THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 5-30-10
LESSON TITLE: “THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE: THE DAY THE CHURCH WAS ESTABLISHED”
Nehemiah once proclaimed, “This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” On this Lord’s Day morning, no truer words have ever been spoken. Thanks be to God, for He is our strength on this holy day! We are glad you are with us this morning to give this time to the things of God. And what a privilege it is to once again assemble before our Creator and to Worship and praise His Name. May we each focus our thoughts on God at this time and give this time fully to His remembrance.
At this time may we start our devotion to God by talking with our Father in prayer? Bow with me please!
Let’s begin immediately with our songs of praise this day. The first song of the morning focus’s our minds on our glorious Savior. So, won’t you do your part in worship to God at this time and join in with the congregation as we sing together, “Fairest Lord Jesus!”
(SONG # 1)
Earlier we mentioned a verse which reminded us of the great strength our Lord gives us. Another such passage is found in 1 Chronicles 29:11-13. Consider with me in these verses just how our God strengthens us. There we read, “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, We thank You and praise Your glorious name.” Truly it is in the power and might of God that we are able to receive strength in this life. No doubt this is why the writer here proclaims his God to be glorious. I hope we are as thankful to God for all the strength He gives to us as the faithful.
Now I would like to consider a final point on strength which comes from Peter’s words in the New Testament! There we read, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you,” 1 Peter 5:10. Wow, notice all that this verse confirms. We are promised grace, eternal life, and that even though we suffer God has confirmed that He will perfect, establish, strengthen and settle us. Oh, how much our Savior loves us and how much He proves this through His constant protection and care. Thanks be to God for the strength He promises to those who obey His Will. Will we do our part to respond to the love of God?
As far as our series today, we will be continuing our discussion entitled, “This Is The Day That The Lord Has Made!” The specific lesson of the day will deal with, “The Day the Church Was Established!” So, please stay with us this morning and at the appropriate time I will be leading us in this study from God’s Word. Now let’s join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, “Face To Face.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We’re so glad you’ve continued with us today as we return to God’s Word and we consider another great day that the Lord has made, exactly like this wondrous Lord’s Day that we’re enjoying already together. Specifically though today what we would like to look at is the concept of “The Day The Church Was Established.”
The Bible, from the very beginning, speaks of the desire that God has to lead His people. In fact, we know that Abraham was told in Genesis chapter 12 that he would be made a great nation, and it was out of his seed, of course Abraham having Isaac and Isaac having Jacob, and then the twelve sons of Jacob that be children of Israel themselves were organized from. We know that the kingdom of Israel was established by God and even at Mt. Sinai in Exodus chapter 19 they were told that “God would be their God and that they would be God’s people.” God chose them as His nation, as His people and they were His kingdom. God has always had a kingdom, but Israel was the first kingdom of God that was established in a physical sense on the earth. What’s interesting as well is as we go throughout the history of the kingdom of Israel and the Israelite nation; we begin to see that God speaks of a new day that is coming, a new time. In fact, He even makes reference to a new kingdom that would be established.
In fact, in Isaiah chapter 2 verses 2-4, we have some details about this kingdom. We have some ideas given to us that it will begin there in Jerusalem and that God would establish a kingdom there.
We also find there in the book of Daniel chapter 2 and verse 44 when this kingdom would be established, and it is said there that in the days of these Roman kings, again the kingdom would be established.
Then finally, we also see the prophecy of Jeremiah chapter 31. In verse 31 beginning it speaks of a new day when God would make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, and that covenant would be not like the covenant of old, but a greater covenant, a better covenant. Now you and I have been seeing the last several weeks the concept of Jesus, His birth, His life. We’ve looked at His death and His resurrection and we know that Jesus is really the central figure, the theme of all of God’s plan from the beginning all of the way until God will come again. With that in mind and with the concept of Jesus bringing forth a new covenant as He came to the earth, then certainly we begin to understand this idea of a new kingdom.
It is interesting then that as we move to the New Testament in what generally are referred to as the gospel accounts, the gospel accounts of the life of Christ, we begin to find quickly that there were those who still spoke of a kingdom to come. Guess what. In that day, the kingdom of Israel was still in existence, at least in some forms, and the Jewish law was still being observed. But it spoke of a kingdom to come. A kingdom of what? A kingdom of Christ. For instance, John the baptizer in Matthew chapter 3 and verse 1 beginning was one who preached, “The kingdom of God is at hand,” and told people to repent.
Jesus also in Matthew chapter 4 and verse 17 proclaimed the same truth, to repent for “the kingdom of God was at hand.”
The idea in and of itself that it was at hand tells us that it had not yet come, at least the kingdom that they were making reference to, but it also tells us that it was very soon in relationship to this day that they are speaking in.
Also we find there in Matthew chapter 16 a very familiar passage to us from our Lord when He said, “I will build My church.” Many today in the religious world are confused with the idea that somehow this church and this kingdom are different. I find it quite interesting that within the same context where Jesus first tells Peter and the other apostles, “I will build My church,” Matthew 16:16 that He goes on after speaking this to Peter and in verse 18 and 19 says He will then “give Peter the keys,” guess what, “to the kingdom.” He says, “I will build My church, and I will give you the keys to it, to the kingdom.” And so again how significant that this kingdom was about to be built by the only builder who was worthy, the only one who was willing to die and shed His blood and to give His life that He might enact and seal a new covenant as we learn in Hebrews chapter 8 and as also we learn in Hebrews chapter 9.
Then we also find in verses such as Mark chapter 9 Jesus making statements such as this. “There are some of you who will not taste of death until you see the kingdom of God come with power.” What does that tell us? The kingdom of God is at hand. Some of you here who are listening will not taste of death until it comes. That tells us it was in His day. It was soon to come to pass. Then we even find in Luke chapter 2 or rather 24 before Jesus left the earth He actually told His disciples to go to Jerusalem and to wait for the power to come and for the kingdom to be established.
Now the beautiful part of that is Luke, the physician, as he begins to write the book of Acts, and we might turn there to Acts chapter 1, reiterates this same request of Jesus in chapter 1 verses 1-12. Jesus told His disciples as He was leaving the earth, to “go to Jerusalem and to wait for the power to come,” the same power that prophetically had been spoken of that would come the day that the kingdom of God through Christ was established.
Guess what happened then in Acts chapter 2. As they were assembled on the Day of Pentecost, “Suddenly,” it says in verse 2, “there came from Heaven a rushing, mighty wind and upon their heads were cloven tongues of fire.” And who was it there? What was it? Verse 4 says, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” There’s the power. God Himself filling these men that they might speak His Word in languages that they did not know. These were not their mother tongue. They were tongues and languages that they had never known, or practiced or learned. In fact, verse 8 tells us that because of the Holy Spirit everyone was able to understand in their own language. How beautiful then to see that this day when Peter and the apostles stand before the Jews and they proclaim, “You have just killed and trampled underfoot the Son of God.” “The very One that you have crucified,” verse 36 “is the One who is Messiah, Lord and Christ sent from the Father.” And what was their reaction in verse 37 when they heard it? They were cut to the heart and they cried out, “What shall we do? We’ve just crucified God!” And then he said, “Repent and be baptized.”
Perhaps one of the clearest ideas, besides the fact that three thousand souls were baptized that day, those who believed and acted on their belief, is verse 47. In verse 47 what we find is this. “Praising God and finding favor with all the people, the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” The Lord added what? The church! What was established? The church! “My church I will build.” “The kingdom is at hand. Some of you will not taste of death. Wait in Jerusalem until the power comes.” It came in Acts chapter 2 and after they obeyed and reacted to their belief and were baptized, it says, “They were added to the church, the assembly.”
Now we don’t really have to stop there because the fact is that scripture after scripture continues to confirm for us that then the church was in existence. One that stands out to me most clearly showing that at the time of the apostles the church was established is found over in Colossians chapter 1. In verse 13 it says that, “We have been delivered from the power of darkness and conveyed or translated into,” guess what, “the kingdom of His dear Son.” Now how are we translated into a kingdom that doesn’t exist? How are we translated into something that has not yet been found or purchased? The fact is it has been purchased. Do you know what Acts chapter 20 verse 28 says? It says that, “With the blood of Christ the church was purchased?” The what? The church! The kingdom! And it here again in Colossians chapter 1 and verse 13 after mentioning the kingdom that we are translated into, guess what verse 18 asks. Verse 18 says that, “Christ is the head of this body, the church.” Do you know what the church is? It’s the body. Do you know what the body is? It’s the kingdom.
We find this further evidence through the inspired Paul in Ephesians chapter 5 as he speaks there about husbands and wives notice what he states in verse 23. “The husband is head of the wife as also Christ is head of the church and Savior of the body.”
You might also notice with me in Ephesians chapter 1. “And He put all things under His feet and gave Him to be head over the church which is His body,” verse 23. Guess what the church is. It’s the body! Guess what the church and the kingdom are. It is the kingdom that is sealed with the blood of Christ that is bought and paid for, that you and I are placed in when we have done our part and it was established. Praise God for that truth! How sad it is and how wrong it is for man today to preach about another coming kingdom or to preach about something that still is to take place because we already have that great blessing from God.
In fact, I think it’s interesting what is said even in the Corinthian letter that certainly would have been after the day of Pentecost. But do you know what is stated there in 1 Corinthians chapter 15? Do you know what it states in verse 24? That when Jesus comes again what will happen? He says there that, “When He comes, Jesus will deliver this kingdom back to the Father.” What kingdom? The kingdom that He said, “I will build.” The kingdom that was at hand. The kingdom that some would not die before they actually saw. The kingdom that John the baptizer and others said was very soon to come to fruition. The kingdom that Acts chapter 2 clarifies was established on the Day of Pentecost and through the blood of Christ, the church then that was established so that you and I, as well as they, could be added to the kingdom that which makes up the saved that stands alone on this earth and as we find in Ephesians chapter 4, “It is the body of Christ.” But how many bodies? The one body!
The question is as Jesus said, “Are you in the church? Are you in the body of Christ? Are you in the kingdom of God, the one that Jesus bought and paid for, the one that He sealed with His new covenant (Hebrews chapter 8)?” If you’re not, you cannot be saved. For Jesus has but one body and He is the head of one body. If you are, again praise be to God! For now not only are you saved through these wondrous blessings, but you have the great privilege of helping others to know the truth as well and to respond so that they might be saved eternally. Will you serve God and will you do everything you can to make sure those around you know and believe as well?
(SONG # 3 - “Walking Alone At Eve!”)
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today? I hope our time together has been an encouragement and thus a blessing to us all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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How blessed we are to know that God has established His church, for the saving of our souls. The question is, will we do what is necessary to be put into the body of Christ? Will we obey God in all things and be found as His faithful children?