Believe Series – Session 6 The Church

Go Church !!!!

Ephesian 4: 15, 16 Key verse

Key idea: I believe the church is God’s primary way to accomplish his purposes on earth today.

Ephesians 2:11 – 3:12

With Peter Veysie

Sunday 25th February 2018.

The death of Billy Graham on Wednesday 21st February – my tribute to him as I received Jesus as my Lord and saviour at a Billy Graham rally in 1973 in Durban along with Debbie. We only met much later in 1984 on a blind date and found out about that.

Here is a clip which describes the church Jesus prayed for.

Michael Cassidy – The Church that Jesus prayed for. I had the privilege of serving on his editing team.

A Personal Journey Into John 17 Michael Cassidy … Others in that editorial team were Peter Veysie, Paul Culwick, Nellis du Preez, Lunga Dlungwana, Linda Grant, and Darien Khlentzos, the latter having done an amazing job in converting many of my RSV quotations to NRSV.

This is the fruit of meditation over 35 years on John 17. For most of his ministry Michael Cassidy has been wracked by the discrepancy between the church Jesus portrays, and the church in daily experience. Luther wrote of John17: “It is so deep, so rich, so wide, no one can fathom it.” John Knox had the chapter read to him every day of his last illness.

William Temple once reflected that “it is perhaps the most sacred passage even in the four Gospels.” John Stott called it “one of the profoundest chapters of the Bible”. Michael Cassidy looks at Jesus’ vision and the church’s mundane reality with care and prayerful reflection, asking: Where have we gone wrong? What can we do? How should we amend our ways?

The church was born in pain experiencing deep persecution and the first martyr Steven as Paul looked on (then Saul). This did not deter them but made them all the stronger to share the gospel of Jesus Christ Acts 11:19

The whole body – the church is joined and held together by Jesus Christ says Paul in Ephesians 4: 15,16 – supporting ligaments – grows and builds itself up in love.

Ecclesia – called out – people of God – the church has left the building.


  1. The church is a called body.


Ephesians 2: 13 “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ”. A church is not the building it is the people brought near to serve. Bill Hybels – The Local church is the hope of the world.

We are called into service as Jews and Gentiles says Paul to serve and live a life worthy of the calling. The question we need to ask sometimes of ourselves is whether we truly look like a body or not ?

80% of young people are not going to church anymore and so we need to know how we can address this. We have books written on the topic called Churchless and You lost me etc..


“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of

the calling you have received.” Ephesians 4:1


  1. The church is to be marked by love.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2

Colossians 3 Wear love it is your basic all purpose garment ,never be without it.” The Message.

Bear – stand, abide, endure, with each other


  1. The church is also to be marked by unity.

Ephesians 2:14b ff “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”


Unity is what we need to work on in our churches and in our world. We have come a bit of a way since 1994 but a lot needs to be done as we work towards becoming more like Jesus.


My trip to Nomzamo and our circuit stewards – Phil Cynthia Sonia and Anga.

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3 (John 17:21)

Paul’s realisation of this is profound when we think of where he came from. As we move into the next chapter of our South African history I pray that Mandela’s dream, Martin Luther Kings’s dream and the Lord’s commission would become a reality under our new president Mr Cyril Ramaphosa.


  1. The church is a gifted body. (Eph. 4:11‐14)

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the

evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for

works of service” Ephesians 4:11‐12a

Ephesians 2:21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

We rise to become a gifted body only if we embrace the calling on our lives. We rise only if we are generously working on the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and we rise only if we activate the very gifts that the Lord has given the church so that it can be built up to build up others.


  1. The church is a serving body.

Ephesian 3: 7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

How misquoted is this scripture – speaking the truth in love- context unity of the body not corrections and embracing of who we are “in every aspect” as the body of Christ.

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in

every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is,

Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by

every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as

each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:15‐16

Ecclesia – called out – people of God – the church has left the building.

So, if we follow Jesus, if we are the church, we must leave the building.  It’s what Jesus wants, He said “Go”; before He said to go, He Himself set the example of going to the people, and He sent His disciples out, to go.

Let’s leave the building as Jesus followers, let’s serve, care, mentor, coach, fix, build, etc.; but most of all, lets share the love that Jesus has for everyone with as many people as we possibly can!

Go Church!


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *