Summary: Pentecost 17(A) - As believers we belong to the Lord both in our earthly life and for our eternal life.
WE BELONG TO THE LORD (Outline)
September 23, 2007 -
PENTECOST 17 -
INTRO: What is your favorite possession? You may recall with a certain fondness your first valuable possession. We might remember that first car, first house, or other first possessions that seemed or still seem very important to us. We take special care of those things that we value the most. We may even store away in a very safe place the possessions that are most valuable. The Lord God spoke through Moses to his people to remind them they were special. Those words foreshadowed when the Lord God spoke through the apostle Paul to the early Christian church of believers. "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession"(DEUTERONOMY 7:6). The Lord looks at every believer as his most important, most valuable possession. With that in mind God’s word brings us great comfort as we consider the theme:
WE BELONG TO THE LORD. By God’s free grace we belong to the Lord: I. In our earthly life,
and; II. For our eternal life.
I. (WE BELONG TO THE LORD) IN OUR EARTHLY LIFE.
A. Great and drastic changes were taking place in the early Christian church.
1. The people once outside, once considered religious rejects were now entering God’s kingdom.
2. Those who were once thought of as not chosen were now chosen. Gentiles were being saved!
B. By God’s free grace and the power of God’s word the Lord was bringing Gentiles into his church.
1. Gentile believers did not have the traditions nor customs of the Jewish believers, verse 5.
a. Israel worshiped on Saturday, their traditional Sabbath day for worship.
b. Gentile believers used Sunday: day of Christ’s resurrection, day of Pentecost.
2. In either case, Saturday or Sunday, both were to worship giving glory to the Lord, verse 6.
a. Jewish believers – clean & unclean food. b. Gentile believers had no such worries.
C. The church faced worship and food challenges (+ others) of different cultures coming together.
D. With Jesus’ death and resurrection the temple curtain was torn in two. The early church was growing away from the old, traditional, worship ways that had been in use for generations. The early Christian church was now coming to grips with many “things neither forbidden nor commanded by God” – (adiaphora). Christ’s sacrifice upon the cross gave the church Christian freedom. There was freedom in worship among many other things. The word must was removed from the vocabulary concerning worship life. When anyone today says, “you must do this or that”. Is that what God really says? "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ"(COLOSSIANS 2:16,17). Today our day of worship is on Sunday: the first day of creation, the day of Christ’s resurrection, and the day of Pentecost. Every day the believer can worship God.
E. Our modern day church is not much different from the early Christian church. There are thousands upon thousands of people coming to America from foreign lands. With them they bring their customs and traditions that may seem new and very different from what we are used to. Are they wrong? Are they bad? No, not always. We need to remember that we can adapt and adopt those things that give glory to God. This does not mean that we throw out Scriptural sound doctrine. God’s word is still the truth! We are also to bear with our weaker brothers. We are to remember that saving faith is saving faith.
"You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ"(GALATIANS 3:26,27). We, all believers, belong to the Lord.
F. As believers we no longer act and live in a vacuum. We live not to serve ourselves but to look out for the best interests of our fellow man. Why? Simply because we belong to the Lord. We have been called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light. God looks at us as his treasured, valuable possession. "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body"(1 CORINTHIANS 6:19,20). We belong to the Lord. How awesome is our God who loves us!
WE BELONG TO THE LORD in our earthly life.