Sermons

Summary: SOMETIMES WE FORGET THAT WE ARE CARETAKERS OF THE CHURCH. IT IS NOT OURS. WE ARE HERE FOR A SHORT WHILE AND THEN PASSIT ON TO THE CARE OF OTHERS. THE ONE THING THAT IS CONSTANT THOUGH IS THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD TO LEAD US ON.

THE CHURCH JESUS IS BUILDING

COLOSSIANS 1:24-29

JANUARY 13, 2019

TODAY I WANT TO BEGIN A SERIES OF MESSAGES ON THE CHURCH. I AM SURE IF I WERE TO ASK THE QUESTION “WHAT IS THE CHURCH?” THAT I WOULD GET A VARIETY OF ANSWERS. SOME WOULD SAY IT IS AN ORGANIZATION. OTHERS WOULD SAY IT IS PEOPLE WHO ARE BORN-AGAIN WHO MAKE UP THE CHURCH. OTHERS WOULD SAY IT IS THE BUILDING.

I BELIEVE THAT IT IS MADE UP OF ALL THESE THINGS, BUT I BELIEVE THAT THE CHURCH THAT JESUS IS BUILDING, WHICH WE WANT TO BE A PART OF, IS SOMETHING MORE. I BELIEVE THAT JESUS ESTABLISHED THE CHURCH TO BE A LIVING ORGANISM, AND IF ALLOWED TO GROW PROPERLY WILL FOCUS ON ONE PARTICULAR TASK AND ACHIEVE ONE DESIRED RESULT.

IF WE USE A PREGNANT WOMAN AS AN EXAMPLE, THE BABY INSIDE HER IS A LIVING HUMAN ORGANISM. IT IS DEVELOPING AND GROWING ALL THROUGH THE PREGNANCY. WE WEILL FOCUS ON ONE THING DURING THIS TIME AND THAT IS DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO ALLOW THIS HUMAN BEING TO CONTINUE TO GROW AND DEVELOP AS HE OR SHE SHOULD, TO REACH THE DESIRED GOAL OF THE BIRTH OF A BEAUTIFUL BABY.

THE SAME CAN BE SAID ABOUT THE CHURCH. CHURCHS ARE ESTABLISHED IN DIFFERENT WAYS. SOMETIMES IT IS A MISSIONARY EFFORT WHERE A PERSON GOES INTO AN UNCHURCHED AREA AND ATTEMPTS TO SET UP A WORK THERE. OTHERS ARE ESTABLISHED AS SATELLITE OR SISTER CHURCHS, WHERE A CONGREGATION WILL ASK A NUMBER OF FAMILIES TO MEET IN A DIFFERENT AREA AND ESTABLISH A CHURCH THERE.

THE GOAL THOUGH IS THE SAME AS FOR THAT OF THE PREGNANT MOTHER, AND THAT IS TO FOCUS ON THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHURCH INTO A MATURE BODY OF BELIEVERS.

IN SOME WAYS IT IS REFLECTIVE OF THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER. IN THAT PARABLE THE SOWER SOWS SEED THAT FALLS ONTO FOUR TYPES OF SOIL, SOME FELL WHERE THE GROUND WAS HARD AND IT COULD NOT TAKE ROOT, SOME FELL ON ROCKY GROUND AND THERE WAS NO WATER, SOME FELL AMONG THORNS AND WERE CHOKED OUT, SOME SEED FELL ON GOOD PROPERLY PREPARED GROUND AND THE SEED GREW AND PRODUCED A VALUABLE CROP

MANY CHURCHS ARE PLANTED AND WILL NOT SURVIVE FOR VARIOUS REASONS AS THE FIRST THREE TYPES OF SEEDS SUGGEST. SO WE MUST FOCUS ON THE FOURTH GROUP AND REALIZE THAT THE CHURCH THAT WILL SUCCEED IS A CHURCH THAT IS PROPERLY PREPARED BEFORE IT IS FOUNDED, IS CULTIVATED AS IT GROWS, AND WILL PRODUCE A HARVEST OF SOULS AS A RESULT.

THE GREAT QUESTION FOR US TO FOCUS ON IS HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN, MORE SPECIFICALLY HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN FOR FIRST BAPTIST CAMPBELLTON? MAKE NO MISTAKE, THE CHURCH IN ATLANTIC CANADA, WHICH INCLUDES THE CHURCH IN CAMPBELLTON, IS IN A CRISIS OF GROWTH, THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED.

THIS MAY BE A DIFFICULT SERIES TO LISTEN TO AND TO PRESENT, BUT JUST BECAUSE IT IS DIFFICULT DOESN’T MEAN THAT WE SHOULD NOT TRY. WE ARE NOT OSTRICHES WHO HIDE OUR HEADS IN THE SAND IN THE FACE OF DIFFICULTY AND BELIEVE THAT SINCE WE CANNOT SEE IT THAT IT IS NOT THERE.

I READ OF A PASTOR, WHO HAD TO GIVE A PARTICULARLY HARD MESSAGE, AND USED A PEANUT TO ILLUSTRATE SEVERAL POINTS ABOUT THE WISDOM OF GOD IN CREATION. AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE SERVICE ONE OF THE MEMBERS GREETED HIM AT THE DOOR SAYING, “VERY INTERESTING PASTOR. I NEVER EXPECTED TO LEARN SO MUCH FROM A NUT.”

YOU DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS AFTER WE FINISH TODAY, BUT FOR NOW LET’S LOOK AT THE CHURCH JESUS IS BUILDING.

THERE ARE TWO IMPORTANT FACTS THAT WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE TO UNDERSTAND THE CHURCH THAT JESUS IS BUILDING.

FIRST: THE PREPARATION OF THE GROUND FOR PLANTING IS FOUND IN JESUS. MATTHEW RECORDS JESUS AND PETER SPEAKING AND IN ANSWER TO PETER JESUS STATES:

MATTHEW 16:18: 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.

THE IMPORTANT PHRASE IN THIS VERSE IS “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH”. IT IS A STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP. THE CHURCH BELONGS TO CHRIST. BUILDINGS WILL COME AND GO AS WILL CONGREGATIONS. WE ARE HERE BUT FOR A MOMENT AND THEN OTHERS WILL FILL OUR SEATS OR THE SEATS WILL BE GONE. THE CHURCH THOUGH, THAT LIVING BREATHING ORGANISM WILL CONTINUE TO BE STRONG BECAUSE JESUS, NOT MAN IS IT’S HEAD.

COLOSSIANS 1:17-18:

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

JESUS SPENT HIS EARLY YEARS ON EARTH AS A CARPENTER, BUILDING HOMES AND FURNITURE. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT HE SPENT MUCH TIME LEARNING THE TRADE FROM JOSEPH. I WATCH A NUMBER OF HOME IMPROVEMENT SHOWS ON T.V. AND I THINK THE CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE TWO COULD BE INTERESTING AT TIMES. CAN’T YOU HEAR JOSEPH SAYING, “YES JESUS, I KNOW YOU CREATED THE WOOD, BUT IN THIS SHOP I HAVE THE LAST WORD ON HOW IT IS USED!”

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