THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 1-26-14

LESSON TITLE: “THE CHURCH BUILT AND FOUNDED ON CHRIST.”

WELCOME

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US THIS MORNING FOR THE LIVING WORD PROGRAM. IT IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU WITH US FOR THIS TIME OF PRAISE AND HOMAGE TO GOD. IT IS OUR DESIRE THIS MORNING TO DO ALL THINGS IN ACCORDANCE TO HIS WILL, AS WE SING SONGS AND STUDY FROM HIS WORD. MAY WE ALL PARTICIPATE AND DO OUR PART, IN THIS TIME OF WORSHIP TO GOD. LET'S BEGIN OUR OFFERING TODAY WITH A WORD OF PRAYER, BOW WITH ME PLEASE.

PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY AND THE MANY BLESSINGS OF LIFE AND THE PRIVILEGE THAT WE HAVE TO BE CALLED YOUR CHILDREN AND TO SERVE YOU. FATHER, HELP US TO ALWAYS LOOK TO YOUR WORD TO FIND THE GUIDANCE AND THE STRENGTH THAT WE NEED TO GO ON EVERYDAY AS WE LIVE IN THIS LIFE AND AS WE WORK TOWARDS THE ETERNAL LIFE THAT COMES TO THOSE WHO ARE FAITHFUL. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN. IT IS OUR PRIVILEGE THIS MORNING, TO SING A SONG OF PRAISE BEFORE GOD'S THRONE. SO WON'T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER, "SOLDIERS OF CHRIST ARISE!" DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS I ONCE READ AN ARTICLE THAT MADE THE DECLARATIVE STATEMENT, THAT MANY OF US HAVE A "GRASSHOPPER MENTALITY." AT FIRST I THOUGHT MY REACTION WAS, "YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING," BUT THEN AFTER READING IT I SAID, "YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT." I KNOW YOUR STARTING TO THINK WHAT ON EARTH IS HE TALKING ABOUT. WELL LET'S GO A LITTLE FURTHER!

REMEMBER THE WISEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED, SOLOMON? HE SAID, IN PROVERBS 6:6, "GO TO THE ANT, YOU SLUGGARD! CONSIDER HER WAYS AND BE WISE," THERE WE HAVE IT AGAIN, INSECTS OR BUGS MENTIONED IN GOD'S WORD, BUT HOW ON EARTH COULD THIS HAVE A SPIRITUAL APPLICATION.

WELL, THINK FOR A MOMENT ABOUT BUGS! THERE ARE CERTAINLY MANY INSECTS IN THIS WORLD AND SOME ARE DEFINITELY FASCINATING CREATURES. IN FACT, IF I WERE TO ASK YOU WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF BUG, I WOULD PROBABLY RECEIVE A VARIETY OF REPLIES. BUT THE MOST COMMON MIGHT BE SOMETHING LIKE THIS, "WHO LIKES BUGS!" WELL, SOMEBODY MUST, BECAUSE EVEN MANY MOVIES IN OUR DAY ARE CENTERED AROUND BUGS AND HOW THEY LIVE.

SO HOW DOES ALL THIS TIE IN TO GOD'S WORD? WELL LET ME FIRST SAY, ISN'T IT INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT THE BIBLE TALKS ABOUT MANY KINDS OF BUGS TO MAKE POINTS CONCERNING OUR LABORS AS CHILDREN OF GOD. FURTHERMORE, ISN'T IT INTERESTING HOW WE FIND THE ANSWERS TO ALL THINGS IN THE BIBLE? NOW LET ME ASK YOU, "WHERE DOES THE BIBLE TALK ABOUT GRASSHOPPERS?"

FIRST OF ALL, YOU MIGHT THINK OF THE PLAGUES WHICH WERE EXECUTED UPON THE EGYPTIANS, BUT THAT'S NOT OUR TEXT TODAY. ANOTHER MENTION OF GRASSHOPPERS IS FOUND IN LEVITICUS 11:22, WHERE IT TALKS ABOUT THESE INSECTS AS BEING GOOD TO EAT. I'M SURE THAT MAKES US ALL HUNGRY, HUH?

HOWEVER, THE TEXT WE WANT TO CONSIDER THIS MORNING IS FOUND IN NUMBERS 13, WHERE THE TEN SPIES GAVE A BAD REPORT ABOUT THE LAND OF CANAAN. THEY SAID, "THERE WE SAW THE GIANTS; AND WE WERE LIKE GRASSHOPPERS IN OUR OWN SIGHT, AND SO WE WERE IN THEIR SIGHT." REMEMBER THIS STORY WHEN THE TWELVE SPIES WERE SENT TO SCOUT OUT THE LAND OF CANAAN? WHEN THEY CAME BACK ONLY TWO OF THE TWELVE GAVE A GOOD GODLY REPORT, THAT IS - JOSHUA AND CALEB. THE OTHER TEN SAID THAT THERE WAS NO WAY THE ISRAELITES COULD TAKE THE LAND OF CANAAN FROM SUCH GIANTS.

NOW WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE IN THE TWO REPORTS? WELL, THE TEN SPIES HAD A "GRASSHOPPER MENTALITY." THEY LOOKED AT THINGS FROM A SMALL, WORLDLY AND PHYSICALLY STANDPOINT, LACKING FAITH IN GOD. HOWEVER, JOSHUA AND CALEB, LOOKED AT THE FACTS FROM THE STANDPOINT OF GOD AS THEIR LEADER, SAYING, "LET US GO UP AT ONCE AND TAKE POSSESSION, FOR WE ARE WELL ABLE TO OVERCOME IT." WHAT GREAT THINGS WE COULD ALL ACCOMPLISH FOR GOD, IF WE COULD START HAVING A GREATER FAITH, AND STOP LOOKING AT THINGS AS GRASSHOPPERS. MAY WE NEVER FORGET THAT, "ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD." WE CAN TRULY DO ANYTHING WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE.

IT IS WONDERFUL TO AGAIN HAVE WITH US BROTHER BRENT GREEN, AS OUR GUEST SPEAKER OF THE DAY. BROTHER BRENT IS A FULL TIME INSTRUCTOR AT THE BIBLE INSTITUTE OF MISSOURI. WE THANK HIM FOR JOINING US, AS HE WILL BE LEADING US IN OUR BIBLE STUDY OF THE MORNING AFTER SINGING OUR NEXT SONG TOGETHER. AS FAR AS OUR SERIES, WE ARE STILL CONSIDERING THE TOPIC, “UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH.” OUR SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE DAY IS ENTITLED, “THE CHURCH BUILT AND FOUNDED ON CHRIST.” SO STAY WITH US AND WE WILL ENTER INTO THIS DISCUSSION IN JUST A FEW MINUTES. NOW LET'S SING OUR SECOND HYMN OF THE MORNING, IT'S NAME, "SUN OF MY SOUL."

LESSON

BY BRENT GREEN

IN MATTHEW 16:18 JESUS SAID, “UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH.” THE IDEA THERE THAT JESUS CHRIST BUILT THE CHURCH IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE BECAUSE IT ALSO TELLS US AS WE THINK ABOUT ALL THAT GOES ON IN THE CHURCH AND HOW IT IS ORGANIZED AND ALL THAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE, IT ALL GOES BACK TO JESUS CHRIST. HE BUILT IT AND FOUNDED IT SO WITHOUT HIM THERE IS NO FOUNDATION. IT IS INTERESTING TO THINK ABOUT THAT IDEA OF FOUNDATION. BACK IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 7, JESUS TALKED ABOUT TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF BUILDERS; THE WISE BUILDER AND THE FOOLISH BUILDER. HE SAYS THE WISE BUILDER WAS THE ONE WHO HEARS THE WORDS OF CHRIST AND BUILDS HIS HOUSE UPON THEM. WHEN THE RAINS COME AND THE FLOODS COME UP, THAT HOUSE STANDS FIRM BECAUSE IT IS BUILT UPON THE ROCK. THE FOOLISH BUILDER IS ALSO MENTIONED THERE AS THE ONE WHO HEARD THE SAME WORDS BUT DIDN'T BUILD HIS FOUNDATION ON CHRIST SO WHEN THE RAINS CAME UP, WHAT HAPPENED? THAT HOUSE WAS DESTROYED BECAUSE IT WAS BUILT UPON THE SAND AND THE FOUNDATION WAS NOT FIRM. GIVEN THERE REMIND US OF HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO BE BUILT UPON A SOLID FOUNDATION.

AGAIN, AS WE THINK ABOUT THE CHURCH AND WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT SHOULD BE, THE CHURCH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT WE READ ABOUT IN THE BOOK OF ACTS AND THE LETTERS THAT PAUL WROTE AND THE DIFFERENT CHURCHES THROUGHOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT, WHAT DO WE SEE? WE SEE THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING BUILT UPON A PROPER FOUNDATION. THE FACT IS, JESUS AGAIN SAID THAT HE IS THAT FOUNDATION AND HE IS THAT ROCK UPON WHICH THE CHURCH IS BUILT. SO TODAY WE ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN WE ASSEMBLE AS WE WORSHIP, WE HAVE TO BE DOING IT GOD'S WAY. THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPAL MAKING SURE, FIRST AND FOREMOST, THAT WE ARE BUILT ON A PROPER FOUNDATION. THERE ARE MANY RELIGIOUS GROUPS AROUND THE WORLD BUT WE ALL HAVE TO ASK OURSELVES A QUESTION: IN ANY GROUP THAT WOULD CLAIM TO BE WORSHIPING GOD AS THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE, THEY NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE BUILT UPON THAT PROPER FOUNDATION OF JESUS CHRIST. AS WE THINK ABOUT THIS FOUNDATION, CHRIST IS A FOUNDATION THAT WAS ACTUALLY PROPHESIED ABOUT MANY, MANY YEARS BEFORE HE EVER CAME. IF YOU GO BACK TO THE OLD TESTAMENT AND THE BOOK OF DANIEL CHAPTER 2, WE READ ABOUT THE DREAM OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR AND ITS INTERPRETATION AND HOW THERE WOULD BE KINGDOMS THAT WOULD RISE AND FALL, ALL LEADING UP TO THE COMING OF CHRIST. HOW THE BABYLONIANS WOULD FALL TO THE MEADS AND HOW THE MEADS WOULD FALL TO THE GRECIANS AND HOW THE GREEKS WOULD FALL TO THE ROMANS. THAT WOULD BE THE EMPIRE THAT WAS IN POWER WHEN JESUS CHRIST CAME TO ESTABLISH HIS KINGDOM. IT'S INTERESTING THAT THE FOUNDATION THAT JESUS WOULD BUILD AND LAY FOR THE CHURCH IS ACTUALLY MENTIONED THERE AS A PROPHECY IN DANIEL CHAPTER 2:44-45. DANIEL CHAPTER 2 VERSE 44 SAYS, “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 ANOTHER PEOPLE. IT SHALL BREAK IN PIECES AND CONSUME ALL THESE KINGDOMS AND IT SHALL STAND FOREVER. IN AS MUCH AS YOU SAW THE STONE WAS CUT OUT OF THE MOUNTAIN WITHOUT HANDS AND THAT IT BROKE IN PIECES THE IRON, BRONZE, AND CLAY. THE SILVER AND THE GOLD. THE GREAT GOD HAS ALSO MADE KNOWN TO THE KING WHAT WILL COME TO PASS AFTER THIS.” THIS DREAM IS CERTAIN AND ITS INTERPRETATION SURE, AS DANIEL EXPLAINED TO NEBUCHADNEZZAR HIS DREAM AND WHAT IT MEANT. HE TELLS US IN VERSES 44 AND 45 THAT THERE WILL COME A KINGDOM SOMEDAY. IT WILL BE DIFFERENT THAN THESE EARTHLY KINGDOMS THAT ARE TALKED ABOUT. THIS WILL BE A SPIRITUAL KINGDOM ESTABLISHED BY GOD. HE TALKS ABOUT A STONE CUT WITHOUT HANDS. IT IS ESTABLISHED BY GOD AND IT WAS FASHIONED AND MADE BY GOD. THE STONE AS WE TALK ABOUT, EVEN AND AS WE WILL HEAR IN A MOMENT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, WHO WOULD BE THAT STONE? WHO WOULD LAY THAT FOUNDATION? JESUS CHRIST. YOU CAN BACK UP TO DANIEL CHAPTER 2:35 AS HE TALKS ABOUT THIS KINGDOM IT WOULD BE A GREAT MOUNTAIN AND IT WOULD BE SPREAD ALL ACROSS THE FACE OF THE WORLD. WHAT AGAIN IS HE TALKING ABOUT? THE CHURCH ANF THE PROPHECY OF THE FOUNDATION OF THAT CHURCH BEING LAID BY JESUS CHRIST. IT IS EVEN SEEN HERE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT IN DANIEL CHAPTER 2. THE GREAT KINGDOM IS PROPHESIED ABOUT AND IT'S FOUNDATION AND STONE IS PROPHESIED.

WE NOW MOVE TO THE NEW TESTAMENT AND WE SEE INDEED THAT CHRIST IS THE BUILDER. HE IS THE ONE WHO LAID THE FOUNDATION. HE IS THE ONE WHO ESTABLISHED HIS CHURCH THERE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. I WANT YOU TO CONSIDER A FEW PASSAGES AS WE THINK ABOUT CHRIST BEING THE BUILDER. THE FIRST IS IN 1TIMOTHY CHAPTER 3:15. PAUL WOULD WRITE TO TIMOTHY AND HE WOULD REFER TO THE CHURCH BY THIS CHARACTERISTIC. FIRST TIMOTHY CHAPTER 3:15 SAYS, “IF I'M DELAYED, I WRITE SO THAT YOU MAY KNOW HOW YOU OUGHT TO CONDUCT YOURSELVES IN THE HOUSE OF GOD, WHICH IS THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD. THE PILLAR AND THE GROUND OF TRUTH.” PAUL REFERS TO THE CHURCH AS BEING THE HOUSE OF GOD. THE IMAGE THERE OF A HOUSE OR STRUCTURE, AND WE UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS NOT A PHYSICAL STRUCTURE BUT A SPIRITUAL STRUCTURE, BUT EVEN WITH THAT IDEA BEING A HOUSE WOULD INDICATE THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAD TO BE BUILT. IF YOU'RE GOING TO BUILD A HOUSE, THEN WHERE DO YOU START? NOT WITH THE ROOF AND NOW WITH THE WALLS, BUT YOU START WITH THE FOUNDATION. WITH THAT IN MIND, YOU CAN ALSO SEE IN THE BOOK OF HEBREWS CHAPTER 3 THE WORDS THAT THE HEBREW WRITER GIVES CONCERNING THE BUILDING OF ANYTHING. BEGINNING IN VERSE 1 OF CHAPTER 3 WE'RE GOING TO READ THESE SIX VERSES AND SEE THE IMPORTANT POINTS THAT THE WRITER POINTS OUT ABOUT BUILDING. HEBREWS 3:1 SAYS, “THEREFORE HOLY BRETHREN, PARTAKERS OF THE HEAVENLY CALLING, CONSIDER THE APOSTLE AND HIGH PRIEST OF OUR CONFESSION, CHRIST JESUS WHO WAS FAITHFUL TO HIM, WHO WAS APPOINTED HIM, AS MOSES ALSO WAS FAITHFUL IN ALL HIS HOUSE. FOR THIS ONE HAS BEEN COUNTED WORTHY OF MORE GLORY THAN MOSES IN AS MUCH AS HE WHO BUILT THE HOUSE HAS MORE HONOR THAN THE HOUSE. FOR EVERY HOUSE IS BUILT BY SOMEONE AND HE WHO BUILDS ALL THINGS IS GOD. MOSES INDEED WAS FAITHFUL IN ALL HIS HOUSE AS A SERVANT FOR A TESTIMONY, THOSE SAYINGS WHICH WOULD BE SPOKEN AFTERWARD. BUT CHRIST, AS A SON OVER HIS OWN HOUSE, WHOSE HOUSE WE ARE IN IF WE HOLD FAST IN CONFIDENCE AND THE REJOICE IN THE HOPE...FIRM TO THE END.” WELL AGAIN, IF YOU LOOK AT A BUILDING, WHAT DOES EVERY BUILDING HAVE? THERE IN VERSE 4, AS WE HAVE JUST READ IN HEBREWS 3, THAT EVERY BUILDING IS BUILT BY SOMEONE. EVEN IN THE SAME VERSE, AS YOU THINK ABOUT THE EARTH AND ALL ITS CREATION, WHO BUILT AND WHO MADE OF ALL THOSE THINGS? GOD DID.

BUT AS WE THINK ABOUT THE CHURCH WHICH IS THE HOUSE OF GOD, WHO BUILT THAT HOUSE? IT IS JESUS CHRIST AND AGAIN AS WE HAVE JUST READ IN HEBREWS CHAPTER 3 THOSE STATEMENTS ARE MADE IN VERSE 3 WHERE IT SAYS HE BUILT THE HOUSE, TALKING ABOUT THIS SPIRITUAL HOUSE WHICH IS THE CHURCH AND THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST. IN VERSE 6 IT REFERS TO THE FACT HE IS OVER HIS OWN HOUSE. CHRIST IS THE BUILDER. HE IS THE ONE WHO LAID THE FOUNDATION FOR THE CHURCH. EVEN AGAIN AS WE MENTIONED AT THE VERY BEGINNING IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 16:18, JESUS SAID TO PETER, “UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH.” CHRIST BUILT HIS CHURCH AND THERE IS NO OTHER BUILDER AND THERE IS NO OTHER FOUNDER AND THERE IS NO OTHER MAN WHO CAN MAKE THAT CLAIM TO FULFILL THE PROPHECY OF DANIEL 2 AND TO FULFILL EVEN THE WORDS THAT WE HAVE READ HERE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. NO OTHER MAN CAN MATCH UP BECAUSE THERE IS NO OTHER THAN THE SON OF GOD JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF, WHO IS THAT BUILDER.

SO AS WE LOOK AROUND THE WORLD TODAY, THERE MAY BE SOME WHO WOULD EVEN READ VERSES LIKE MATTHEW 16:18 AND SAY THAT IT IS BUILT UPON PETER. IT SAYS IT IS BUILT UPON THE ROCK WHEN JESUS IS TALKING TO PETER. THERE IS DIFFICULTY EVEN IN THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE BECAUSE THE NAME PETER MEANS ROCK, BUT IT IS A SMALL OR PEBBLE. THE WORD THERE FOR ROCK IN MATTHEW 16:18 REFERS TO A BEDROCK, WHICH IS A FOUNDATIONAL ROCK. EVEN THE DIFFERENCE THERE IN GENDER BETWEEN THOSE TWO WORDS, IT'S NOT PETER. EVEN LATER AS WE LOOK AT THE SCRIPTURE, WE EVEN SEE MORE THAT THE ROCK IS CONFIRMED TO TRULY BE JESUS CHRIST, WHICH IS THE CHURCH. HIS HOUSE IS BUILT UPON HIMSELF, JESUS CHRIST. IF THERE IS ANY DOUBT IN THE WORLD, THOSE WHO WOULD CLAIM THAT THERE IS ANOTHER FOUNDER AND THOSE WHO WOULD SAY THAT THIS MAN STARTED OUR RELIGION AND THIS IS THE BOOK THAT WE NOW FOLLOW, IT ALL GOES OUT THE WINDOW VERY QUICKLY WHEN YOU LOOK AT OTHER PASSAGES. TURN TO FIRST CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 3. IF THERE'S EVER A DOUBT IN THE MINDS OF ANY THAT THERE'S ANOTHER FOUNDER AND THAT SOMEBODY ELSE BUILT THE CHURCH...NO, NOT AT ALL. 1CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 3:11 TELLS US THAT THERE CAN'T BE AND THERE IS NO OTHER BUILDER. 1CORINTHIANS 3:11 SAYS, “FOR NO OTHER FOUNDATION CAN ANYONE LAY THAN THAT WHICH IS LAID AND WHICH IS JESUS CHRIST.” THERE CAN BE NO OTHER BUILDER. THERE CAN BE NO OTHER FOUNDATION THAN THAT WHICH JESUS CHRIST ALREADY LAID. YOU SEE, THERE IS ONLY ONE FOUNDER. THERE'S ONLY ONE BUILDER OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH, THE CHURCH FOR WHICH JESUS CHRIST SHED HIS BLOOD. JESUS CHRIST IS THE BUILDER OF THE FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH.

FURTHERMORE, AS WE THINK ABOUT THE IDEA OF A FOUNDATION, THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE THAT WE SHOULD POINT OUT ABOUT CHRIST AS HE IS THAT BUILDER WHO DID LAY THE FOUNDATION. HE HAS GIVEN US A FOUNDATION THAT IS SOLID. AS WE COMPARE THE IMAGES OF MATTHEW CHAPTER 7, THE WISE BUILDER IS THE ONE WHO BUILT UPON A SOLID FOUNDATION ON THE ROCK. THEN YOU SEE THE OPPOSITE IN A FOOLISH BUILDER, WHO BUILDS HIS HOUSE UPON THE SAND. ANY STRUCTURE, IF IT IS GOING TO BE ABLE TO STAND FOR ANY TIME AT ALL, HAS TO BE BUILT UPON A SOLID FOUNDATION. WELL, THE CHURCH HAS BEEN BUILT UPON A SOLID FOUNDATION AND WE KNOW AGAIN THAT THAT IS BUILT UPON CHRIST. AS YOU THINK ABOUT THE IDEAS FROM THE SCRIPTURE, IT SHOWS VERY CLEARLY THAT WE DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE FOUNDATION. WE DON'T HAVE TO BE CONCERNED WHETHER IT'S GOING TO STAND UP TO THE STORMS OF LIFE. JESUS CHRIST IS THAT SOLID FOUNDATION. AS WE CONSIDER THE WORDS AGAIN OF MATTHEW 16:18 AND WHAT JESUS SAID UPON THE ROCK, IF YOU GO OVER TO 1CORINTHIANS 10:4, AS PAUL WOULD WRITE TO THE BRETHREN THERE IN CORINTH HE ACTUALLY TALKS ABOUT SEVERAL THINGS THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. HOW GOD TOOK CARE OF HIS PEOPLE AS THEY LEFT EGYPT AND AS THEY WANDERED IN THE WILDERNESS. IN 1CORINTHIANS 10:4 HE SAYS THAT THERE IS A ROCK THAT FOLLOWED THEM AND THE ROCK IS JESUS CHRIST. INTERESTING ENOUGH, IF YOU GO AND STUDY THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE IN THE GREEK, THE WORD FOR ROCK IN 1CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 10:4 IS AGAIN THE WORD PETRA, WHICH IS THE SAME FEMININE FORM OF THAT WORD THAT IS USED BACK IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 16:18 WHERE IT SAYS UPON THIS ROCK. WHO IS THAT ROCK? IT'S NOT THE SMALL PEBBLE. YOU CAN'T BUILD A FOUNDATION UPON A PEBBLE LIKE THE NAME PETER MEANS. THE FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH CAN ONLY BE BUILT UPON A BEDROCK, A LEDGE OF ROCK, A CLIFF, A ROCK, A SOLID FOUNDATION. WHO IS THAT ROCK? PAUL SAID VERY CLEARLY IN FIRST CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 10: 4 THAT THE ROCK IS CHRIST. THE IDEA THAT EVEN GOD BEING A ROCK IN GENERAL IS USED THROUGHOUT THE OLD TESTAMENT. DEUTERONOMY CHAPTER 32, THREE TIMES IN THAT CHAPTER IN VERSES 4, 15 AND 18, SAY THAT GOD IS A ROCK. HE IS A ROCK OF STRENGTH AND EVEN ISAIAH WOULD USE THAT SAME IMAGE IN ISAIAH CHAPTER 26:4. GOD IS A ROCK BUT THOSE CHARACTERISTICS ALSO APPLY TO JESUS, AS EVEN AS JESUS WOULD SPEAK OF HIMSELF IN MATTHEW 16.

AGAIN, AS YOU READ IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 16 WHEN IT SAYS UPON THIS ROCK, WE ASK OURSELVES THE QUESTION: WHAT IS THAT ROCK? WHAT IS THE THIS, IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT? IF YOU LOOK AT THE CONTEXT YOU CAN BACKUP TO VERSE 16 OF THAT SAME CHAPTER WHERE PETER SAID AFTER HE MADE HIS CONFESSION THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. JESUS SAYS UPON THIS ROCK, HE IS TALKING ABOUT HIMSELF AND THE FACT THAT HE IS THE SON OF GOD. THE CHURCH IS BUILT UPON THAT FACT THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. WHAT TYPE OF FOUNDATION DOES THAT GIVE TO US? A SOLID FOUNDATION BECAUSE JESUS IS THAT BEDROCK, THAT LEDGE OF ROCK THAT IS NOT GOING TO BE MOVED, SHAKED, OR QUAKED. HE IS A SOLID FOUNDATION. AS WE THINK ABOUT THE CHURCH AND THE BUILDER OF THE FOUNDATION, THAT IS WHAT WE HAVE. WE HAVE A SOLID FOUNDATION IN JESUS CHRIST. ONE MORE IMAGE OR CHARACTERISTIC FROM THE SCRIPTURES IS IMPORTANT TO TALK ABOUT AS WE TALK ABOUT OUR BUILDER AND OUR FOUNDER, JESUS CHRIST.

HE IS THE CORNERSTONE OF THAT FOUNDATION. I WANT YOU TO READ WITH ME FROM THE SCRIPTURE. THERE ARE TWO SCRIPTURES AGAIN THAT PERTAIN TO CHRIST BEING THIS FOUNDATIONAL ROCK. ONE IS THERE IN EPHESIANS CHAPTER 2 AND SPECIFICALLY IN VERSE 20. IT SAYS, “HAVING BEEN BUILT ON THE FOUNDATION OF THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF BEING THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE IN WHOM THE WHOLE BUILDING BEING FITTED TOGETHER GROWS INTO A HOLY TEMPLE IN THE LORD FOR WHOM YOU'RE ALSO BEING BUILT TOGETHER A DWELLING PLACE FOR GOD OR OF GOD IN THE SPIRIT.” THE IMAGE HERE OR THE IDEA HERE IS OF JESUS CHRIST BEING THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE. THAT IS THE STONE OF IMMENSE IMPORTANCE BECAUSE IT IS RIGHT THERE IN THE CORNER. IT IS A MASSIVE STONE THAT HAS TO BE PERFECT AND SQUARE BECAUSE THE WALLS GO OUT FROM BOTH DIRECTIONS AND ARE BUILT UPON THE STONE. IF THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH THE STONE THEN THE WALLS THEMSELVES ARE GOING TO HAVE PROBLEMS. BUT HERE WE HAVE A CHIEF CORNERSTONE, A STONE THAT IS PURE ENOUGH AND STRONG ENOUGH TO SUPPORT THE BUILDING. A STONE THAT IS PERFECT, SO AS THE WALLS ARE BUILT AND AS YOU BUILD UPON THE FOUNDATION, YOU END UP WITH A STRUCTURE THAT IS PROPERLY FITTED TOGETHER. ALL OF THIS BECAUSE WHY? BECAUSE JESUS IS OUR CHIEF CORNERSTONE. THE ENTIRETY OF THE BUILDING OF THE CHURCH GOES BACK TO THE CORNERSTONE. WITHOUT THIS CHIEF CORNERSTONE THE CHURCH COULD NOT EXIST. THE IMAGES ARE ALSO USED BY PETER. LET'S TURN OVER TO 1PETER CHAPTER 2. THERE HE WOULD REMIND CHRISTIANS OF THE IMMENSE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING OURSELVES AS THE CHURCH BUILT UPON THIS CHIEF CORNERSTONE. IN 1PETER 2:6, HE SAYS, “THEREFORE IT IS ALSO CONTAINED IN THE SCRIPTURE. BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHIEF CORNERSTONE. ELECT AND PRECIOUS. HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL BY NO MEANS BE PUT TO SHAME.” JUST LIKE PAUL WROTE TO THE BRETHREN IN EPHESUS, PETER HERE CONFIRMS THE VERY SAME THING. JESUS CHRIST IS THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE. PETER IS ACTUALLY QUOTING HERE FROM OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURE. THIS IS PSALM 118:22. JESUS WOULD ALSO APPLY THE IDEA OF THIS CHIEF CORNERSTONE FOUND IN SEVERAL PASSAGES. IT IS NOT ONLY IN PSALM BUT IN ISAIAH CHAPTER 28:16. JESUS, AS HE TALKS ABOUT HIMSELF SAYS THAT HE WILL BE THE CORNERSTONE AND NOT ONLY WOULD HE BE THAT BUT HE WOULD BE REJECTED BY SOME AS BEING THAT.

YOU SEE, WE CAN SEE FROM THE SCRIPTURE VERY CLEARLY THAT WE HAVE A SOLID FOUNDATION. WE HAVE A BUILDER IN JESUS CHRIST AND IT IS POINTED OUT IN MANY SCRIPTURES. DO ALL ACCEPT THAT CHIEF CORNERSTONE? WILL EVERYBODY BUILD UPON THE SOLID FOUNDATION OF JESUS CHRIST? SADLY, MANY WILL NOT. THEY WOULDN'T RECEIVE HIM IN JESUS' DAY. HE USES IT TO APPLY IT TO HIMSELF IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 21 AND ALSO IN ACTS CHAPTER 24 AS THOSE WHO WOULD REJECT THIS CHIEF CORNERSTONE. AGAIN, WHAT WE UNDERSTAND IS THAT WE HAVE TO BE BUILT UPON JESUS CHRIST. HE IS OUR CHIEF CORNERSTONE. IF WE CONTINUE IN FIRST PETER CHAPTER 7, IT SAYS THERE WILL BE SOME WHO ARE DISOBEDIENT. THEY WILL REJECT THAT CHIEF CORNERSTONE. IF WE WANT TO HAVE A PROPER FOUNDATION, IF WE WANT TO HAVE A SURE AND TRIED FOUNDATION AND ONE THAT IS ELECTED PRECIOUS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURE, THERE IS ONLY ONE AND IT IS JESUS CHRIST, OUR CHIEF CORNERSTONE. AS WE STUDY FROM THE SCRIPTURE AND AS WE CONSIDER THE CHURCH, MAKE SURE THAT WE ALWAYS UNDERSTAND WHO THE BUILDER AND FOUNDER IS. THERE IS NO OTHER MAN. THERE IS NO ONE ELSE IN THIS WORLD. THERE IS ONLY ONE AND HE IS OUR CHIEF CORNERSTONE. IT IS JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF.

CLOSING COMMENTS

IT HAS BEEN A REAL PRIVILEGE AND BLESSING TO HAVE YOU WITH US THIS MORNING. WON'T YOU JOIN US EVERY SUNDAY MORNING AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS SERVICE OF GOD!

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HOW BLESSED WE ARE TO HAVE A GOD WHO WAS WILLING TO GIVE HIS LIFE FOR US, THAT HE MIGHT BE THE VERY FOUNDATION, AS WELL AS BUILDER OF HIS ETERNAL KINGDOM. ARE YOU A PART OF THE TRUE CHURCH OF GOD?