Sermons

Summary: Responding to the power and authority of Christ is fundamental to becoming a disciple of Christ.

Introduction:

Where do you go to church? What a common question! Have you really thought about the importance of this question? Does it really make any difference to anyone except you? Does it really matter whether you go to church or not? To whom does it matter? Is it an important enough question to concern God? If it matters to God, how would He communicate His will and purpose? Has He spoken concerning His will and purpose for churches? He indeed has within Holy Scriptures!

The investigation of the truth concerning the church of Christ is not an easy task. To only repeat as a parrot the teaching of the pioneers of the past simply does not satisfy the culture and generation of these modern times. Times have changed and are changing. It is with a firm conviction that truth does not change, that this author humbly attempts to declare the biblical teaching of His church and its place in this culture and generation.

To accomplish this end, the declaration will be divided into seven parts. The preeminent declaration centers on not His church but the Christ Himself. To speak about the church separate from Christ is to orphan the church into a mere human institution, into which these modern times have relegated their secular churches. Let us begin then with the Christ of the Church.

Respond to the Christ of the Church

It is important to look at Christ before we look at the church of the Christ. The truth resides in the fact that Christ alone defines for His church her meaning, purpose, fulfillment, destiny, etc. This relationship to Christ defines the true life for the individual disciple and the collective group of disciples, which is the church. We learn how to respond to Christ by observing how the early disciples responded to Christ. Here is what we are to do:

Proclaim His Power

First, "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ’All authority [1] has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.’" (Matt 28:18) This statement of Jesus establishes the power and authority of the Son of God. He has authority to rule and the accompanying power necessary to rule over heaven and earth. No created entity has any power or authority over the Son of God; He has all authority in heaven and on earth.

On the personal level, the human being has no authority to rule himself. He may attempt to seize power for himself, to govern himself, but this power and authority resides only in the Son of God. This truth is accepted as reality early in the process of becoming a disciple of Jesus. He is the Lord of His disciples as a master is to his students in eastern oriental arts. This truth is confirmed by Jesus Himself. A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40)

Second, "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him." ( Col 1:16) Paul here clarifies the degree of authority and power of the Son of God. Without question, Christ holds accountable all angels, spirits, forces and powers; He holds accountable governments and nations, dominions and authorities. He alone we answer and give an accounting. The disciple of Jesus recognizes this truth. We are created in Christ by Him and we are created for Him.

Third, "And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed." (Dan 7:14) Daniel predicted the dominion of Christ and His reign. It includes all peoples, nations and tongues. His dominion and reign are predicted to be eternal. However, the phrase "Might serve Him" indicates that compliance is voluntary. This does not mean that humans can refuse His reign without consequences, but that surrendering to His reign is beneficial.

Paul wrote: "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil 2:9-11) To bow the knee before the name of Jesus declares His Lordship over the one bowing and brings glory to God His Father. Christ is to be exalted. He exalted as King; we humbled to be thankful subjects under His rule.

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