Summary: What are the implications of God calling we who make up the church “saints?” How do saints relate together?
The People of God: Laymen
(2 Corinthians 1: 1b-2)
1. A friend was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled him aside.
The Pastor said to him, "You need to join the Army of the Lord!"
My friend replied, "I'm already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor."
Pastor questioned, "How come I don't see you except at Christmas and Easter?"
He whispered back, "I'm in the secret service.
2. Too many Christains claim to be loner Christians. Like a loner ant who is not part of the colony, a loner Christian has limited impact. We are meant to be part of a body.
3. Some people cannot hanlde this: this have become anti-social, they cannot be team players, are uncomfortable with authority, and they have little tolerance or patience for the ways of individuals who make up the Body. They have not discovered how to love others, for love covers a multitude of sins. They disassociate to their own peril.
Main Idea: What are the implications of God calling we who make up the church “saints?” How do saints relate together?
I. Saints Who Make Up the CHURCH (2)
A. Paul's view of the CHURCH: the priesthood of all believers
1. Paul pictures the church as a body; we all have a role
When I was in first grade, we did a play called Hansel and Grettel. I played a mushroom. I sang and danced with the other mushrooms
The idea of being included in a group is innate to human nature; it is unnatural to be anti-social
The church is not a spectator sport; the church is not a bunch of musicians putting on a show and an orator attempting to hold our attention. The churhs is who we are.
2. It is not just the "elite" or a "caste"
Our Relationship to God Our Respect for God-ordained Authority
Do not be called “Rabbi” Submit to those in authority
“Father” or “Teacher” Obey your leaders
(Matt 23:8-12) (Hebews 13:17)
You will give account They will give account for you
You are priests to God Called men given to help you grow
Neither male nor female Male overseers (I Tim. 2:11, 3:2)
(Galatians 3:28) Led by spiritually mature men
All in Christ new creation who meet rigorous criteria
(2 Cor. 5:17) (I Timothy 3:1-7)
B. SAINTS individually
Definition of saint: One set apart from the rest of humanity and society by personal, saving faith in Jesus Christ, one who has the righteousness of Christ and who is being conformed to Christ’s image (aka, “a genuinely saved person”).
The saints often have an unsaintly background (I Corinthinas 6:9-11)
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Still, the best testimony is: “I was saved at an early age…”
We are called to be non-conformists to this world; why do we struggle so?
The way we live, our fervent love for one another, does not save us; it is, rather, the fruit of being saved. Those who are called to be saints live like God-centered lives, eventually. Not all who claim to know Jesus Christ do. Proof in pudding.
C. The church (ASSEMBLY) collectively
The idea of the church is that of a faithful remnant
Many terms for the church, like the Body of Christ, but a spiritual family seems to be the main motiff…
I Timothy 3:14-16, "I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth."
The environment for a church gathering should be family-like; Vern Poythress writes:
In fact, almost the whole of 1 Timothy may be seen as a catalog of types of behavior and organization needed in a harmonious family. True doctrine is necessary because the family needs to know its own rules (1 Timothy 1:3-11, 18-20). Doctrine is therefore foundational for all the more specific kinds of organization and mutual relations within the family. Mercy and forgiveness bind the family together (1 Timothy 1:12-17). Protection is necessary from destructive outside interference and for the benefit of the family’s relations to the larger world (2:1-7). The men in the family must not generate strife among themselves but be united in petitions (2:8). The women must devote themselves to family service and not to frivolities (2:9-10) or to usurping authority over men (2:11-14). The family must have wise, competent overseers (3:1-7). It must have wise care for family needs (3:8-13). In every respect it must conform to divine order (3:14-16). Proper rules and examples from the leaders are most important (4:1-16). Family members must all treat one another with the respect and honor and sensitivity appropriate to their mutual status (5:1-6:2). Those in need must be cared for, preferably by those closest to them (5:3-10). Use of money must support family goals (6:6-10, 17-19). [Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, p. 237]