Summary: Is God’s house a building? Does His house have rules, systems, or structure? How can we be His house unless we know?
I told you in the very first message of this series that each natural house has its own set of rules. It has its own structure and set up. I also told you that it is essential for you to be a productive member of that house to know those house rules. So I told you that God’s house rule is authority. We have examined the 3 vehicles or avenues of exerting or wielding His authority. The preeminent authority figure in our life is His word. He has exalted His word even above the power of His own name. The second authority figure is our conscience. That internal referee that keeps us moving in the right direction when we march into gray areas. Our peace level is an indicator as to whether or not we are in the right. Last week, Woody did a great job of talking to us about the third authority figure which is delegated authority. I want to remind you again that authority figure #2 and #3 must line up and answer to authority figure #1 on every occasion or we revert back to what authority figure #1 says!
Well this morning, I want to talk to you about another element of living effectively in the house. I will refer again back to my natural house to illustrate. To be a productive, blessed, covered, member of my natural house and in order to be able to sit down with no pain you had to abide by house manners! There were certain things that I had to do and could not do in my house. Let me give you some examples.
1. I couldn’t talk with my mouth full. That is rude.
2. I couldn’t leave the table until everyone was finished eating.
3. I couldn’t call folks that were older than me by their first name. I had to preface that address with either Bro. or Sis. or Mister or Mrs. That is why I say Mr. Danny! LOL!
4. Here is the biggy . . . I had to open the door for a woman. Still to this day I do that. In fact, on many occasions I will open the door for a woman and they will stop and try to get me to ahead and go first. My standard response is “Are you kidding? My mom would kill me!”
House manners. Manners are defined as “social conduct or rules of conduct”. What I want you to know and understand that in God’s house there are also House Manners that we must learn and abide by.
Turn to your neighbor and tell them “Mind your manners.”
Paul addressed house manners when he deals with the church in Corinth. Their worship services were marked by confusion and chaos and he reminds them to mind their manners!
But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
In other words, there are manners that we should abide by! I also remember that if I didn’t mind my manners what happened. Could we stop for a moment of special prayer for Pastor – I am so scarred! No . . . learning manners helped me mature! I don’t want us to be reprimanded in God’s House! So let’s learn some manners so we can mature.
Now I could preach about manners in God’s House for weeks. I could deal with how our worship services are supposed to be conducted. How we are supposed to respond to government. However, I want to sort of hone in on the manners that deal with how we interact with each other. Because I have discovered that if we treat each other with manners then treating God with manners is almost a given!
I. Manner #1 – Regard
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.
16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!
Listen to what Paul says, “We viewed Christ by where he came from, what his idiosyncrasies were that bothered us, his annoying traits and we missed who he was! But we have learned to regard him after the spirit and discovered He was God in the flesh!”
If they had to learn to do that with Christ how much more do we have to do that with one another? If the disciples had to get past the fact that Jesus was born into a carpenter’s home, made a C on a math test in 4th grade, had a pimple every now and again, had gastro intestinal issues when he ate pizza to late at night so that they could see Him for who He really was that should teach us that we have to look deeper into one another!