Summary: Paul talks about a mystery, the creation of a new man, people from all tribes and nations, including Jews and Gentiles...the Church of Jesus Church. There is something very significant about the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Last week- talked about Jesus being out front in 2008.
Referring to a song called Breathe Today by Flyleaf-
You can only move as fast as
Who’s in front of you
We can …
follow the wisdom of men,
live in the shadow of how life has always been never believing it can be different,
be crippled by life experiences from the past, or
we can put Christ out front/follow Him.
If we put Christ out front, if we put Him first, then we will move faster and farther than we could ever dream. (Brett Stebbins)
Word by Chuck Pierce- he believes 2008 will be …
*A time of supernatural interactions that will cause you to transcend your faith limitations.
*A year to stay in the secret place so you can be sent forth on key missions.
We looked at how this might affect us as a church.
The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ
This morning- look at the significance of the church.
Paul- literally in a Roman prison for preaching-Gospel
Paul- literally a prisoner of Rome, but above that he saw himself as a prisoner (bond-servant) of Christ.
2 Cor 4:5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. NASU
Bond-servant- gives himself up to the will of another.
In the greater sense we are all prisoners of Christ.
Are we Christians? Then we are bond-servants.
In another sense we were once slaves to our carnal mind/desires- now we are slaves of righteousness,
17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. NASU
We are no longer ….
slaves of sin but slaves of righteousness,
who find ourselves in the Lord’s service as His bond-servants.
Paul had been given a stewardship from God.
Stewardship- manage the property/affairs of another.
He had been entrusted to manage certain aspects of God’s affairs on earth.
Gal 2:7-8 (reference only)
7 … I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised
8 (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles)
We have likewise received a stewardship from God.
1 Pet 4:10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. NASU
The HS has been deposited within us and we have received grace from God to steward some part
of His work here on earth.
Mystery- does not mean something mysterious, not an Agatha Christy/Conan Doyle mystery- whodunit.
It is a mystery in the sense that it was a truth not previously known but has now been made clear.
Moffatt translation- calls it a divine secret.
The mystery was something not revealed in the OT and now revealed in the New Covenant.
Something no longer to be kept secret.
What is this mystery?
This mystery is further explained in …
The mystery is not that Gentiles would be saved, this was clear in the OT.
The mystery- Christ is now the head of a new body made up- all tribes/peoples, both Jew/Gentile.
The mystery is that Jews/Gentiles were placed before God on the same basis.
By faith in Christ they were both brought into a new body which is the church w/Christ as its head.
From Adam to Abraham- all peoples fell into what category(ies)? Gentile.
From Abraham to Christ- all peoples fell into what category(ies)? Jew or Gentile.
From Christ until the end of age- all peoples fall into what category(ies)? Jew, Gentile, church.
Do we understand the significance of the church?
We are a part of the greatest organization since the foundation of the world.
Actually, the church is not just an organization or a club meeting that we attend once a week.
It is- living, breathing, body of Christ on earth today.
Where Christ physically walked the earth 2K yrs ago-
touching people’s lives and
that is our job today.
The whole world has been placed before the church- it is the field in which we have been called to labor.
It was the gift of God’s grace that transformed Saul, a proud Pharisee who persecuted the church,
to Paul, an Apostle who was now not just a
physical prisoner of Rome, but a
bond-servant of Christ Jesus.
He was removed from one group and put into another.
He is now a member of the body of Christ.