THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 7-4-10
LESSON TITLE: “THE GLORIOUS CHURCH: WHO IS THE BUILDER AND FOUNDER OF THE CHURCH?”
Daniel of old once proclaimed, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His,” (Daniel 2:20) Truly, how blessed the name of our Lord is to us for He is all knowing and all powerful. We thank you for joining us today for this time of worship to God.
It will again be our privilege today to be uplifted through our commitment to serving God as commanded, as we approach His almighty throne. What a blessing we have this day to reverence our God through prayer, song and the study of His matchless Word. Won’t you do your part this morning to see that our assembly together is acceptable to God, that we may glorify Him in all things?
Now, as we begin our offering to God, will you bow with me in prayer!
One of the greatest blessings which we have from our God is His willingness to teach us all things through His Word. We learn of wondrous promises from God, like the great reward reserved for the faithful in the end. With that in mind, we would like to begin our songs of praise this day. The first hymn of the morning is entitled, “The Gloryland Way.”
(SONG # 1)
We mentioned early this morning, just how blessed our God is. Daniel proclaimed that God was blessed for He had revealed to Daniel in a night vision the interpretation of the Kings dream.
Another example which helps us to further clarify this point is found by David in one of the great Psalms. Read with me from Chapter 113, verses 1-2, “Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, Praise the name of the LORD! Blessed be the name of the LORD From this time forth and forevermore!” Here David praises His God and proclaims His blessedness, but why? This great King of God goes on to confirm how wondrous, great and caring God is to His children.
Finally, notice what Job said about the blessed God he served. In Job 1:21, we read, “"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Here we find a man of God who had been mightily blessed. However, he had been tempted by Satan and had lost it all. What does he then declare about God? That God is blessed, the giver of all, and as such that He has the right to take away. Oh, what an encouraging thought about our God.
The question we must consider is, “just how many of us really understand just how blessed our Lord is.” Please consider this day all that your God has done, is doing and that which He has promised to do for all of us. Then may we all boldly come before His throne and those of this world, to proclaim Him as truly blessed.
As far as our topic of the day, this morning we will continue our series entitled, “The Glorious Church.” Our specific lesson of the day will answer the question, “Who Is The Builder And Founder Of The Church?”
To lead us in this study of the day, we are happy to have brother Darin Chappell with us. Brother Darin is the minister for the Mountain Grove Church of Christ, and is also one of the instructors at the Bible Institute of Missouri. So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, brother Chappell will be leading us in the main thoughts of the day. But for now let’s join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “To Canaan’s Land I’m On My Way.”
(SONG # 2)
By Darin Chappell
We want to continue to thank you all for being with us today as we examine the issues concerning the “Glorious Nature of the Church.” Today, we’re going to be looking specifically concerning “Jesus Christ as the Founder and the Builder of the Church,” and specifically what the scriptures have to say about His founding and building of His church and because of the information that we can know for certainty because God’s Word declares it to us, the things that we can also know concerning our relationship to Him and the Lord Jesus Christ as His children and as members of His body, the church.
When we consider things concerning the salvation of man, of course we go all the way back to the Garden of Eden there in Genesis chapter 3 and verse 15 where the Lord Jesus Christ was prophesied concerning the fact that He would come one day and He would bruise the head of Satan and though Satan would bruise His heel, He would ultimately be victorious over sin and death and that He would provide a way of opportunity for those who would be obedient to Him that they also might be able to be victorious over their own sinfulness through Jesus Christ our Lord, not by our own works, not by any measure by which we would earn our salvation, but through the gift of Jesus Christ offering Himself upon the cross. And in fact it was His blood that would shed there on the cross that allows us to have access to the church being washed by the blood of Christ through our obedience to the gospel as we will see later on in our lesson, but it was also by the blood of Christ that the church itself was purchased.
There in Acts chapter 20 and verse 28 we are told that He purchased His church, His body with His blood. And because He purchased it and the purchase price being His own blood sacrificed on the cross, He is the owner, He is the founder, He is the One to whom we owe all of our allegiance and all of our thanksgiving because of His willingness to be that sacrifice on our behalf. And because He is the owner of the church, that is why it is entitled as “The Church of Christ.”
There in Romans chapter 16 and verse 16 the apostle Paul wrote that, “The churches of Christ salute you.” Now that’s not a name. That is in fact a descriptor. It is a descriptive of the body of Christ, that it belongs to Him. It is of Christ. In the original language of the 1st century we find that the word there that is translated as “of” is one that is very specific in that it refers to the fact that it comes from Him, but that it also has in its very nature some of His own characteristics as well. It is of Christ. It belongs to Him. It belongs to Him because He is the builder and founder of it, having purchased it again with His own blood sacrificed upon the cross.
If you would, looking in your Bibles with me to Matthew chapter 16 beginning in verse 13 we read where Jesus tells about the building and founding of His church. There in verse 13 we read, “When Jesus came into the coast of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples saying, ‘Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?’ And they said, ‘Some say that thou art John the Baptist. Some Elias, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He sayeth unto them, ‘But whom say ye that I am?’ And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.’ And Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Blessed art thou, Simon Barjonah, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee but My Father which is in Heaven and I say unto thee that thou art Peter and that upon this rock I will build My church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it, and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.’” The disciples were gathered there at Caesarea Philippi and they were asking the Lord and the Lord asking them, “Who do men say that He was?” And they did. They said, “Well some say that you are John the Baptist reincarnated or perhaps Elias or perhaps Jeremiah having come back to this world in the flesh.” And He asked them very point blankly, He said, “Who do you say that I am?” And Peter, as he is often entitled “Impetuous Peter” is the one that stands up and says, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” and in that terminology he was saying, “You are the Chosen One.” In the Hebrew, the word is “Messiah.” In the Greek, it is “Crestos.” And He is the Christ, the Chosen One, the Anointed One who would be that Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. That’s why Jesus said, “Blessed art thou Simon Barjonah,” with Barjonah simply meaning the son of Barjonah. “Blessed art thou Simon Barjonah for flesh and blood have not revealed it unto thee but My Father which is in Heaven.” That’s when He says, “And I say unto thee that thou art Peter and upon this rock, I will build My church.”
Now there are some who have misunderstood what it says there in English. IN the original language it is much more clear. He was not referring to building the church upon Peter himself as the cornerstone, but rather upon that common language that Peter used that can be used by all of those who are the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, that confession of faith that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. That is the foundational cornerstone upon which the church was going to be established, that common, universal faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God. But notice what He says. “Upon this rock, I will build My church.” We can see several things right away just from that. First of all, the church was not yet in existence at this point. It is a future tense, a future possibility. He said, “I will build it. It will take place sometime down the road. Of course we know from our continual studies that that took place there in the Day of Pentecost, with Acts chapter 2 being the recording of that event. And there in Acts chapter 2 and verse 47 we read for the very first time in the entirety of the Bible that “those who were being saved were being added to the church.” Prior to that event, we don’t read of anyone being added to the church but there in Acts chapter 2 and verse 47, we know that individuals were indeed being added to it and therefore it did exist. That’s when Jesus through the disciples, through the apostles, when they stood up on the Day of Pentecost and revealed to the world the gospel of Jesus Christ and we find there in Acts chapter 2 and verse 41 that they were individuals that were obedient to the gospel and being baptized into Christ, they were added to the church. Which church? Well the only church that existed at the time, the church that Jesus built, the church which is of Christ.
He also goes on to say that He “would give to Peter and to the other apostles by extinction the keys to the kingdom of Heaven and that whatsoever would be bound on earth would be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever would be loosed on earth would be loosed in Heaven.” Again, this translation is a little difficult because what it actually says in the original language is “Whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be having been bound in Heaven and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be having been loosed in Heaven.” The point is that it was not Peter. It was not the apostles. It was not the other disciples of the 1st century who were making the determinations as to how the church was going to be run from a doctrinal perspective. It was not they who decided how it would be established or how it would be set up from day one. It was always, has always been, shall ever be the Lord Jesus Christ, the Founder, the Builder of the church, He in accordance with the Will of His Father in Heaven who shall always be the determining factor of what the church, the body of Christ shall be in this world. We do not have the right to modify the doctrinal basis. He is upon which the church is established. We do not have the right to ignore the New Testament doctrines that are given to us, those teachings which are presented and have been preserved to us throughout the thousands of years since the institution of the church. We do not have the right to allow manmade doctrines or considerations to enter into the Lord’s body and to simply ignore our responsibilities to “if we love Him, keep His commandments.” (John chapter 14 and verse 15)
The church is what Jesus established, what He built and what He founded having purchased it with His own blood, and because it is His, because He is the One with whom we have to do when this life is over, “appearing before the judgment seat of Christ each and every one of us,” 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and verse 10. Because that is the case, it is His determination that is a matter that matters in our question of how we are going to live our lives as Christians. It is not up to me. It is not up to the elders of the church. It is not up to the members of the church. It is not up to any human being as to how things are going to be done. It is His church. He is the founder. He is the builder. He is the One who purchased it with His own blood and therefore He is always to be the one who will make the determinations as to how things shall be in His body, His church (Ephesians chapter 1 verses 20-21). The reason why that is the case is because it was always intended to be such.
We find there in Colossians chapter 1 beginning in verse 12, the very same principle dictated to us by the apostle Paul as he is writing concerning the nature of Christ and His role within the Godhead and His role within the plan of God in revealing the gospel to mankind. There in Colossians chapter 1 beginning in verse 12, Paul writes, “Giving thanks unto the Father which hath made us meat that is suitable to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light who have delivered us from the power of darkness and have translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son in whom (that is Christ) we have redemption through His blood even the forgiveness of sins who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of every creature for by Him were all things created that are in Heaven and that are in earth, visible or invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities of powers, all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things and by Him all things consist 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.” Verse 19, “For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell.”
It was always intended to be the case that Jesus, the Christ, the Anointed One would be the determining factor of how His body, the Church would respond to His directives. His body would do what He would have it to do because it belongs to Him. He purchased it with His own blood. Therefore, as the founder, therefore as the builder, as the owner of the church we owe all to Him as our Lord and Master. It is because of that very precious nature and the relationship that we have, that we do have those responsibilities to follow His directives, not as we might want them to be written, but as they are written indeed in the inerrant, inspired Word of God.
The apostle Peter later on in chapter beginning in verse 18, he says, “For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold from your vain conversation received by perdition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot who verily was for ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times to you.”
Yes on the Day of Pentecost that is when the gospel account was presented to mankind where individuals could understand what it was that they needed to do in order to be able to have access to the salvation which is offered through Jesus Christ our Lord. But that was always determined to be the case. Jesus, the Christ, the Chosen One was always to be the founder and builder of His church, and we as His children, we as the members of that body have a responsibility to yield to our Father in Heaven and to the head of the church, Jesus the Christ, the Founder, the Builder and Possessor of the church.
Now what that means is that we also have the responsibility to make certain that we do not let ourselves yield to the traditions and the pressures of the world around us and we recognize that we have a greater responsibility to our God than we do to our friends and neighbors and even our family. We have a responsibility to yield to the commandments that are given to us that we would hear the Word of God and respond to it in obedience, that we would be willing to believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God, that we would be willing to confess Him as the Son of God before others, that we would be repentant of our sins, that is that we turn away from the things of this life and instead live only and always for the Lord Jesus Christ, that we would be willing to be baptized for the remission of our sins so that we can be added to the church that Jesus did build and purchase with His own blood, and that we would be willing to live our lives faithfully up to and including the point of our physical death. We have that responsibility precisely because He is the founder and the builder of the church, His body.
Not all religious organizations have the same founder and builder, but the church that you can read about in the New Testament was founded and built and purchased by Jesus the Christ, and that’s why Christians must always and only follow His principles and precepts and we must dedicate our lives to the teaching of the saints, to those who are around us.
I thank you very much for your time this morning and I appreciate your good attention to the Word of God. May God bless you in all that you do for His righteousness’ sake.
(SONG # 3 - “Lord We Come Before Thee Now!”)
What a blessing it has been to join together in the things of God this morning. Thank you for doing your part in making all these things to be according to His Will. As always, we invite you back every Lord’s Day morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God!
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Truly God has blessed us all with a perfect builder and founder for His church! Praise be to God for the wonderful gift of Jesus and all that He has done for you and me!