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Sermon No: 8898-Building the Church - Part 1



Ken-Paynter/Building-the-Church-Part1.jpg

SERMON TOPIC: Building the Church - Part 1

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 6 November 2016

Topic Groups: THE CHURCH, GIFTS OF SPIRIT

Sermon synopsis: Many people today understand the church as a building.This is not a biblical understanding of the church. The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of “church” is not that of a building, but of people. It is ironic that when you ask people what church they attend, they usually identify a building.

Romans 16:5 'Greet the church that is in their house.”

Paul refers to the church in their house, not a church building, but a body of believers.

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Building the Church.

Who is the head of the Church?

Catholics use the following verse to claim the Pope is the head. Matthew 16:15-18. But what about you? he asked. Who do you say I am? Simon Peter answered, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Jesus replied, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Jesus said to Peter “You are petros (little stone), and on this Petra (Rock) I will build my church”.

Jesus builds His church on the rock of Peter’s confession Romans 10:9.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved

Peter (Petros – stone) – rock (petra) – foundation stone

Jesus Christ – Only Foundation (I Cor. 3:11)

1 Corinthians 1:10-13. I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, I follow Paul; another, I follow Apollos; another, I follow Cephas; still another, I follow Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?

What is the Church.

Many people today understand the church as a building.

This is not a biblical understanding of the church. The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of “church” is not that of a building, but of people. It is ironic that when you ask people what church they attend, they usually identify a building.

Romans 16:5

Greet the church that is in their house.” Paul refers to the church in their house, not a church building, but a body of believers.

Building the Church.

“Building the Church” will mean only one thing to a number of Christians and Christian leaders, getting more pews filled and more members in the local Church.

Napoleon once pointed to a map of China and said, There lies a sleeping giant. If it ever wakes up, it will be unstoppable. Today the American church is a sleeping giant. Each Sunday, church pews are filled with members who are doing nothing with their faith except "keeping" it.

Building the Church.

The designation “active member” in most churches simply means those who attend regularly and financially support the church. Not much more is expected. But God has far greater expectations for every Christian. He expects every Christian to use their gifts and talents in ministry. Our vision for maturity is very clear: to bring glory to God by presenting Jesus Christ with as many Christ-like disciples as we possibly can before he returns! If we can ever awaken and unleash the massive talent, resources, creativity, and energy found in the typical local church, Christianity will explode with growth at an unprecedented rate.

(Global Christian Centre)

The cost of building the Church.

What it cost Jesus.

Ephesians 5:25-27.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Philippians 2:6-8.

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross!

1 Corinthians 6:20. You are not your own; you were bought at a price.

Therefore honour God with your bodies.

The cost of building the Church.

I am using some slides from Gavin’s ministry on

“Do I have a soul”

to illustrate how valuable we are to God and how much He was prepared to pay to redeem us from the slavery of sin.

DO I HAVE A SOUL?

(PART 3)

A HIDDEN TREASURE

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (Matt 13:44)

What is the treasure and who is the man?

Contrary to popular opinion the treasure in this parable is not Jesus and we are not the man. The same misconception is prevalent with the Pearl of Great Price in the adjacent parable.

If the treasure is Jesus, why would the man hide it again when he found it?

The treasure was hidden or ‘lost’. It is incorrect to say “I found the Lord”. The Lord was not lost – we were!

“Salvation is a work of God for man, rather than a work of man for God.” – L.S. Chafer

A HIDDEN TREASURE

Field

The world

In these kingdom parables the field has always been the world. (Matt 13:37 “The field is the world…”)

Man

Jesus

The man in all the other kingdom parables (Matt 13) has been Jesus.

The parable is about a man who sold all he had to purchase the field (the world) so that he could possess a treasure. DID WE SELL ALL WE HAD TO PURCHASE THE WORLD, OR DID JESUS?

Treasure

The true church

Jesus bought his ‘treasure’ with His blood:

Acts 20:28 Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

We must interpret Scripture with Scripture.

Again like the man in the parable Jesus purchased the entire world in order to obtain the treasure in the world.

1 John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 Tim 4:9 …we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, and especially of those who believe.

So although Jesus potentially saved the world (no limited atonement), only those who believe (the true church) will be his treasure.

A HIDDEN TREASURE

Q: How did Jesus purchase his treasure?

A: With his blood.

Rev 5:9 “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

Acts 20:28 Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

A HIDDEN TREASURE

The cost of building the Church.

What it cost Paul

Galatians 2:21.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Philippians 3:7-9.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.

I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christand be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law,

but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

The cost of building the Church.

What it cost the Apostles.

The cost of building the Church.

When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.

The cost of building the Church.

Luke 9:21-26.

Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

The cost of building the Church.

www.opendoors.org.au

Haik Hovsepian’s parents divorced when he was only nine-years-old. To help his mother survive, he became a shoe-shine boy on the street. As a young man he was influenced by a Christian Bible study group and committed his life to Jesus Christ. He loved people and had a special heart for the Muslims who dominated his homeland of Iran. As Haik shared the gospel and planted his first church, he and the members of his church encountered severe opposition.

He preached that “joy does not have to be expressed by laughter. Joy can be a deep internal bliss even during a hospital stay. It is still joy, profound peace.” His own personal peace was challenged when Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic revolution overtook his country in 1979. Persecution of the church increased significantly – especially among those who had converted from Islam.

The cost of building the Church.

By this time, Haik had become the leader of all Protestant churches in Iran. In 1994 a fellow prominent pastor was accused of apostasy and was executed by the government. Haik spoke out strongly against the unjust murder and the severe persecution of Christians in a country that boasted of its religious freedoms.

In 1993 an Islamic judge condemned to death another Iranian brother, Mehdi Dibaj. His only crime was converting – many years before – to Christianity. Mehdi had already served ten years in prison. A copy of his execution order was leaked to Haik. Risking his life, he chose to boldly speak out and launch an international campaign for the sentence to be overturned. It was successful and Mehdi Dibaj was miraculously released on January 16, 1994, just a few days before his scheduled execution date. Even TIME magazine reported the release under the heading “Answer To Prayer!” - But there was a price to pay.

The cost of building the Church.

One of Haik’s parishioners, who had himself been interrogated, warned Haik that the authorities planned to kill him. He replied, “I’m ready!”

Three days later Haik left home to go to the international airport. He did not return and his family desperately tried to locate him. After eleven days, the police asked Haik’s son, Joseph, to go to the morgue to see some pictures. He was shown a photo of his father’s body which they had already buried, claiming he was an unidentified victim. Haik was brutally murdered with 26 stab wounds in and around his heart.

During Pastor Haik’s memorial service, Open Doors founder Brother Andrew said, “Haik wanted his life to bear much fruit. Jesus said, ‘fruit will only be produced if the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies’…Haik did lay down his life! And dare we again echo the words of Jesus, ‘They did not take it from me, I laid it down of myself.’“

The cost of building the Church.

One year later, a member of the Hovsepian family reported that the church Haik planted had doubled in attendance and membership in the year following his martyrdom. Just before his death, Haik preached a sermon from Matthew chapter five, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

It is a moving experience to hear him repeat Jesus’ words in all sincerity, “Happy are those who give their lives for Christ’s sake, for they have a special reward in God’s Kingdom.”

The cost of building the Church.

As I have said before in ministry, salvation starts with baptism into the “Body of Christ” or “The Church”, which is symbolized by water baptism. This is in fact a funeral ceromony.

Nowadays in the West there is often not a great price to pay for the act of being baptized, there is of course the risk of being alienated by friends and family but in the 1500’s, when adult baptism by immersion was first practised by those who saw that infant baptism or sprinkling was not Biblical, the price was high.

The Anabaptists.

By insisting on adult baptism, the Anabaptists were denying the state’s authority in matters of the church and were pulling apart the religious and political threads of Europe’s social fabric. Within months of the first “re-baptism,” the Anabaptists were fleeing for their lives. Driven by persecution and missionary zeal, Anabaptism spread to many areas of Europe. Thousands of Anabaptists were imprisoned, tortured, burned, drowned, and even dismembered by both Protestant and Catholic authorities. The Anabaptists emphasized the authority of Scripture and salvation by grace through faith in Christ.

The cost of building the Church.

The Anabaptists correctly understood the biblical teaching of believer’s baptism and they were willing to stake their lives on this belief, because it was founded on a clear understanding of Scripture’s authority in the life of the church. They followed sola scriptura to their deaths, resting their faith in the Bible and not in church authority and tradition.

Anabaptists were fined, drowned, burned at the stake, tortured, and persecuted in all the manners of the day for such crimes as refusal to pay tithes, refusal to attend church, refusal to refrain from Bible study groups in private homes, refusal to refrain from preaching, and other offences against the church-state. Thousands of Anabaptists were put to death.

The Anabaptists were severely persecuted by the Roman Church. In fact, because many believed in immersion, many were put to death by drowning. The Lutherans also put many Anabaptists to death by one form of execution or another.

The cost of building the Church.

Jesus didn't hide the cost when he called people to follow Him.

Luke 14:25-33. Large crowds were travelling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish. Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.

In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.

The cost of building the Church.

Jesus didn't hide the cost when he called people to follow Him.

Luke 14:33.

Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.

In other words Christians that are not prepared to suffer the loss of everything are like salt that is not salty, they are useless not even fit for the manure pile.

The material God builds with.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29.

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

The material God builds with.

1 Peter 2:4-6.

As you come to him, the living Stone, rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him, you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.

The material we build with (Our motives).

1 Corinthians 3:10-15.

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved, even though only as one escaping through the flames.

The material we build with (Our motives).

1 Corinthians 3:10-15.

......If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved, even though only as one escaping through the flames.

This has to do with motive.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

The material we build with (Our motives).

Philippians 1:1-18.

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defence of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.

But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Building the Church.

Our body is a Temple of God.

1 Corinthians 6:19.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?

You are not your own.

The local Church is a Temple of God.

1 Corinthians 3:9 & 16.

For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building........

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

Building the Church.

The Universal Church is a Temple of God.

Ephesians 2:19-22.

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

In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.

And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Like the hidden treasure, the ‘Pearl of Great Price’ has often been incorrectly linked to Jesus. The merchant is not a lost man seeking salvation. In harmony with the other parables in this discourse, the man in this parable is Jesus.

A PEARL OF GREAT PRICE

See NOTE 1

MATTHEW 13

Parable

Field

Man

1) The Sower

The world

Jesus

2) The wheat and tares

The world

Jesus

3) The mustard tree

The world

Jesus

5) The hidden treasure

The world

Jesus

6) The pearl of great price

Jesus

We interpret Scripture with Scripture:

If we look at the seven “kingdom” parables in Matthew 13, when explaining the parable of the wheat and tares - Jesus said, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world…” (Matt 13:37-38)

The value of the Church.

Malachi 3:16-17.

Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honoured his name. On the day when I act, says the LORD Almighty, they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.

Ephesians 5:28-32.

In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church for we are members of his body.For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church.

Are you part of the Church?

Ephesians 5:29. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body.

If you hate your brother, you’re not part of the body.

1 John 4:20-21.

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

1 Corinthians 12:24-27.

But God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Are you part of the Church?

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.

https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=2KfF4zQKoTc

Open Doors USA

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Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org)




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