Summary: we are going to look to God’s Word to discover what His intentions were for His church, rather than what man’s intentions might be
IN GOD’S PLAN
- Today we being a brand new series – Church As God Intended.
- In this series we are going to look to God’s Word to discover what His intentions were for His church, rather than what man’s intentions might be.
- In other words, we want to dig deep into the Bible and define who we are and what we do as a church from God’s direct revelation, rather than from church tradition, opinions, or well-intentioned, but misinformed people.
- Today we want to begin by examining God’s plan for building a church that would be invincible, because as it’s foundation it has Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
- There is a prophecy in the book of Daniel that I would like to start with that takes the form of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
- In Daniel 2, we have the record of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the gigantic image, depicting the four world empires that would dominate Israel down through the centuries (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome).
- Daniel was called on to interpret the King’s dream.
- When he came to the fourth, final kingdom, Daniel spoke these startling words:
- But as you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain by supernatural means. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. The whole statue collapsed into a heap of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. The pieces were crushed as small as chaff on a threshing floor, and the wind blew them all away without a trace. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth. – Daniel 2:34-35
- This Rock that crushed all world empires is none other than Jesus Christ!
- And it is upon this Rock, Jesus Christ, that God’s plan for an invincible church finds its foundation.
- Today we build our church upon the foundation of Jesus Christ – because He is the only foundation that can withstand whatever the world throws at us.
- If we rely on philosophy, political systems, or tradition, we will surely fail – but if we rely on Jesus Christ, the “rock that knocked the statue down” and “became a great mountain” then we will succeed.
- When we come to the New Testament we find an interesting encounter with Jesus and His disciples that I think will make all of this much clearer.
- When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" "Well," they replied, "some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets." Then he asked them, "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you lock on earth will be locked in heaven, and whatever you open on earth will be opened in heaven." – Matthew 16:13-19
[- A London newspaper offered a prize for the best essay on the subject: "What is wrong with the church?"
- A minister from Wales won the prize.
- He gave this answer: "What is wrong with the church is our failure to realize and wonder at the beauty, the mystery, the glory, and the greatness of the church."]
- The church is God’s one redemptive institution placed on this earth.
- It was to the church that Jesus gave the Great Commission.
- It is through the church that Jesus brings the message of salvation to the world.
- It is for the church that Jesus one day will return.
- And it is Christ’s church that we are committed to.
- Never forget that the church with all its faults will stand until Jesus comes again.
- Jesus promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church.
- The church is invincible.
- What makes Christ’s church invincible?
- How has the church been able to stand for almost 2,000 years?
- Why has Satan with all his schemes failed to defeat the church?
- Why have humans been unable to destroy the church?
- What makes the church invincible?
1. GOD’S PLAN FOR HIS CHURCH INVOLVES A TRANSFORMED MEMBERSHIP
- Every member of the church is to be a transformed individual.
- He or she is to be a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ.