Summary: Like Israel, out of gratitude for His amazing grace toward us, we need to be committed to His house.
“Committed to His House”
“...we will not neglect the house of our God.”
Time and time again God demonstrated His inexhaustible amazing grace to the nation of Israel. They are reminded by Ezra of God’s providential care for them. Out of gratitude for His tender mercies they make a covenant or commitment to honor God by not neglecting the House of the Lord. In the New Testament, Paul tells us in Second Corinthians 6:16 that “we (the church) are the temple of the living God” and Ephesians 2:19 that we (the church) are members of the Household of God. Like Israel, out of gratitude for His amazing grace toward us, we need to be committed to His house.
I. The House of the Lord
A. The church belongs to the Lord
1. Note it is “the house of our God”
2. Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
3. Paul wrote that Jesus “purchased the church with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).
4. The church does not belong to the pastor or the body of members. It belongs to God, who purchased it with the blood of Jesus.
B. He alone must build it.
1. Psalm 127:1 "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it."
2. Matthew 15:13 “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.”
3. As members of His body we need to remind ourselves Christ is the head and we are His body. We have to remember that it's His Church and He said He would build it. We need to listen and do what He asks us to do.
4. He said as we read in Matthew 16:18 “…I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
5. Curtis Kelly, pastor of Taylorville Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama said in a message entitled “I love my church: It shall succeed!”, there are four obvious reasons the church will succeed:
a. The church will succeed because it has been programmed to succeed!
1) As Head of the church He will give us life, direction, protection, encouragement.
b. The church will succeed because it has the Lord’s promise to succeed.
1) It would be unthinkable that HIS church could or would ever fail.
2) A promise based on process – “I will build my church. The verb tense shows continuation, a process always in process and not yet finished.
c. The church will succeed because the Lord gives it the power to succeed.
1) If it is his church, then he is responsible for providing the resources to assure ongoing success.
d. The church will succeed because we are part of God’s plan for it to succeed.
1) Some folks go through life just watching things happen. Some go through life and don’t know what’s happening; and some go through life making things happen! – taken from PreachingPoint.com
C. We are to be His instruments that He uses to build it.
1. The mighty Maker of the world who used no angels to beat out the great mass of nature and fashion it into a round globe, he who without hammer or anvil fashioned this glorious world, can if he pleases, speak, and it is done; command, and it shall stand fast. He needs not instruments, though he uses them. – Conversion, C.H. Spurgeon
2. In Romans 6:13 we are instructed to present ourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and our members as instruments of righteousness to God.
3. “What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but people whom the Holy Ghost can use — people of prayer, people mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through people. He does not come on machinery, but on people. He does not anoint plans, but people, people of prayer.”- copied
4. We need to let go and let God do the building. We need to be happy that God allows us to be used by Him to build the church. I don't care who you are, how much education you have, how knowledgeable of the Bible you are, how shy you are or how inadequate you feel- God can and will use you to build His church if you surrender and commit yourself to Him.
5. Isaiah 10:15 “Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it? As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up, Or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!