Summary: Do you know what you believe, and why you believe it? There are some serious reasons you should. This message is part of a series, and focuses on Bible truth regarding the Church.
CBC = 15 Aug. 2004 = 6 P.M Page 3 of 3
What do you believe, and why? = # 3 = (various, topical)
We have been discussing the importance of knowing what you believe and why
- 2 Tim. 3.16-17 = It’s God’s Word = Particular purposes = Maturing up to do good works
- What’s the best good work we can do? = Matt. 28.18-20 = Make disciples, baptize them and then "teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you"
Tonight want to explore one of the practical implications of the Gospel
- When a sinner gets converted = And then obeys the Lord by following Him in believer’s baptism = What’s the next logical step of obedience you would expect them to take?
- [Acts 2.40-41] = Join the church
- Please understand = I do not believe the primary purpose of baptism is to make someone a member = So in our church they are separate steps
- I believe baptism’s primary purpose is a public testimony of your salvation and an important step in obedience to the Saviour
- But you can’t join our church without being baptized, that’s for sure
Now is the church really that important?
- [Matt. 16.13-18] = Establishes the church = Not universal agreement that Matt. 16 is when Christ established it, but that’s my position
- "church" = /ekklasia/ = Called out, called together assembly, for a purpose
- Peter isn’t the head = "Pebble" (vs.) "Boulder"
- "Rock" of Peter’s confession = Foundation to become a member of the church = Foundation of every person’s membership
- Jesus says it’s "My church"
- Important job to the church = "...and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
- Begins to give it some authority = [16.19] = Then more authority = [Matt. 18.15-20]
LOCAL & VISIBLE [vs.] UNIVERSAL & INVISIBLE
- Majority of uses of /ekklesia/ = Local, visible assembly = Especially clear when you look at the Eng. word other than "church" (ie: assembly)
- Most disputed uses of "church," context suggests the same as above
- Only  verse in all of Scripture of which I’m aware speaks of a "universal" church
- [Heb. 12.22-23] = Yes, universal = But still LOCAL and VISIBLE
- And so while it’s appropriate to speak of...
- "one family of God" = Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
- "Brethren" = We are all related by BLOOD
- "one Kingdom of Christ" = Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:
- "Citizens" = "Ambassadors" = Of the Heavenly King
- We must remember that every church is an independent unit = Intended by God to be a complete body of Christ in and of itself
Acts 2 = Not where the church starts, though some teach that = I disagree
- EMPOWERED on the day of Pentecost = [2.1-4]
- Many things going on = Preaching and testifying to "the wonderful works of God" (v.11)
- And then eventually Peter = v.14 = [2.37-41]
- Notice, v.41, "they that gladly received his word" = Essentially "repent and believe the Gospel" (context) = Followed by "believer’s baptism"
- And God was adding to the church = [2.47] = Acts 5:14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
- You’re going to try to tell me something God adds to is not important?
And then notice also = Paul’s farewell to Ephesian elders = Acts 20.17
- Look at what he is careful to include = [20.25-28]
- You’re going to tell me something that Christ purchased with His own Blood isn’t important?
And then notice = [Eph. 5.21~ff]
- Esp. v.23, head, savior = v.25, loved, gave himself for = v.26, sanctify, cleanse = v.27, present it = v.29, nourisheth, cherish
- You’re going to tell me that something Christ cares about that much isn’t important?
And then notice please = 1 Tim. 3.14-15
- "pillar" = "column" or "support" = That which props up TRUTH
- "ground" = "basis" = That which all TRUTH rests on
- School house, Club house, Court house, nor White House ought to be telling us what’s right and wrong = We ought to be telling them
- And that’s the job God has given = TO THE CHURCH
Do you still think the Church is unimportant?
- Do you still think it’s acceptable to simply do as you please with regards to the church?
- The way some Christians act, that’s the way it seems, it surely does