“Nature of the Church”
- When we use the word “nature” we take it to mean a peculiar quality, or our natural character.
- Matthew 16: 18…And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
- The focus of this verse or “key word” is the word “rock.”
- The name Peter is translated “Cephas” which means a small stone. John 1:42… And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
- This DOES NOT mean that Peter is the “rock” Jesus was talking about. The “rock” is Jesus.
- Let us examine these words…
- ROCK – A large mass of stony material; solid mineral occurring in large amounts. Used for foundations of houses and buildings.
- STONE – Earth or mineral matter hardened in a mass. Used to make weapons, tools, and etc. now used in cement for foundations. A stone is a piece of a rock.
- PEBBLE – A small rounded stone.
- GRAVEL – Material consisting of small fragments of rock and gravel
- The ROCK is Jesus the chief cornerstone of the foundation of the church.
- The STONE are the apostles who played a foundational role in the building of the church.
- The PEBBLE is the pastors of the churches who are the honed stones (ones who have studied and the Holy Spirit has given them inspiration, direction and power) to preach and teach.
- The GRAVEL is the members of the church who are supposed to be fragments of the ROCK, STONE, and PEBBLES.
I. It Belongs to God
A) Jesus is God in the Flesh
- Again, as we examine the text verse Matthew 16: 18…And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
- We must note that Jesus said… “I will build” meaning that it is God that giveth the increase.
- God builds the church. God built SBBC, Not Bro. Kendall Wilcoxson, not Bro. Ron Wilcoxson…God built it!
- When you build or create something…it belongs to you. God created us in His image and He created the church to worship Him, bring honor to Him and His name, to give Glory to Him, to represent Him.
- Jesus being God in the flesh has said “I will build” meaning there are no other contractors for this job. He had NO HELP!
B) My church
- In our text verse I want us to notice Jesus made it perfectly clear that the church belongs to Him… Matthew 16: 18…And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
- Note that Jesus said… I will build “MY CHURCH.”
- Nothing or no one can take the church away from God. John 10:29… My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
C) To God be the glory
- Ephesians 3:21…Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
- God is glorified (looks good) through Christ when the church is faithful.
D) Know how to behave
- I Timothy 3:15… But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
- Many people think that “the building structure” is the house of God. WRONG!
- The House of God is the church as a whole. The people, the members of the church of Jesus Christ.
- How are we supposed to know how to behave? Read the Bible. It is our “Behavior Manual.”
- From the 10 Commandments to end times when Satan is cast into hell, this book tells us how to behave as children of God.
- This Bible tells us how to walk, talk, think, and act.
- Get this now… IT IS NOT the nature of the church members to walk, talk, think and act like God or Jesus. WHY?
- John 8:44… Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
- In this verse Jesus is talking to people who thought they were Godly.
- They did not ACT Godly, they did not TALK Godly, they did not THINK Godly and so therefore they were of their Father the devil.
- When we become saved and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior… Satan is no longer to be our mentor, our father our guide, our character.
- We take on a new nature a new life a new character, a new attitude.
II. Purchased With Blood
A) Be careful with the flock
- Note this verse where Paul is asking Timothy and the apostles to continually examine yourself as to how you treat the flock of God…Acts 20:28a…Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers,
- Then Paul tells them WHAT they are to be careful with in doing….Acts 20:28b…to feed the church of God, Don’t feed the church anything, make sure it is the food prescribed by God…His Word. Not a false doctrine.
- Then Paul tells them WHY they are to be careful… “which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Paul reminds the apostles that it is not their blood that purchased the church, so therefore the church does not belong to them, but to God. God purchased the church with the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. Therefore the church belongs to Jesus Christ.
- Blood is the highest price that a person can pay.
- Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus was a letter concerning the behavior patterns in the church which were not Godly. They were not a good representation of God. In fact they were giving God and Christianity a bad name.
- Look at a portion of Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesians 5:25… Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
- What was the problem here? Husbands did not love their wives. At least not in a way that they were supposed to “…as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”
- The men in the church did not love their wife with an “unconditional (without conditions)” love. It was a “superficial (appearance only, shallow)” love.
- Hebrews 9:12… Neither by the blood of goats and calves (the O.T. way), but by his own blood (The N.T. way) he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
- The “key” words in this verse are “blood” for which the price was paid, and also “redemption” as to the what was bought and paid for.
- This is why we have a sin debt that must be paid for by blood.
- God has always required a blood sacrifice for the redemption of our sinful souls.
III. Displays the Wisdom of God
A) One purpose of the church
- There are many purposes of the church. Many purposes are done away with today.
- One of the purposes of the church is to show the world the wisdom of God.
- Just because you show them the wisdom of God does not mean they will accept it, nor does it mean that they will like it, or understand it.
- It is up to the church (God’s people) to show the world His wisdom.
- Ephesians 3:9…And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
- What is the “fellowship of the mystery?”
- The fellowship of Jew and Gentile. All people coming together to fellowship together and bring glory to God.
- We don’t do that today. There are over 2000 different religions in the world and more springing up.
- What is one of the most important nature that the church must possess from God? THE WISDOM OF GOD.
- Look folks, it is not for me to let the world know of my wisdom or Bro. Billy Graham’s wisdom.
- We are to inform the world of God’s wisdom which is everything our wisdom cannot be.
- Look at verse 10 of Ephesians 3…To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
- How can the world know the wisdom of God if we do not show them?
- How can we know the wisdom of God if we never come to the house of God and learn of His wisdom?
- And, how can we know the wisdom of God if we are not taught the wisdom of God?
“Nature of the Church II”
I Peter 5:1-4
I. It Belongs to God
II. Purchased With Blood
III. Displays the Wisdom of God
IV. Is the Elect
A) The chosen of God
- We need to understand that God “elected (chose)” us. We did not choose Him.
- And since He chose us we are to follow His laws or commandments.
- Peter brings this out in detail as to the duty of each member and pastor chosen.
- These things are to be what is considered “the Nature of the Church.”
- In I Peter 5, Peter is encouraging these “elders (more spiritually mature as in pastors, deacons, bishops, priests, and etc.)” of the church to…
- Verses 2a “…feed the flock of God” (verses 1-4) Not the “elders” flock, but God’s flock. The sheep belong to God not the elders.
- Verse 2b… “not by constraint, but willingly” meaning to do your duty as a member willingly, happily, without feeling like it is a burden.
- Verse 2c…not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; This is talking about church leaders who are in ministry just for the money or show.
- Verse 3… Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. Note the little “l” in the word “lords?” This means that pastors are not to act as a king over an empire bossing and firing commands to all members and creating rules and laws for the sheep to obey that are a burden to them. This is why Christ rebuked the Pharisees and scribes of the church at Jerusalem.
- Verses 5a…“Likewise, ye younger submit yourselves unto the elder. The younger Christians are to respect the knowledge of the more spiritual.
- Verse 5b…Yea, all of you be subject one to another, we are to treat one another with respect by not wanting to control the others. Not as being “lords” over God’s heritage (the flock of God). Scripture is clear that churches should pay their shepherds (pastors) well. (I Corinthians 9:7-14, and I Timothy 5:17, 18)
- Verse 5c…and be clothed with humility: WHY? “…for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. To be “clothed with humility” means to not act like a know-it- all and remember that you too were once ignorant and had to be taught.
- Verse 7…Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. We are to give everything we have to Him who gave it to us. Giving our time, talents, tithes and offerings, our life, our love, etc. If we lose friends and family…so be it. Friends and family do not care and love you as God loves you.
- Verse 5:8 …Be sober, be vigilant; To be sober means to not get excited or upset or worried about anything. Know and trust that He will supply all your needs. To be “vigilant” means to be watchful or on our guard for satan’s temptations and tactics.
- WHY are we to be sober and vigilant? Verse 8b… because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
B) We are elected
- Now look at the word “elected” in these verses here in…
- I Peter 5:12… By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand. 13) The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
- Notice that Peter uses these words “elected together” to describe the church at Babylon (In Rome).
- We of the Silent Bible Baptist Church are “elected together” for the purpose of God to serve the deaf in the Wichita Metro area.
- What does that mean? It means that God has chosen us to be an “eklesia (church)” a called out assembly for the deaf in the metro area of Wichita.
- Each and every member of the church is called of God to be here for a purpose. Sometimes it is only a short term, sometimes for the life of the church.
- Whether or not you are a curse (troublemaker) or a blessing to the church you join, it is still the will of God that is to be done. WHY? Because we are the elected of the elect to be where we ought to be.
V. Are Glorious
A) Meaning of the word glorious
- When I looked up the word “glorious” in the dictionary, I found this… 1. Having, worthy of, or bringing fame or admiration. 2. Having a striking beauty or splendor that evokes the feelings of delighted admiration.
- We are to be representatives of God. And if we are good representatives, we give God a good name and if we are bad representatives we give God a bad name.
- We must be on our most best of behavior within the church and without the church. Meaning we must learn how to be on our best behavior both inside the church and outside the church, at home and at work.
- Here is another problem that Paul was writing t the church about that was taking place in the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 5:22…Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. What was the problem here? Women were not being submissive to their husbands. They wanted to be the boss. They wanted to rule the house and the church. This is not God’s design. What is God’s design for the family?
- Look at verse 23) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
- Part 2 of that design is in Ephesians 5:25…Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; Love with a sacrificial love. This means that both husband and wife are to sometimes sacrifice of themselves, their time, their money, their desires and etc. for the sake of bringing happiness into the home which is God’s plan.
- God wants His children to be happy, not upset, not angry or not depressed. .
B) Glorifying brings purifying
- Do you realize that glorifying one another and God brings purification?
- Look at verse 26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
- When the wife or husband does things to upset, or cause them to sin, or cause them to be angry with the other, it displeases God and dirties our relationship with God. God cannot “sanctify (make holy)” the church when the people are mad at one another, unforgiving of one another, divorcing/separating from one another.
- Another word for Holy Spirit is often “water.” The Holy Spirit convicts us of wrong doing which washes us and keeps us pure before God.
- When we glorify one another, we glorify God and it brings purification to the lives of His people.
- Why is it important to glorify one another and God? Read verse 27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
- We know that Christ is the groom and the church is known as the future bride of Christ. Knowing that, we must also now that any groom worth marrying will want his bride as perfect, as pretty, and as acceptable as possible when she is presented to her future husband.
- Christ is no different.
- Note the key word “glorious” in verse 27…that he might present it to himself a glorious church” this means that God wants to present His Son (Jesus Christ) which is God in the flesh with the best bride possible.
- Another key t the success as a glorifier, you must love yourself first. If you do not love yourself, how can you love God or anyone else? Paul brings this out in verse 28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
- How do you love yourself? By eating right, thinking right, and living a holy lfe the best way you know how. Following the commandments of God. And one of the many commandments is for “…men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” And for “…Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
- Do you know why you cannot submit to your husband? Do you know why you do not love your wife? Because you do not love God or His Son Jesus Christ by submitting or loving sacrificially!
VI. Clothed in Righteousness
A) God’s righteousness demands it.
- Revelation 19:5…And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6) And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent (all powerful) reigneth.
- FIRST – Note what the voice from the throne is doing… giving praising our God. This voice could be a cherubim or seraphim.
- SECOND – A multitude of voices (possibly all the saints of God or as it is said “the hosts” meaning every living thing that God has created in heaven) return the praise from the throne with “Alleluia” and acknowledging His power and position as one who is reigning.
- THIRD –Then the voice from the throne encourages the others to be glad and to rejoice bringing honour to God. WHY?
- FOURTH –Because the time for the marriage is about to begin.
- FIFTH –Note that “…his wife (the church) hath made herself ready.”
- A church cannot be the bride of Christ until it recognizes it’s condition and do something about it. Prepare to be married to Jesus.
- We are dirty, we are sinful, we are as Isaiah preached in Isaiah 64:6…But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
- “…all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” meaning that everything that we think is the right thing to do ….is not right in God’s eyes. Our sin nature since the fall of Adam takes over our mind and it is not holy.
- “…we all do fade as a leaf;” meaning that our acts of Christianity fade causing us to fall off the tree of knowledge of good and evil and therefore causes our iniquities (perversions of the truth) to take us away into a dark sinful place “…and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
- Christ must “clothe (cover)” us with His righteousness, His purity.
- God only can save us from hell and eternal damnation. God redeems us through His Son Jesus Christ.
Marriage of the Lamb
- Back to Revelation 19:7… Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife (the church) hath made herself ready.
- Notice particularly verse 8) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
- God grants (gives) the wife (the church) the white linen. WHY?
- Because “…she should be arrayed (covered) in fine linen.” Meaning that she is not covered, she has dirty linen on (her own righteousness, the filthy rags). This is not acceptable Jesus Christ must cover us with His righteousness which “…is the righteousness of the saints.”
- THANK YOU JESUS!
VII. Believers Continually Added
A) How are they added to the church?
- Before the cross, the church met in the synagogues on the Sabbath Day (Saturday) since the days of Moses.
- After Jesus death on the cross, the early church started meeting on Sundays because Christ had risen from the dead on Sunday.
- I believe God wants us to look at Acts 2, where Peter has finished preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ we can see how the people responded…
- Starting in verse 37…Now when they heard this (the gospel being preached), they were pricked in their heart (they were convicted of the Holy Spirit), and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
- How are they added to the church?
- FIRST – They must be presented the gospel of Jesus Christ either by a pastor, preacher, teacher, evangelist, or missionary.
- SECONDLY – They are called of God (pricked in their heart) through the Holy Spirit convicting their soul.
- THIRDLY – They must inquire or ask. They must show interest or a desire to know God and His Son Jesus Christ.
- This should be the response of those called of God to be His children…ask the question… “What should I do?”
- This question shows God and the church, that you are interested to learn more and have a desire to be a Christian.
- FOURTH – Now look at Peter’s answer to the question in verse 38…Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
- After you make a decision to follow Jesus (make Jesus Lord of your life by being obedient to His commandments) you must “repent,” meaning….change your ways.
- True repentance means to change your mind and purpose in life to reflect that of Jesus Christ and not Satan.
- True repentance is not out of fear for the consequences of sin but rather knowing that they need to forsake sin to allow the person of Christ to rule in their heart, mind and soul.
- The word “baptized” means exactly “true repentance.” Body, mind and soul completely submersed in Jesus Christ.
- Pay particular notice to “for the remission of sins.” We must know that it is not baptism under the water that “remits” your sins.
- The word “remission/remit” means forgiveness or cleansing of a penalty.
- We also know that the penalty of sin is what? DEATH! The word “death” means separation from God.
- In order for you not to be separated from God you must experience a true conversion by repenting of your sins through a baptism of Jesus Christ in your heart soul and mind so that your sins are forgiven.
B) Who can be saved?
- We must know that Peter here in this chapter was preaching to a crowd of Jews converted from Judaism to Christianity.
- Look at verse 39) For the promise is unto you (Jews), and to your children, and to all that are afar off (Gentiles), even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
- In other words…Salvation is for all people created by God that He has chosen to be His children.
C) The Baptism
- Now let us look into verse 40) And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
- Note first of all that Peter “testified” (gave a personal testimony of His conversion and experiences since salvation), then secondly he “exhorted (urged strongly, warned)” the congregation to do likewise. Repent and be baptized in Jesus Christ.
- I want us also to understand the third part of Peter’s sermon here “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”
- Now what is a “untoward generation?” It means a “perverse generation.” It further means a nation of people who have changed Gods truth into lies by adding to the laws of God for their own personal gain, and changing the God’s commandments to mean something completely different, changing their lifestyle saying that God was ok with it. INIQUITY rings a bell, huh.
- Look closely at verse 41…Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:
- A preacher can preach till he is blue in the face sometimes and people reject what he is preaching. Not these people. WHY? Because they are called of God to be where God wants them.
D) Baptism brings addition
- Look at verse 41) Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
- After a person “receives the Word of God” meaning that they humbled themselves before God and His church, they came forward to become a member by announcing their change and baptism in Jesus Christ by following him in scriptural water baptism.
- Can you imagine 3000 souls coming to know the Lord Jesus at one revival? Hallelujah what a Savior!
E) More examples of the early church growth
- Acts 5:14… And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. 13) And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. 14) And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 15) Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16) There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
- Acts 11:24… For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
A) Presenting our bodies
- Paul is asking the church here in this passage of scripture to “work with him, help him.
- Note verse Romans 12:1…I beseech (call) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
- “I beseech ye” meaning… I am asking you to work alongside me. Another way to say is … “I am calling you.”
- This is what the Holy Spirit does. It works alongside (with) Jesus Christ to minister to us. The Holy Spirit warns (exhorts) us, encourages us, and counsels with us. It calls us into ministry (helping).
- We are to do the same to our brethren. Warn each other, encourage one another, counsel one another.
- …I beseech you therefore, brethren, “by the mercies of God”
- Paul wants us to realize that our ability to minister to one another comes only by God’s love, grace, mercy, righteousness, and gift of faith.
- “…that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,” We are to “present our bodies” meaning… that we are to make our bodies (soul mind and spirit) presentable to God and one another.
- HOW? By making our bodies “a living sacrifice,” This means to give up all our desires, dreams and hopes and give them to God and His children.
- And in presenting our bodies we are to sacrifice ourselves in a “holy” manner. With the right heart and attitude such as God does.
- This should be the “Nature of the Church!”
- The Church’s Nature should be to sacrifice the time, talent, and love of ourselves and give it to God and our brethren.
- The Church’s Nature should be to be Holy in all we do, think, and give.
B) Be transformed
- Paul gives more of the “Nature of the Church in Romans 12:2…
- And be not conformed to this world: Meaning …not to be like this world. Not to agree with this world, Not to be in harmony with this world, it’s ideas, its practices, it’s habits, it’s traditions, it’s desires and dreams.
“conformed” is assuming an outward expression which does not really reflect our inward being. Meaning we are not really true to ourselves or others. A false representation, a façade. Changed outside only.
- “… but be ye transformed Meaning… to change completely in form, and nature. To convert. (Like a caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly.)HOW do we become transformed? “…by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
In other words, everything that entered our mind and made us who we are is to be “transformed” into something completely different than what we were before. When we have done that it will prove to others that we are controlled by God to bring about “good” which is accepted of God and His will for mankind.
“transformed” is completely changing inside and outside. This transformation can only be done with the “MIND.”
C) How to Think
- Remember that Paul told the church in Rome to be “…transformed buy the renewing of your mind” meaning that they need to change the way they think!
- Here is what the Nature of the Church tends to be like …Verse 3) For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; Meaning… that we are never to think we are more qualified than others at certain things. We would not be in a spiritual position at all had it not been for the grace of God.
- It is God’s grace that has allowed us to be who we are , what we are and who we can be.
- Some of us have been Christians a long time and we believe (think) that we are more holy or more righteous or more intelligent than others concerning the things of God. We actually “…think of himself more highly than he ought to think;”
- Paul tells us HOW TO THINK “… but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
- “soberly” meaning… we practice sound judgment. This will cause other believers to recognize that all of us are “NOTHING” but it is God who makes us who we are. This is also known as “humility.”
D) Being “one” (In unity) body
- Paul tells the church at Rome that we must be present our bodies in such a way that God and others can see that we have been transformed by the renewing of our mind, which causes us to “think soberly.”
- When we have done that, when we have accomplished that…we can become “ONE.”
- Now look at Romans 12:4…For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: Not everyone is a teacher. Not everyone can preach, evangelize, be a missionary, be on the food committee.
Everyone has different abilities and convictions that help the church become what it should be to honor and glorify God.
Just like our natural bodies…the arm has a certain function that the leg cannot do. The ear has a certain function that the mouth cannot do.
BUT…put all of the body parts together and it can do what it has to do to glorify God.
- When we become “one body” then we can become “many.” The more body parts the less work for others and the stronger the faith becomes. 5) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
E) Being one bread
- Let us now go to I Corinthians 10:15… I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. 16) The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
- Paul recognizes the fact that these Romans are not as dumb as they pretend to be when he says… “I speak as to wise men.” Concerning the Lord’s Supper and why we do what we do when we partake in this ordinance of the church.
- Remember that the church has two ordinances… 1) Baptism, 2) The Lord’s Supper.
- We as the “body of Christ,” practice or participate in the Lord’s Supper to set us apart to serve the Lord. We are one in mind, body and soul all to bring honor and glory to God by cleansing our hearts at communion.
- Now take special note in verse 17) For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
- Inside bread there are many ingredients. To make homemade bread you need…flour, yeast, salt and water. To make 7 grain bread you will need… Red wheat berries, Quinoa, Millet, Oat Groats, Barley, Rye, Berries, Amaranth, Water, Whole Wheat Flour, Wheat Gluten, Agave Syrup, Oat Fiber, Yeast, Natural Flavor, Cultured Wheat, Salt, Prune Juice Concentrate, and Molasses.
- So you can see, that the more ingredients gives a better flavor or enhanced beauty of the bread.
- Like the natural bread tastes better and looks better by the number of ingredients it contains so does the body of Christ (the church) enhance the looks and taste of Christ.
- In other words… when we become the best we can be at becoming holy, and more like Christ, the better He looks to others who do not have Christ as their Savior.
- When we work hard at becoming more like Christ the more people will be drawn to the church and the more we can enhance the work of God through the local church.
F) Jesus is the Bread
- I Corinthians 12:12…For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
- We must remember that to be “ONE BREAD” is to be like Christ together in “unity.”
- John 6:35…And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
- The “bread of life” means that if you truly want to live forever…you must believe in Jesus by being obedient to God and His Son. This is a spiritual bread.
- John 6:51…I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
- When Jesus said “I am the living bread which came down from heaven:” He is talking about a “physical bread” meaning His flesh upon the cross so that the world through Him might be saved.
- The “Nature of the Church” should be sacrificing of ourselves so that others can see Christ in us that will bring glory to God.
- But we must be in “UNITY” becoming one together in all that we do.
- Let us close with Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia in Galatians 3:27… For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Not a water baptism but a spiritual baptism of the mind body, and soul)
- Now Paul mentions the extent of our salvation which is not limited….28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
- There are NO LIMITATIONS in the Nature of the Church.