THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 1-14-07
LESSON TITLE: "I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH: THE CHURCH IS THE KINGDOM AND BODY"
"Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them," Good morning and thank you for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. We are excited to have you with us for this time of offering and encouragement, as we participate in the things of God. We are glad that you have joined us for this worship to our Savior.
Our commitment this morning is to give glory to the Creator through the singing of songs of praise and through the study of His Word. I hope and pray that each of us will do our part to make this service acceptable in His sight. Now will you bow with me in prayer.
This morning we want to begin our songs of praise by singing a song which gives great encouragement to the faithful Child of God. So, at this time, won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together, "Does Jesus Care?"
(SONG # 1)
One of the hardest things which we must all learn as Christians is how we need to treat others. This is so important because the way we treat others is to be the same way Christ would treat them. In fact, isn't that why we are called Christians - we are to be Christ-like!
The Bible says we are to be imitators of God, as His dear Children, Ephesians 5:1. Furthermore, as we quoted earlier, Christ told us in the Golden rule to treat others as we want to be treated, Matthew 7:12.
Learning how to treat others is especially hard when it comes to those who we really don't like or who don't like us, or possibly even those who have done things against us. The wise man Solomon even understood this as he said, "If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink," Proverbs 25:21. This is also the same idea which Jesus presented in Matthew 5:44, when He said, "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." You might say but why, well verse 45 goes on to say, "in order to be sons of God," we must do this.
I think the best verses on our discussion are found in Matthew 25. Here again our Lord is talking when He told His followers to do good unto all men - no matter who they are. He even mentions those in prison in His discussion. However, He really drives the point home when He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." When we do good to anyone or treat them properly we must consider that we have done the same to Jesus. However, if we do bad or don't help those which we need to, we must also consider that we have not done it to Christ. So I ask, are you treating others as Christ would in your daily lives? If not choose today to begin treating others as God commands!
Our guest speaker this morning will be brother Jerry Sullins. Director of the Bible Institute of Missouri. We are glad to have him with us today to lead our main thoughts from God's Word. As far as our study, today we will be considering this statement, "The Church Is The Kingdom And Body." This is our next lesson in our series, "I Will Build My Church." So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together we will return with this study from God's Word. The name of our next hymn is, "The Great Physician!"
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Jerry Sullins
We're delighted to be with you today and we hope and trust that the things that are said will bring you closer to God and to a better understanding of His Holy Word. Many of you are viewers of this program every Sunday morning and we want to thank you for your constant viewing of the program and for your encouragement of others to listen in every Lord's Day morning at this time. This program has been on the air for over 30 years and we are so thankful that you, as our guest, or you have invited us in your home as your guest so that we might study with you from God's Holy Word. We don't claim to be infallible, but we do claim that the Bible is infallible and we do believe that we have a responsibility to search the pages of God's Word to know what God's Will is for us in all matters that pertain to religion.
So this morning, we're going to investigate or look into the Bible and see what the Bible has to say about a most important subject and that is the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There's so much misunderstanding in the religious world today concerning the kingdom. Some people, when they hear the word "kingdom" mentioned, they immediately think of a time in the future when Jesus will come and rapture His saints up. This is the doctrine of Milleniallism. And there they will establish or become a part of a kingdom that will have is headquarters here in Jerusalem over in Palestine and Jesus will reign on a throne for 1,000 years. Well certainly we do not believe that that is a proper interpretation of the text, but that is not our subject this morning. What we're trying to determine is what is the kingdom and when we read in God's Word, how do we recognize what the kingdom is and just see what God has to say in His Holy Word concerning the kingdom.
Now if you really look at the Bible honestly, you'll have to recognize as we will show clearly by the scripture that when the kingdom is mentioned, it can be referring to the church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and also it can be referring to the body of Christ. And so as we investigate these scriptures this morning, will you not honestly look at them and determine for yourself. We're not trying to force you to believe anything, but determine for yourself what the Bible actually says about the kingdom.
I call your attention first of all to the book of Ephesians chapter 3 beginning with verse 10 where it speaks of the church, but after we give this scripture I would like to make reference to others where we can determine what the truth is concerning the kingdom as it relates to the church. The apostle Paul said to the church at Ephesus, "To the intent now that the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers and heavenly places according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord." There seems to be and is a reference there concerning how the church was in existence in the mind of God even before the beginning of the world. In fact, that is exactly what it says. So we can believe it to be true because we believe that the apostle Paul was an inspired writer, inspired by the Holy Spirit Himself. So when we look back through the pages of God's Word, is there any indication as to what this church actually was to become or when it was established. And are there any other terms that actually describe the church that is spoken of here in Ephesians chapter 3?
I call your attention to Daniel chapter 2 verse 44. This reference is made to basically a promise that was made to Abraham in Genesis chapter 12 beginning in verse 1. Now you know Abraham is considered the Father of Faith and a promise was made to him that if he would remain faithful, that through his seed all nations of the earth would be blessed. Now Isaiah spoke of that in Isaiah chapter 2 when he made reference directly to the nations of the earth that would flow into this great kingdom which we refer to as the church in Isaiah chapter 2. Then Daniel calls in this same type of prophecy, he calls it by a different term. Let us read Daniel chapter 2, verse 44. It says, "And in the days of these kings, the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed and the kingdom shall not be left to other people. It shall break in pieces and consume all of these kingdoms and it will stand forever." Now if you look at the book of Daniel historically in prophecy, then exactly at the time the church was established in Acts chapter 2 all the historical evidences prove that this was what Daniel was speaking of and Daniel was making reference to the very same thing that Isaiah was speaking of in Isaiah chapter 2.
Again as we see in the scripture in looking at John and his preaching, have you ever noticed the purpose of John the Baptist? What was he on this earth to do? The scripture plainly teaches that John the Baptist came to this earth to be a forerunner of Jesus Christ. What was his principle message? Remember what John said when he went throughout the wilderness and when he came out into the areas of Palestine? His first and foremost message was preaching that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. Now the term "kingdom of heaven" and the "church" were used interchangeably throughout the four gospel accounts that we find in the New Testament in our Bibles.
Now what was the message that Jesus taught while He was on the face of the earth? Did He make reference to the kingdom? He certainly did because He preached the very same message that John spoke. He preached that people ought to get ready because the kingdom of heaven was at hand. Now "at hand" means it is something that is soon to come. It is something that is soon to come into existence and so John the Baptist and Jesus Christ Himself were teaching about this kingdom that Daniel spoke of in Daniel chapter 2, verse 44.
Now the question is: Did Jesus make any other reference to the kingdom of God? If we turn to Matthew chapter 16, verses 16-18, Jesus is speaking to His disciples. As you know, Jesus chose 12 men that He would entrust with the spreading of the gospel throughout the world, and He made a very important statement there in Matthew 16, verses 16-18. You know that He had just been questioning Peter and the other apostles as to "who do men say that I the son of man am?" And they said, "Some say that thou are Elijah. Some say that you are a prophet. Some say that you're John the Baptist and some say that you are Christ." And He said, "But who do you say that I am?" And then Peter spoke and said, "You are the Christ, the son of the Living God." Now that word "Christ" means the Messiah or the Anointed One. "You are the Anointed One of God. You are the Savior of the world," is what Peter was telling Jesus Christ after answering Him. And remember what Jesus said to Peter on this occasion. He said in verse 17, "Blessed are you Simon Barjonah for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but My Father who is in heaven has revealed to you (what Peter?) that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. He is indeed My Son. Then Jesus went on to say in verse 19, "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven." Now what was he binding and loosing? Those things that were going to be given to him by the Holy Spirit Himself. The Holy Spirit would give them the words that they were to speak as Jesus told His disciples in John chapter 16. Now we might note that Jesus is saying this specifically to Peter but in Matthew chapter 18, just two chapters after that, He told all of His disciples that "I will give unto you the keys to the kingdom of heaven and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Now this is a very important statement. First of all, what was He speaking of? He was speaking of the kingdom that was to be established. The kingdom that Jesus Himself spoke of when He said, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The same kingdom that John the Baptist was speaking of when he went around preaching, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." It's the same kingdom that Daniel spoke of in Daniel 2, verse 44 when he said, "This kingdom that all nations will flow unto this kingdom in the days of those kings," and these were the days of those kings that Daniel was speaking of.
So my friend, what is the truth here? That Jesus was talking of a kingdom that would be established soon. Now a key verse, and not just this verse, but it is also found in the book of Matthew is in Mark chapter 9, verse 1 where Jesus said, He said to His disciples, "There are few of you standing here who shall not taste of death." Well what does that mean? "There are few of you standing here who shall not die 'til you see the kingdom of God with power from on high." Now was a kingdom going to come? Well if you believe what Jesus was saying here. Jesus was saying, "Yes. Before you die, the kingdom will come." Did that happen? Did the disciples receive the keys to the kingdom? Have you read Acts chapter 2 when the church was established? Was that not the kingdom that Joel spoke of which it mentions in Acts chapter 1, in Acts chapter 2? It was that kingdom that Joel was speaking of where his spirit would be poured out upon all flesh that is prophesied by Joel the prophet. And so my friend, we accept the truth of God's Word. There was a kingdom that was to be established. That kingdom was established evidently as we believe the Bible is teaching in Acts chapter 2.
I call your attention to the book of Colossians because here once and for all forever more, we'll see what the Bible says concerning the kingdom. Look at Colossians 1, verse 13. "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the son of His love in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of our sins." Now what was that kingdom? Look at verse 18. Just a few verses later Paul said, "And He is the head of the body, the church who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence." So what was the kingdom? It was the church. What is the church? It is the body.
I call your attention to Ephesians chapter 5, verse 23 where it says, "For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ also is the head of the church and He is the savior of the body." He is the head of the church and He is the savior of the body. They're one in the same, and the body is the same as the kingdom.
One of the last scriptures that I would like for us to consider is 1 Corinthians 12, verse 13. A very conclusive scripture for it says, "For by one spirit, you are all baptized into one body." So we are baptized into one body. We're baptized into one church. We're baptized into one kingdom.
So the question is: How can I get into the kingdom of God? Wouldn't that be a wonderful question to have answered for you and for me? Well it is answered in this scripture. Jesus said, "Repent or perish," Luke 13:3. Have you repented or turned away from your sin? Why would Jesus want you in His kingdom or in His church as a part of His body if you're not willing to repent or to turn away from your sins? We're talking about spiritual matters here that pertain to eternal destiny. We're not talking about what the price of eggs is at Wal-Mart. We're not talking about that. We're talking about your salvation. Are you willing to repent of your sin? The scripture is plain. You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That's exactly what the truth reveals to us in Romans 10:9-10, and you must be baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins. It doesn't matter what a man says. Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved," Mark 16:15-16. What did Peter say as he revealed to those people on the Day of Pentecost the keys to the kingdom of heaven? He said, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Who would deny that Jesus wants us to be baptized for our salvation? The person who refuses to recognize what the scripture says. Jesus Himself said we must be baptized. Jesus Himself told through the Holy Spirit, or God Himself through the Holy Spirit told the apostles that they must preach that people need to repent and be baptized.
So do you want to join in with all of us in recognizing all of us who view the Bible as the infallible Word of God in recognizing what you need to do to be saved and become a part of the kingdom? Then my friend, you must adhere to those teachings that are found in God's Holy Word. So how can you be added to the church or His body? How can you become a New Testament Christian? By obeying your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then and only then will you be welcome into the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
(SONG # 3 - "Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary!")
Again, let me thank you for choosing to be with us this morning. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
Now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a free cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or free Bible correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:
The Living Word
2540 N. Kansas Expressway
Springfield, Mo. 65803
Many of these materials are also available on our web site:
That address is: www.thelivingwordprogram.com
Or if you prefer, you may call us at:
How wonderful it is to be a part of God's Kingdom, which is the Church and body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May we all show greater respect for the church, due to this knowledge. Furthermore, may we do all things as a part of the church as our God commands us in His precious Word.