Summary: We know the role of the Potter and the role of the Clay, but what is the role of the Church? A revisit of the well known story as well as a study of the purpose of the church!
SERIES: “The Purpose of the Church” – Part 2
Part 1: Luke 14:25-35 “What Is the Cost of Discipleship”
- All believers are called into Discipleship
- There is a cost for discipleship
- All called but b/c of cost, many are not willing or (prepared) to pay the price
- Saw that One purpose of church is to prepare and encourage in that process
Part 2: Jeremiah – “The Potter, The Clay, The Church”
From 2006 – “The Potter and the Clay” – (adding the church’s purpose)
- Jeremiah a young prophet @ the age of 14
- to deliver message of disaster if people did not repent
- People began to plan his death to the point Jeremiah complains to God
- Jeremiah (sorry for the day he was born) – asked God for help
- People ignored warning & were sentenced to 70 years of captivity
The Characters of our Lesson – “The Potter, The Clay, The Church”
- God as a “Potter” – His Power and Part
- The Believer here as the “Clay” – his part and purpose
- Message directed to “Nation – People – Congregation”
- In OT – one people; Upon Christ – became local church from scattering
- God uses an Illustration – Potter and Clay – to prepare Jeremiah’s sermon
- A sermon to the House of Israel – the OT original Church
- A sermon with an application to the New Testament Church
The Passage - JEREMIAH 18:1-6
1. READ VERSES 1-2:
I found it interesting that Jeremiah must 1st go to the Potter’s House before the Lord would give Him his sermon. (a mental block – be at church or Bible study)
a) God uses the Potter’s House (probably a place he has seen daily) to teach…
b) God uses our circumstances to teach and prepare us for something to come!
c) And not just good but ALL THINGS as we looked last week.
Side Note of Caution
Sometimes because God is able to use all things for our good, we tend to blame God for all things – even bad things of satan – such as disease, sickness, death, etc.(things that God is NOT the cause of)
2. READ VERSES 3-4:
The MESSAGE is shown to Jeremiah. Jeremiah watches as the Potter begins to form the “pot”. Now He is ready! He is at the place and time where God needs Him to be.
3. READ VERSES 5-6
“THEN the word…” (after listening, being available, and obeying)
Jeremiah had to be available for God to “prepare him for what was in store”.
Just as Jeremiah had … so you and I must do the same.
Now, there are many Lessons of Application for us…but today:
1. The Role of The Potter – The Artist - GOD
2. The Role of The Clay – The Masterpiece – The BELIEVER
3. The Role of The Church – The TEACHER
I. GOD – THE POTTER
The potter gives full attention working with that helpless, ugly, messy piece of clay. His intent to transform that piece of marred clay into a piece of art – a masterpiece.
From vs 4, we see that the Potter has complete power -- is unlimited.
– can’t stop the potter
– can’t question his right or understanding
– can’t RESIST his will nor altar His plan.
A. GOD IS SOVEREIGN
READ VERSE 6a AGAIN
Just as the potter worked the clay into a fashioned pot, so God can work and fashion you and I into his masterpiece. But GOD DOES THE FORMING!
Sometimes WE need to be reminded that:
GOD doesn’t NEED us for anything but WE need God for EVERYTHING!
B. GOD’S HANDS
Go back to the Potter’s House (vs 4). The Potter is serious in what he is doing. He’s not playing around. His only focus is the masterpiece he is creating. It’s all in the tender touch of his hands!
READ VERSE 6b AGAIN
God, the potter, even in our marred condition, still sees a Masterpiece! He tenderly and lovingly works to accomplish His Purpose!
READ EPH. 2:1,4-5 & 2:10
II. THE CLAY
What about the “Clay”. Go back to the potter’s house and look over on top of the shelf. The one with all of those pretty bowls, and pots, and vases, and tools. The finished pieces of clay. What are they worth?
WHAT IS THE VALUE of the pots?
- On its own, the piece of marred clay was worthless – of no value.
- Through the potter’s hands, the clay received its value
The POTTER’S DESIRE is that the CLAY have a PURPOSE & VALUE.
- As the potter worked, its value increased!
- But it’s because of the POTTER and NOT the CLAY.
Isaiah 64:8 “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”