born again. Now, Nicodemus has never probably heard the phrase born again.
[00:19:30] You probably have heard the phrase. I don't understand it maybe, but you've heard it. Unless you've been born again. You don't have a chance. And then Nicodemus starts factoring. The only thing he knows about being born again, and he says, how can somebody be born when, when they are old Nicodemus asked. Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother's womb to be born.
[00:19:50] He's thinking it's literal that Jesus is speaking about literally physically being born again. And Jesus is saying, no, no, no. If you want to have spiritual [00:20:00] life Nicodemus, you're going to have to go through a birth. You're going to have to go through a new beginning. You're going to have to start over and then if you pick it up in verse five, we'll just see.
[00:20:09] So Jesus answered Nicodemus. Very truly. I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, you must be born again. Nicodemus is trying to process all of this.
[00:20:26] And he starts to realize Jesus is talking about a different kind of birth, not a physical, but a spiritual birth, where something's going to begin. Then he says this, and this is kind of cryptic. All right. The wind blows, wherever it pleases, you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from and where it's going.
[00:20:46] So it is with everyone born of the spirit. What does that mean? You're not going to control, this is not going to be at your whim. You're not going to be in charge. If the spirit takes over your life, the spirit will take you with the breeze of the spirit wants to take you, Nicodemus. Are you ready for that?
[00:21:00] [00:21:00] That is what the life of faith is. It's it's coming to God and it's surrendering control, and you're saying, God, just take me wherever you want me to go. Now that's a scary proposition and we think we've done it until a crisis hits. And then God is trying to blow us a certain direction and we put our heels down or stick our roots down or whatever we do so that we will not be blown and taken that direction.
[00:21:23] Um, you must be born again. You must be born to the spirit and literally you have to lift Jesus up. He's got to become your primary thing you stare at, which we'll talk about especially actually next week, but you got to lift Jesus up, right. And focus on him. Now I want to just point something out because I've got to jump out of here.
[00:21:41] I'm not gonna have time. Here's what I need you to understand. Jesus fully wants Nicodemus to discover who he is. He's not being elusive. He's not being obtuse. He's not trying to obfuscate, you know, all sorts of he's trying. He's not trying to make it hard. He's trying to make it clear. You're gonna [00:22:00] have to come under the leading of the spirit of God.
[00:22:02] He's trying to explain that to him and, and you know how you know now, listen, I'm going to say something that probably the most important thing I'm going to say in this message. I'm gonna say right here, you don't want to miss this. You know how, you know the difference between having borrowed faith and having real faith that you own is borrowed faith never asks hard questions. Never does. Owned faith always asks hard questions. You see Nicodemus is asking questions. That's what you need to see here. So he's coming in, he's going to this. And then Jesus says this and the Nicodemus says this, you see his mind is working. It's not on autopilot. He's thinking about, I don't understand how am I going to be born again?
[00:22:44] And then, and then what do you mean the wind? And so you're saying this is the difference. All right. Now here's the problem with so many of us. Why I said, when I started this message, why I said that for so many of us, our faith has just been on autopilot from the time that we began. We thought about it, then [00:23:00] we haven't thought a lot about it because we stopped asking questions because somebody told us you're not supposed to ask questions when it comes to God.
[00:23:07] And you don't ask questions when you come to church and we've learned to dumb down our reasoning, which is why our faith doesn't get deeper because in a crisis we're living off of faith we maybe inherited from our parents when we were kids. Not our own personal journey. You see so many people think that, uh, to question something you hear at churche is, you know, that's anathema.
[00:23:30] That is like, that, that is in, in Acts. It says the Bereans were more noble than they, they were like very noble because they even question what Paul said and that's a noble thing the scripture says. But so many of us think it's just rude. Like it's like the Sunday school teacher. First grade Sunday school teacher at church, she was teaching her kids.
[00:23:52] And so she held up a picture and it was a picture of a squirrel. And she said, okay, boys and girls, who knows what this is? [00:24:00] And the class looked at it, one girl raises her hand timidly. She raises her hand and she can see, and she raised her hand. She says, well, um, uh, I know the answer is Jesus, but it looks like a squirrel to me.
[00:24:14] If you don't understand that I can't help you. Okay. We just think there's a right answer and that's the only acceptable answer. And it's always about Jesus and it's, you know, and again, it's often about Jesus on what don't misunderstand. Okay. So I've got to show you something, just jump over here. You're there.
[00:24:31] Just flip over real quick to John chapter seven, I just got, I got to do this very, very quickly. So. Jump over here to John 7:45. I gotta show you what happens here. Right? So it's coming into the story. Okay. And Jesus is doing his thing and they send some people out to get him to arrest him. And then it says this in verse 45, follow this.
[00:24:53] Right? Finally, the temple guards went back to the chief priests, those religious leaders I was telling you about and the Pharisees who, who [00:25:00] asked him, why didn't you bring him in? You were sent out to go get Jesus. Why didn't you bring him in. And the, the guards say no one ever spoke the way this man does.
[00:25:12] Wait. Yeah. We got to listening to him and I'm telling you, you know, like our minds were blown and then you mean, so this is the leader. So the religious leaders, you mean, he is deceived you also the Pharisees retorted. Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No, but this mob that knows nothing of the law, there is a curse on them.
[00:25:35] Now you've got to understand they're getting uptight because Jesus is like, they're figuring out this guy has come from God. This is a problem to their whole system. All right. Now look at verse 50, 50 Nicodemus. Here's our guy who had gone to Jesus earlier, we just saw that. And who was one of their own number, we saw that, asked. Hey, excuse me. Hang on. Just a moment. Does [00:26:00] our law condemn a man, without first hearing him to find out what he's been doing, and then they reply to one of their own. You want to know how uptight they're getting about Jesus? Are you from Galilee too? Look into it and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee. Mind shut, issue, closed. Nicodemus is having internal stuff, he's asking questions going. Hey, wait guys. What is, is it possible? This what's going through Nicodemus' mind, is it possible that I've given my entire life to the wrong cause? Is it possible that I have given my heart to the wrong savior? And folks, that's an incredible question to ask yourself, have you've given your life to the wrong cause? I don't know.
[00:26:45] What'd you give your life to? Well, I know, you know, you it's easy to say I gave it to Jesus, but honestly, did you? Did you give it to your business? Did you give it to your family? Did you give it to...I could go on. [00:27:00] Whatever you got to wrestle with that, and Nicodemus is wrestling with it. Okay. I got one more real fast jump over to, I think it's John 19. It's going to jump up here, John, John chapter 19, I just got to show you just don't want to miss this. Okay. So Jesus has been crucified. And they killed him. And we're at the end of the book, we're at the end of the gospel of John, but look at verse 38. Oh, this is so interesting. So later, uh, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus.
[00:27:30] Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but catch this, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders, see Joseph is going, if they know that I believe the way I believe there'll be an enormous price. Now he hasn't worked through that just yet. But with Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night and [00:28:00] Nicodemus brought a mixture of spices to anoint the body.
[00:28:03] So what you just saw is the journey of faith in the life of Nicodemus. He was there at the burial. He anointed the body of Jesus. All right. You got to understand this. So. Again, I don't have time to take this further, but I don't want you to shut your mind. Alright. So please just stay with me. I want to ask you some, I want you to wrestle with something.
[00:28:20] How do I know my faith is genuine? How do I know that this is really what it was meant to be? And so I'm gonna suggest six signs that, um, six questions that you could wrestle with if you, if you want to get to the root of it. All right. And, and let me just walk you through this. Okay. So you have to ask yourself, am I passionately pursuing Jesus?
[00:28:42] Now, I don't know what you think of when you hear that, but I'm going to talk about that next week. Second one. Am I telling others about Jesus? What's the last time you've told somebody? Three, am I serving others with my life? Or is your life about you? It's easy to do. We live in a culture. It's me. Me me [00:29:00] is your life about you.
[00:29:01] Fourth question. Am I living in community with other people or am I an island unto myself? Or the two of us, are we an Island to ourselves? Give generously, do I give, or is all my resource that whatever comes to my hands is about me. All right. This is a sign that has to do with faith. And then am I making a habit out of worshiping regularly?
[00:29:22] So that's what we're going to talk about. Well, can I just real quickly, just through a moment, let me just chase a rabbit. This is really important though. Our mission as a church is leading people to discover and fully own faith in Jesus. If we don't encourage this in our people, we won't meet our mission.
[00:29:38] As a church it's very personal that we help people discover and own their faith. But I want you to see something- it's bigger than just you. I want to challenge you in two ways in this series, number one, that you would indeed be an owner of your own faith, but number two, that you would be an owner of the mission of this church.
[00:29:59] What, [00:30:00] why? Because they're intertwined. See what we're trying to do for you, we're trying to do for everyone. And if you want to be about something bigger than you, we've got a great option for you. Get involved in helping people discover who Jesus is and grow in their faith. That is what it's all about. So around here, because we're so big on the word owner, we don't use the word member.
[00:30:23] We never asked you any. We never, you'll never hear, Hey, the membership of the church is going to meet. You'll never hear that phrase. We don't use it. Membership if you think membership immediately, what do you go to? And I don't know the answer. Membership country club, a gym, membership of Costco... what you're thinking of is exclusivity.
[00:30:48] It's all about you. It's all about your benefit. It's all about what you get. We don't, membership's not using the Bible, by the way. We talk about ownership. You know what the [00:31:00] difference between membership and ownership is? An owner never walks away from it. Stays through the very end, stays at it. Uh, somebody who, who just, you know, so if you're in a gym and a treadmill breaks, you go announce to somebody, the treadmill's broken.
[00:31:18] You don't bother with it. You're an owner? You bother with it because somebody's been deprived, an opportunity to grow. That's the difference. So we're going to challenge you to do this. Now, I'm out of time. I've got to close. J D Greear in a book. I just recently read, had an illustration of three metaphors for the church.
[00:31:36] I just think are worth just, I want to close this message. It was challenging to hear this right. He said, there's three different ways you can see the church. Number one is you see it as a cruise liner, a cruise ship. Now, if you've ever been on a cruise, you got to know, man, you know, if you know, going on a cruise, that's awesome because you got an entire crew they're dedicated to serve you.
[00:31:58] And man it's, it's, [00:32:00] it's incredible because they have all this food everywhere, you know, whatever you want to drink, you got, you got pools, you got movies, you got shows. It's it is a, it is a floating entertainment bar for the benefit of you and your family, wherever you brought with you. Right. And he says, and I agree with him that a lot of churches are built on that.
[00:32:21] And we simply choose the church that is the best for my family to benefit from. I just want to go where my family is best taken care of, and that's very easy to fall into. And if this, if this cruise liner isn't giving me what I want, I'll just go down the street to the next cruise liner and I'll jump ship.
[00:32:39] This, the second metaphor is he said that some churches are like battleships. Now battleships have a very intended purpose, it's not comfort it's mission, but a battleship allows a few key leaders to secure the targets and fire the missiles. Everyone else is just, they're kind of like [00:33:00] cheering them on as it were, but it's, they don't get to secure the target and they don't get the fire the missiles, those are done by experts. In a church we call those experts, the pastors, the staff, you can hang out and you can, you can assist, and we need you, but it's the big jobs are held by these handful of people. And then he said a third option is an aircraft carrier. And he said an aircraft carrier is designed for mission.
[00:33:31] But the difference is it's meant to send out everybody. Everybody's in a, how do I say this? Right? Everybody's mission is sending. Now not everybody gets in a plane and goes out on mission, but somebody has got to do that. That was my best imitation of a Navy dude, whatever they do. And you got to have that guy and they got it.
[00:33:56] No, before that jet gets, everybody's got a [00:34:00] mission now I just got, this is the kind of church I think Jesus intended to have. Everyone's on mission. Everyone's out. You're either sent or sending sent or sending and you go out and you do, and then you come back. This is what the weekend ought to be. Is we regather
[00:34:17] okay. We calibrate get our breath. Okay. Rearm as it were. And now we're out again. That is the kind of mission we were sent to the great commission. Therefore go make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them and teach them and I'll be with you. We'll get it done. So church, we got to wrestle with this.
[00:34:41] What do we, what are we looking for? What are you looking for? What are you looking for in your personal faith? What are you looking for? And what are you looking for in your church? But I want to close with one more question. What if [00:35:00] the best thing for the church was also the best thing for your life?
[00:35:12] That you would understand the benefit of fully owning your faith? Well, we'll pick this up next week. Don't leave. We're not quite done, but I want to just pray for us as I close this message. So God, thanks for our time. Thanks for the privilege of being together and again on six different sites right now.
[00:35:33] And, uh, God, I just pray that you would cause us to just begin to question in a good way. Not, it's not doubt it's processing. It's thinking deeply. Why do we believe, where did our faith come from? Why do we hold these truths? What differences do you want them to make in our life? And how do we get more of this thing?
[00:35:52] Father, we have seen what's happened to our country as a result of a pandemic. We've got all kinds of [00:36:00] responses and we're seeing some of the best in people and we're seeing some of the worst in people, but God, the great tragedy might be that when we most needed to have faith in you we maybe had the least of it.
[00:36:15] And God may we never be in a situation like that again. Help us grow our faith. We turn our eyes to you and we ask this in Jesus name, amen. Thank you.