The Defining Characteristic of the Local Church

The Defining Characteristic of the Local Church

The Defining Characteristic of the Local Church
TEXT: 1 Peter 1:22–25



As we gather for worship this morning, I’d like to call you to worship with the words of Psalms 57…

9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
11    Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!


“Your Grace Is Enough”


“How Great Though Art”


Our affirmation today come from both the Psalms and the book of Ephesians. Both of these passages celebrate the greatness of God in the way that he lifts up those who are in desperate need of salvation….Let’s read, starting in Psalms 113….

Psalms 113:1-8
1 Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD!
2  Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore!
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!
4  The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens!
5 Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high,
6 who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?
7 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8 to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.

Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-6
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air…
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus


“Living Hope”

“Before The Throne Of God Above”


O God, our Father, today we rejoice that we have a strong and perfect plea before your throne. We have a mediator who has gone between us and God to plead for our innocence. And the mediator, your son Jesus Christ, makes his plea based on his death in our place and his obedience in our place.

What a great news for those who know what they deserve, who know that their sins are more than they can count, who know the penalty of sin is death. And what a great relief for those who know they cannot perfectly obey, not matter how hard they try, who know that all their efforts are not enough.

We rest in your love, Father, that you would send your Son to save us, to stand in our place. Jesus, your work alone has delivered us from guilt and freed us from all the accusations of the enemy! We now stand innocent in Christ……How high you have lifted us up!

Would you now speak over us as your Word comes? Instruct our hearts, teach us to fear your name, cause us to revel in your love. And lead in sharing that love with those around us!



1 Peter 1:22-25


Pastor Mark Kernan

Title:  “The Defining Characteristic of the Local Church”

Main Idea: Brotherly love should be the defining characteristic of the local church.

Sermon Outline:

I. The Foundation of Brotherly Love (v. 22a)

II. The Imperative of Brotherly Love (v. 22b)

III. The Reason that Christians Continue to Love One Another (v. 23-25)


“O Church Arise”