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March 10, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit concludes the series entitled “Church Matters,” with a message titled “Five Core Actions Toward the Church.”
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.
Today's sermon will be preached by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University well today is our last day that we are going to cover the series on church matters and so I want to take a few moments this morning to talk about your relationship. You as an individual to the church by the church are not talking about the body of Christ. It at large on talking about the local church, the body of Christ is something God put you into the local church is something that you choose to go to someone talk about your relationship with the church as we finish this series I want to thank publicly, Dr. Horta, Mr. Benson with a wonderful and helpful messages that they brought these messages are actually these truths are things we been working on for couple years here at the University because we believe is foundational for ongoing feud going forward in the future and your relationship and our relationship to the local churches in the greater Greenville area and also to teach you biblical principles because as we said in the beginning that for many of you this is the first time in your life that you're actually making a decision your own decision about church where you're going to go and so we want to lay out before you biblical principles and so that's why we have made the focus that we have made especially on the concept of a Dr. log docs a logical church or church that is intentionally worshiping God. So what I'd like to do this morning is really talk about some so what's okay so we gone to the semester we given you as much doctrine and teaching as we can, as we are allowed to buyer time. So why, what's the big deal about it all.
Dr. Warren weirds me. Perhaps you've heard of him, did a whole series of New Testament commentaries and call them the B series. What I'd like to do this morning is give you five important bees are things that we should be doing as a Christian in our relationship to the local church and so this morning is not to be so much doctrine. All it just can be pretty much practical. Whenever you do anything practical you have a tendency sometimes to upset people your armor Stephen in the New Testament who preached a sermon to the local Jews in Jerusalem.
He gave them a really good Hebrew history lesson until he made applications when he made the application they stoned now. Maybe at the end of today sermon you want to stone me afterward to get mad at me and perhaps sometimes the applications are upsetting, but you have to have applications to truth. That's the way that we live the Christian life. So this morning. What I'd like to do is cover five core actions are just five basic things that as a Christian we should be doing in relationship to the local church and the first thing I'd like to cover this morning is that you should be baptized into the church. Church membership in the New Testament was always based on one's profession of faith in their public baptism. For example, the day of Pentecost, Peter preached in the power the Holy Spirit and people came under the conviction of sin.
They realize they had sin and they realize that they had killed the Messiah, like their eyes were opened suddenly this Jesus that it come was really the one they were looking for the Messiah.
And so they asked me to the question, what should we do and what was Peter's answer. Acts 238, he said repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. We told what to do. So what did they do well. Acts 241 says they that gladly received his word were baptized in the same day that was added unto them about 3000 souls.
So think about it.
On the day of Pentecost. He preaches the gospel. He tells them what to do to repent and turn from their sin to Christ and then follow the Lord in baptism and so the Bible says that's what they did and he actually numbered them know some people are, hyper, spiritual, and there against numbers.
Often times against numbers because they don't have any, but in this case there were 3000 people that were saved for all of us for the last 2000 years we been reading them thinking how wonderful I mean I've never been in a revival meeting with 3000 people got baptized, but in this case they did in the Scripture says they were added under them. So who's the veil and we read in acts 247 and the Lord added to the church daily such as, but should be saved them were the church. So in the very beginning of the New Testament where we see the local church in action, we see the church membership was based on your profession of faith and your public baptism so you should be baptized in the church. So I ask you have you been baptized Sam a Christian I great have you follow the Lord in believers baptism did New Testament disciples baptized people.
For example, Peter James and John that they baptized folks will listen to this. Philip the evangelist of the book of acts chapter 8 goes down to Samaria any preaches. Listen to what the Bible says, but when they the Samaritans believed Philip as he preach good news about the kingdom of God in the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. What we know about a Philip. He was an evangelistic travel BP preach the big crowds.
He also share the gospel with individuals because of the book of acts chapter 8 he is told by the Spirit to go down from Jerusalem on the road that leads to Gaza. Gaza is in the southern part of of of the country and he goes down there and he meets a man called the Ethiopian eunuch. He was the servant of the Queen. He goes up in the chariot where this man is reading from the book of Isaiah, who doesn't understand what is reading any preaches to him, Jesus, and listen.
Acts 236 and as they were going along the road, they came to the synthesis of water and the eunuch said, see, here is water.
What prevents me from being baptized, and he commanded the chariot to stop and they both went down in the water. Philip and the eunuch any baptized down. What is baptism.
It is the first step of obedience to Jesus Christ after you get saved. It is your identification of your faith in Jesus Christ is an acknowledgment that I've been united to Christ. I am a part of his body, and I publicly do this to symbolize what is happening in my life personally how I was baptized by the Spirit into the body of Jesus Christ the church I could read many many more verses of the New Testament because of time. I'm not going to do that but I want to say to you if you've not been baptized. You need to be baptized. I was baptized at the age of 19 years old, between my freshman and sophomore year of college at the Ingleside Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. After I came to salvation. I realize that this is what the Scripture teaches about the way I struggled with it for about a year and finally as I read the Bible believing came very clear that I needed to do this in. This is the first steps of number one, you should be baptized in the church. Number two. The second practical thing that we should learn from this semester is that you should be devoted to the church now that my same sound a bit strange. Maybe an unusual statement, but I believe it's foundational that is that as a Christian we should be devoted to the church you say why would you say this, listen to Titus 214. We are told what Jesus's mission was when he came to this earth. It says he gave himself for us that he might redeem unto him, he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people never worked peculiar in the Bible doesn't mean strange. That's the way we look at it that you'll say what you know church is filled with peculiar people. Somebody said the gospel light attracts some strange bugs so church is unique is the unusual group but that's not what the word peculiar means means special means God's own possession. Christ came into the world to redeem what is it mean to redeem it means to buy the freedom of somebody who's a slave it means to pay the price. If I could put it in simple terms.
Jesus's mission was to make a purchase. He came to buy us, and what was the payment price. What was the currency he used Ephesians 17 says we have redemption through his blood, the payment price that Jesus gave was his own death and what did he come to buy. He came to buy for himself a bride now in the United States of America because of our culture. We don't have a dowry to get a bride. In other words, you don't pay off the father-in-law for marrying the girl you just have to pay it all off the rest of your life because marriage is extremely expensive. You'll find that out when you get married, but in many countries, you pay a dowry. There's a price, a bride's price is what it's called in the Bible says that Jesus came in the world and he paid a bride's price. It says he loved the church and he gave himself for it. In this entire act of giving his life for ransom. We call his passion Jesus came and he passionately purchase a bride to his death and now he passionately pursues his bride through the preaching of the gospel in the church. Jesus has devoted himself to us the church with the passion of a bridegroom when a man is on a mission when he is going after a girl usually can see it in his eyes for 20 years I had Christian young people travel with us on our team. We had 57 young people who travel with us and out of that came 10 marriages. So, about 1/3 married each other or you could say two thirds did marry each other, however you want to look at it but after you sat in the van long enough. It's a real clear yes or no and I could see it in the guys eyes when the guy really wanted to go there.
It was really really obvious.
And so we had a no dating policy on the team. We did have a no marriage policy. By the way, you could get marriages good and they said that work what work they figured it all out but but whenever God was passionate about a girl we became very, very, very clear. Jesus is passionate about his church and we should follow our Lord's example, we should be committed and devoted to the church, God's passionate work in the world is the establishment of his church.
He said upon this rock I will build my church of the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I believe that we should be committed and devoted to the church.
There was a well-known missionary who was my privilege to know named Darrell Champlin and he ministered in Congo and Suriname. He is now with the Lord.
He was a great missionary and he would often preach in his sermons about the passion for the church and he made this statement many times he said the eternal purpose of God is to call out from every kindred tongue people and nation, a multitude redeemed by the blood of his Lamb slain from the foundation of the world over whom he will crown his son, the lion of the tribe of Judah, King of Kings and Lord of lords forever.
This is the passion of the heart of God, that cannot be clinched the abstention of his mind that cannot be denied.
The vision of his eye that cannot grow dim and the destination which is committed his omnipotent, immutable, eternal being a destination he will not abandon the passion of God is forced church and therefore we should be passionate, forced church, Jesus gave his disciples the great commission the great commission is shaped within the context of the church, for he said to go and make disciples. And how do you do that baptized them and teach them the great commission is not a call to evangelize is to call to start churches because evangelism is the foundation of church planting. But when you go baptized and shoot and and teach. That's what the church is to do the great commission is to go into all the world and plant churches and establish them. We should be passionate about, that we should be devoted to the church and let me say very practically in my own life and my marriage with my wife. We made the church the center of our life's experience when my wife and I were married at our wedding vows our wedding vows were written by my pastor Dr. Edna Nelson and that's Dr. Coleman's father-in-law just had his birthday this week is 96 years old and he rode in the wedding vows our commitment. First of all to one another and it should be manifested through the church and my wife and I made a commitment to the Lord and his church within our wedding vows and from that from the time we started dating.
We always made the church. The core of what we were doing when we dated, we served together in the church we got married. It was in the church we went on our honeymoon. Yes, we actually went to church our honeymoon. We moved two weeks after we were married we went to serve in the church. Some of our favorite dates as a married couple were going out on Thursday mornings doing evangelistic work sharing the gospel and in meeting for lunch afterwards and having a wonderful time together.
We traveled in evangelism. We serve churches fact is we lived in local church parking lot. My children grew up in the church nursery our social life was built around the church are best friends were in the church on the weekends I go out right now. Here's the president of Bob Jones to preach in churches people say to me that that bother you to go out on Sunday mornings. No, it doesn't bother me because I get to go to church. I get to go to church pressure for me is not Sunday morning pressure for me is Monday morning. I will get Bob Jones but I get to go to church every open door of ministry I've ever had came while serving in the church even being recommended to be the president Bob Jones University was because of serving and local churches. You should love your church, you should love your pastor, you should love the people of the church.
You should be devoted to the church in the number three you should be serving in the church God is gifted everyone of you.
He is enabled you and he is empowered to both male and female, to serve the church and have a spiritual impact in the lives of others.
Listen to the book of Ephesians, but under everyone of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ, and he gave some, apostles, and some prophets and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, why for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Everyone of us should be involved serving the church. The church is a body and we are members of that body and God is given to every believer spirit spiritual gifts for the benefit and the blessing of the church. Romans 12 boys and one body we have many members of the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, letting us use them. Often times churches language because people don't serve. You should be involve the end result of our gifts is for the common benefit of the whole first Corinthians 12 for now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
There are varieties of service, but the same Lord. There are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. That's the Trinity being involved in your gifts. Now listen this to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
Good means benefit and blessing you are a blessing and you are a benefit to the church and without you doing your part. The church languishes in the common good is not there, you said and how can I know my spiritual gift or the answer is only by serving. It is, you can take a spiritual gifts test and still not be sure what your gift is the only way you really discover your gift of is by serving God is called all of us to be his servants, and we discover it by using am taking my time and investing it and it will come out so serve the church mean Joe to go to church and volunteer and say to your pastor reporting for duty sir. What can I do what I came here to Bob Jones University.
The third first thing I did is I joined the church. First thing I did, I went to the church and I figure my best place to serve was in the youth department. So I walked into the youth group and the youth pastor had only been there a couple of weeks. He was a brand-new youth pastor I said I'm here to serve whatever I can do I'll do it. My first year I was there I was, I was given the opportunities to speak in Sunday school classes. I drove my vehicle for church visitation. I helped out in youth activities. We held teen Bible clubs.
I was I was able to teach and be involved in that. And then my second year I got a step up. I was given the opportunity to teach the fifth grade boy Sunday school class that would dictate something if you cannot preach the fifth grade boys and hold their attention. You're going to be a sorry preacher you say that's a hard group to out that's my point at so I had the fifth grade boy Sunday school in the hallway. Actually the stairwell of the church that was the only place we can have as the years have gone by. I have gone and preached in churches and a grown man comes up to me and he says you are my fifth grade Sunday school one day I preached on the millennial kingdom about how can I get these kids excited about the millennial kingdom. When I read Isaiah it said that the Lamb will lay down with the lien elite about a lien I said you know what, in the millennial kingdom you're gonna have a lion is a house pet you the boy said they didn't say men basic who it says you go play upon the whole of the cobra. How many of you would love to have a lien for house pet, you would have to worry about him eating mammy with a that's cool. Yeah you cycle that's a cool and how many of you would like to have a cobra who would invite and you never had to worry about him biding time. If you think of that would be cool not admitting that's cool thing about a time I finished the sermon. Those fifth grade boys were not saying a man they were standing on their chairs shouting and it was also I loved it serve the church and one day the pastor of the church that I attended here in Greenville, South Carolina got a phone call from a pastor Michigan saying that he was looking for youth pastor.
Do you have any recommendations and he kindly and graciously recommended me and I ended up serving in the church for five years serve the church shot some of you should consider spending your first few years in helping a local church after you graduate a church plant a church revitalization.
Maybe a small struggling church. I've met so many BG you gratitude to Dr. Bob Jones the third challenge to go and help her church and they did. They did it. You have been given so much doctrinal knowledge and so much leadership skills. You said in so many services for some of you you gotten bloated spiritually here wobbling and you need to go and work out what you know, put it in the practice and serve the local churches that serve the church and then number four. You should be supporting the church.
I believe that you should support the local church financially. Why because primarily God's work in the world is the New Testament local church in the Old Testament. The fundamental way of supporting God's work was through giving 10%. We call that a time. We know tithing existed before the law because Abraham rescued his nephew Lot could been kidnapped in the book of Genesis and Abraham went and rescued him and captured the spoils of the battle and on his return back he met King Melchizedek, the king and priest of Jerusalem and what did Abraham do it most spoils. He gave Melchizedek 10% of them. Why, why did he do that for two reasons. Number one he wanted everybody around him who worship idols to know that Melchizedek, who worship the true and the living God was the God that he worship and by giving to him. He was honoring the Lord.
Secondly he gave to support the priesthood and historically that's been the main purpose of tithing to honor the Lord to testify that he's the one who provides to give him glory and and secondly to provide for those who serve and work in the worship under Moses. The law had many commands about tithing, but still the people gave to the Lord to support the work of God, you say, preacher, what if people don't give the time. One of the most important verses in the Old Testament concerning tithing is found them in Malachi chapter 3 verse eight will a man rob God you have robbed me, but you say where in it. We Rodney in tithes and offerings.
You are cursed with a curse.
You have robbed me even this whole nation bringing all the tithes into the storehouse, there may be meet at my house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of post if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Why do people say they don't make the can't type because they can afford it. You can't not afford because the whole teaching of the Bible is that God bless the people through the priest and God bless the priest to the people they supported one another.
The priest were the mediator towards and the people supported the priest with the tie and the blessing of God came. There is no question that God bless the Jews for tithing and supplied their needs and we come into the New Testament. Tithing is not as evident in the New Testament, so I'm not here to say to you that you are under the law. The type because you don't really read that in the but what you do read in the New Testament. First of all, is Jesus commanded even the Pharisees for their tithing, but what you see in the New Testament is even a even a higher level and that's called grace giving in second Corinthians 8, and nine we find Paul writing about grace giving and grace giving was seen when they people gave generously out of poverty and joyfully out of adversity because grace is always the ability to do what you cannot naturally do it's always above and beyond and in the New Testament. What we find is God calls us to sacrificially gracefully give that we are to give cheerfully and we are to get beyond our ability.
So whether you give a try for more than a tie.
We know it's biblical and we are to give generously out of the heart to be able to support the work of God the future generation of the church is dependent upon the people of God to support the church if we do not support the church and the church languages him when the church languishes use language read the Bible study it carefully. This is crucial if this generation. If you folks don't support the church and going forward where we going to be so practically we should support the church and then finally you should be worshiping in the church, by the way, I could say a lot more cut out a lot for the message. Let me say you should be worshiping in the church God's built a rhythm in creation is called a seven-day week. That's from the very beginning. What is he tell us to do and that seven-day week labor six days and rest on this on the seventh day.
That's called the Sabbath of Shabbat. Just like pre-debt just like tithing predated the law also did the Sabbath so it's built into the it's built into life in the New Testament. It is observed that worship shifted from Saturday to Sunday because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, because when Jesus came, everything changed. It change the way we date our years, what is this years 2019 80 was that mean in the year of our Lord, our day 2019 goes all the way back to Jesus when Jesus came, the world changed. The change the way we worship in the week because it was on the last day. Now it's on the first day of the week so only read the New Testament we have various passages that speak about this. For example, acts 27 on the first day of the week when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul, talk with them intending to the part of the next day any prolonged his speech until midnight, but with a skull long service in Revelation chapter 1 verse 10, it's John says I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day was the Lord's day was Sunday.
Obviously they worship on Sunday.
The Lord's day since Sunday is every since it sent Sunday is every week. Then we we should worship every week on Sunday. Sunday is not a day for golf is a day for God. Sunday is not a day for shopping. Sunday is a day for service Sunday is the Lord's day is not your day. It's his day. It is for your benefit is for your spiritual renewal and front refreshment. God is put in the rhythm of the week to help us to stay faithful to him and what are we to do all that day. We are to go to church. We are to worship God. Sunday is a day for worship and this should be clear that going to church is ultimately for the Lord I come to offer him worship. I can't offer him a sacrifice of praise I can't offer to him the sacrifice of the work week is I work and I want to come and support.
I come to dedicate my life to him and worship should be based on clear biblical principles. I don't have the right to worship God the way I want to worship you.
I should worship in the way he is revealed as a worship in the New Testament is really simple is not complicated is centered around the Bible we don't worship the Bibles of his God, but we worship God in spirit from our heart and truth which is the Bible so we come to church. We pray the Bible we read the Bible we give. According to the Bible we seeing the Bible, and we preach and expand the Bible and through spirit and through truth. We worship the Lord there so many things I cannot say because of time, but my exhortation to you is that you be a committed, faithful, loyal member of the local church and serve God through what God is doing in this world. Father, thank you for your word.
Bless us that we pray in Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a sermon preached by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. We hope you'll join us again tomorrow at the same time as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform