Who's In Charge?
(from 4/8/18 sermon - Spencer Teal)
See if there is anyone who wants to share a short testimony, or if there are there specific praise updates to begin CG.
Philippians 1:1, Matthew 16:13-20 - Phil 1 - 1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons...; Matt 16 - 13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ
Q - Sermon takeaways from those who were in attendance?
This past Sunday we began a new study on the topic of church governance. Although the topic itself may not be the most appealing to many, the topic itself is incredibly important. God is by nature a God of order. He has created the local church to be a structured and orderly entity...a truly living organism...where his saints gather on a regular basis to worship, learn, encourage, fellowship, remember, confess, and send. The church is incredibly important to God and it needs to be to us as well, and in order for the church to function as He intended we need to see and understand how He has built and structured her. Spencer said that bad preaching won’t shut down your church, but bad leadership will (such as when an elder or deacon exercises to much authority, or when they abdicate their responsibility to lead and serve others).
Philippians 1 begins with those who have been given authority in the church (Paul and Timothy) addressing the church as ALL of the saints who are IN Christ Jesus. That includes all of us. But then he mentions the elders and deacons. It’s important to note that there’s a difference between equality and order. We may all be equal in Christ, but that doesn’t mean that we all hold the same position or have the same responsibilities. For example, man was made first and then woman, and scripture says that the man is to oversee the household. Likewise, in the church there are elders (overseers in this passage) and then deacons. The elders sit under Christ’s Headship and govern the church and the deacons manage it.
Again, there is order...and with order comes submission. Remember before Christ went to the cross and He cried out to the Father that if there was any way that this cup could be removed from Him that would be wonderful, but He ends his prayer by stating, “Yet not my will but yours be done.” You see, even Christ Himself is under authority, which we see as He humbly submitted to the will of the Father. Q - On a scale of 1 - 10 with 1 being “I struggle” and 10 being “I do extremely well,” how well do you personally submit to authority? Why is submission to authority so difficult for many...especially as Americans? Why is it necessary?
Read the passage from Matthew 28, which we refer to as the Great Commission. 8 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.
- Make disciples
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Q - Take a close look at this passage. Why are the 2 bookend statements made by Christ critical to the understanding and fulfillment of the Great Commission? Discuss.
It’s truly incredible that when Jesus sought out to establish the New Testament church that he picked such a motley crew to do so. There were money-laundering tax collectors, rugged fishermen, doubters, and basically a group of sinful men with no special characteristics that would make them stand out as leaders of the church. But that’s who Christ chose. 1 Corinthians 1 actually puts it this way - “...not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong…………...Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Jesus says in Matthew 16 that He alone is the One who will build the church. He also says that not even the gates of Hell will prevail against the church. When Simon Peter answered Christ regarding who he is, Peter replied, “You are the Christ the Son of the living God,” but Jesus went on to say that even that truth was only known because it was revealed to Peter by the Father. In other words, It truly is Christ who is building His church...from first to last...from calling to equipping. And the amazing thing is that He chooses to use, to quote Spencer, “knuckleheads like you and me.” Q - Why is the understanding that the Lord chooses normal, every day, sinful people to establish His church critical to our understanding and application of the Gospel?
V. FURTHER APPLICATION -
I Corinthians 12 is a wonderful passage showing how the body of Christ (i.e. the church) is to function together as one. This would be a great passage to read through and meditate on as we jump further into this study of the governance of the local church.
VI. CLOSE - Final thoughts?
VII. BE ON-MISSION -
What 2 people will you invite to church with you this Sunday that currently to not attend church?