Full Service Sermon Video Sermon Audio Scripture Verses Hebrews 11:3,10; John 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 3:10-17; Matthew 7:24-27; 16:18; 28:18-20; 2 Peter 2:2-5; Ephesians 4:15-16 Worship Playlist Hosanna (Praise Is Rising) by Paul BalocheHoly Ground by PassionWhat a Beautiful Name by HillsongBuild My Life by Pat Barrett Study Questions How has being a part of God's family benefitted you? How does the building imagery help you understand your place and purpose in the church? How are you using your gifts, time, talents, and interests to build up others in the church? Apply It! Downloads & Resources Sermon Video Download Service Video Download Sermon Audio Download Build Dr. Jon Morrissette - 8/29/2021 We built this city on Rock 'n' Roll! What a great song! You know a lot of churches have tried to do the same. I was hoping Eric would come up here with an electric guitar and sing, “We built this church. We built this church on rock n roll!” In all seriousness, the Western church has been in serious decline for some time. Across all of Europe, its estimated that only 2.5% of the population are evangelical. In the United States, some 4000 churches close their doors for good every year. Churches haven’t even begun to measure the fallout from this past year. There seems to be a consensus among church leaders that the decline has only accelerated.In the past, churches have tried to reverse the trend with novelty. Back when I started preaching the trendy churches were Willowcreek and Saddleback. Their ministries attained near rock-star status. They’d break out the drums, guitars, electric keyboards, special effects, the skinny jeans, and pull off slick productions that would make your mouth water. It was so cool! All the creativity, the videos, the music. These churches built mini-stadiums and filled them.At that time, I was preaching in a rural church. We didn’t even have air conditioning, much less a drum set, video projector, or electric keyboard. We had a piano that continually went out of tune. An organ that kept blowing out glass tubes. We had hymnals older than most of the church members—they hadn’t sung a new song in decades. Without air, during the dog-days of summer, worship was like an hour of “Sweating to the Oldies.” You’d come out drenched and five pounds lighter. We had pigeons cooing in the belltower. Spiders rappelling down from the rain-stained ceiling grid.Here is a newsflash. Novelty doesn’t win the day. Not that it isn’t appreciated, or enjoyed, or to be welcomed. But novelty doesn’t build the city of God. It doesn’t build the Kingdom of God, the Church. The lyrics, the words, the substance beneath the rock-n-roll matters far more than the style and image.The last few weeks we’ve been laying out our purposes as a church. First, we exist to help people BELIEVE on Jesus for the forgiveness of sin and eternal life. To be forgiven and saved, people need a personal -faith- relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. And second, we exist to help people BECOME like Jesus through a personal, daily relationship with the Holy Spirit. Through the gospel, God is drawing all men into fellowship with Himself… into the Fellowship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our highest calling, and duty, and aspiration is to love God with all our heart, mind, body, and soul and help others do the same!This brings us to our third purpose. We exist to BUILD Jesus’ family on earth. One of the greatest metaphors the New Testament uses to describe the Church is a building, or temple. The Church IS NOT a physical building or church, no more than a family is a house or apartment. The Church is a dynamic, living, growing, organic, entity. Though it appears the Western Church is declining, the Worldwide Church is exploding exponentially.Let me unpack some of the Bible’s teaching on the Church. First, God is the Architect of His Church. Hebrews 11:10 says Abraham “. . . was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Our first concern isn’t what “we” want the church to be. Our first concern is who is God the Father? Who did God design us as his Church to be? How did he design us to function?In a few weeks we begin our Fall Genesis series! What an amazing, majestic thing to consider God’s designs in creation. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.” Can you imagine? Within the creative mind of God was every law of nature, every element of material reality, every mathematical calibration to make life possible. Every star, solar system, and galaxy. Every mountain, hill, and valley. Every plant, organism, and creature. And how did it all come to be? It all came to be by Divine Fiat. By Divine Command. By Divine Word. “And God said… and God said… and God said…”Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.” John 1:1-3 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.” The Word isn’t a sound, or mere vibration of the vocal cords. The Word is personal. The Word is personified in Christ. Christ Jesus is the Living, breathing Word that proceeds from God, Jesus builds and makes God’s dream become a reality!What is the dream of God for his Church? What is the Church that God wants to build through his Living, Word, Jesus Christ? Is it the church as we know it now? By the way Jesus was a carpenters “son.” With his earthly day Jesus built stuff. But he is also THE Carpenter’s Son. With his Heaven Father, Jesus still builds stuff!Second, Jesus is the Foundation of His Church. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 Paul writes, “According to God’s grace that was given to me, I have laid a foundation as a skilled master builder, and another builds on it. But each one is to be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than what has been laid down.That foundation is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 each one’s work will become obvious. For the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will experience loss, but he himself will be saved—but only as through fire.”I want you to notice the way in which these verses echo Jesus concluding warnings in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:24-27, “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash.”In our Genesis series we will demonstrate that when we build our lives (our families, marriages, society)… according to the Majestic Intentions and Designs of the Father we flourish! But when we smash those design, Madness and Chaos ensues. But this is just as true in the Church. When we build the Church on the rock-solid foundation of what Jesus commands, the church flourishes! But when we abandon that foundation the whole house comes crashing down.The Western Church is declining because of its abandonment of Christ’s Word. That’s the only reason. We are letting the world set the teaching agenda or curricula in the church. But what did Jesus say? Show Matthew 28:18-20. He said, “Go and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (the fellowship)…” And then what? “Teaching them to obey Science? Teaching them to obey Government Leaders? Teaching them to obey Woke Authorities? Teaching them to obey worldly men or movements or political agendas? You see God’s agenda has been usurped by man! Jesus says, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you and surely I am with you always to the end of the age!” If we jettison Christ’s words, we jettison His presence and power.What is baptism. Baptism is helping resolve someone’s allegiance. Pledge yourself to live by a clear conscience according to the will of the Father! What is Discipleship? Helping resolve someone’s obedience. Who or what they will obey! The Western Church is filled with people whose allegiance and obedience is directly inwardly, toward self, toward the flesh. Self-love is disastrous, its madness! To build something enduring we must get the foundation right!Third, Jesus is the Cornerstone of His Church. Now it's possible we’re splitting hairs here. Once you get started it’s hard to stop, until it’s all gone. The foundation is the bedrock, the core supporting the weight of the whole building. But the cornerstone is the first stone laid. The stone off of which everything else is measured, positioned, and sighted, and aligned. So the Holy Spirit doesn’t do His own thing… the Holy Spirit helps us become like Jesus. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus is our standard bearer. We are to be imitators of Jesus. Colossians 3:10 says were to “put on the new self” and that we are “being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator.” We’re not conforming to dead letters from a page of the Bible. We’re conforming to the living, dynamic, risen, resurrected, now reigning Jesus. Our aspiration is to be fully like him. If we can stay square with Jesus, ain’t nothing bring our lives or /church crashing down!Fourth, the Holy Spirit is the Light of the Church. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, “Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s temple and that the Spirit of God lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and that is what you are.” The Church is never going to be energized by gimmicks, novelty, business principles, technologies, buildings, structures, systems. The only hope for revival is a visitation by God’s Holy Spirit. Breath Spirit Breath! Acts 2!Fifth, We Are the Living Stones of the Church. 1 Peter 2:2-5, “Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow up into your salvation, 3 if you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4 As you come to him, a living stone—rejected by people but chosen and honored by God— 5 you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”Such a vital reminder. That our essential purpose is building people, building one another up! Who are you building up in Christ? Ephesians 4:15-16 says, “But speaking the truth in love [WORDS], let us grow in every way into him who is the head—Christ. 16 From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building itself up in love by the proper working of each individual part.” Interesting. As it was in the beginning, so it still remains. God creates life by his Word. We build, we make disciples, by teaching people to obey. Let’s get building!Prayer: Matthew 16:18. I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.