We want to get people to the water. They are told they must be baptized or they won't go to heaven. While there is truth in that statement, too many are scared into baptism (especially children) rather than being faced with their sin and its consequences so faith in Jesus is never taught much less sought. We need to tell people what God did before we tell them what to do! The real, true motivation of faith is the grace of God. When we speak of Christianity, we are speaking of the grace of God in Christ Jesus. When we speak of His church, you cannot separate Christ, grace and the Church. Paul expressed this thought when speaking with the elders from Ephesus (Acts 20:28) and Paul teaching the church at Ephesus (Eph. 3:21/5:25-27).
Today, I want you to think and realize to believe in the grace of God is to love His Church! It was Jesus Himself that told Peter He would build His church and Hades gates would never prevail against His Church. (Matt. 16:18) This is one of the more familiar Scripture but we need to read it carefully and think. Jesus didn't say He would build 'a' church or 'your' church. Jesus built His Church and it was based on Him being who He is and He is the grace provider. Too many are making the Church their own private property or ownership. I know of congregations where certain families dominate and if things are done according to their way, the one or ones not following are removed. That is not the Church Jesus built. That is a man built church by man's ideas. Jesus did not build 'our' church!! Grace from God through Jesus Christ built the Church of Jesus.
What do we learn? The Church is about God's grace to us. Jesus built His Church without man's involvement. That means it has nothing to do with man's efforts but Christ's efforts and God's grace. The Church Jesus built is not self-reliant. It is completely dependent upon the grace of the Lord Jesus. The Church is where God's grace-works are done! (Eph. 2) Grace is through faith. Think about how you feel about the Church, not a denomination because the Church Jesus built is not a denomination. That's man's doings! Grace teaches us to love His Church and to love His Church is God's grace toward you at work. That should give us each something to think about!