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What Every True Church Should Be - Part 1 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
May 6, 2022 6:00 am

What Every True Church Should Be - Part 1 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 6, 2022 6:00 am

Since Jesus said He would build His church, He gets to decide what the distinctive marks of this new community should be. In the message "What Every True Church Should Be - Part 1," Skip shares about what Jesus said He wants most for His people.

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The purpose of the church is to glorify God. Purpose of the church. Number one is to glorify churches many purposes and this is been debated throughout history. Some people say what the real purpose of the church fellowship community.

No, not actually is a purpose, but it is not primary and second, Jesus is the one who built the church so the marks of a true church should be in today on connect with Skip Skip shares of the church mistreats God's glory, to glorify the Lord. Before we begin to let you know about a recent that will help strengthen your faith as you explore the lives of notable women in the Bible stands between you and a more fruitful walk with Jesus health for prominent women in the Bible thinks their struggles in a new teaching theories for my height and called Queens of the Bible on the Queen of Sheba hearing is the first step towards spiritual life right now, hearing that blessing because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God hear more from Lang. She exploits the faith in the failings of four different queens in Scripture. The Queens of the Bible collection of teaching is our way of saying thank you $35 or more today to support this Bible teaching ministry. The cost of following Christ is to go wherever healing your copy of these unique teachings when you call 898 or give online securely connectwithskip.com/offer connectwithskip.com/offer John chapter 7 today's message number last week in the Gospel of Matthew noted that Jesus made the statement that he was going to make a new community community that he would call his church.

We discussed what that meant. Church is a group of people called out from the world to gather together for the purposes of God. Today we get to discover what those purposes of God are exactly in the prayer of Jesus in John 17 so to tell you where we are here, let me tell you why I've chosen John 17 what's going on in Matthew 16 Jesus makes the announcement. I am going to build my church. We get to the book of acts we see the birth of the church in acts chapter 2 we see the spread and the expansion of the church around the world and the challenges that come with that we get to the epistles of Paul and Peter and John we get to all of the instructions given to the church how to form leaders how to enact church discipline how to engage in public worship, etc. we even have other names that are given for the church. Names like the body of Christ the flock of God, the pillar and ground of truth, the bride of Christ, the household of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit and then finally we get to the book of Revelation which tells us the future of the church we see that awesome picture of the church gathered around the throne of God.

With the angelic choirs singing praises to him. But in John chapter 17 we get the original design or intention of the church. It is the big picture and it's the prayer of Jesus Christ. One of my favorite sections of the Bible. It's the most intimate prayer on record and the longest prayer recorded of Jesus to his father in heaven and he prays for his followers not only his followers then, but will see next time we gather that he prays for his followers. Eventually all those who will believe in Jesus through the word of the original file so he is praying for his church and it's noteworthy to find out what he is praying for his church because as we go through this prayer, we find that there are four marks of a true church for characteristics. Every true church should be like this and I were gonna work in a look at two of the marks this week and two of the marks next week because I want to go through this too fast. I wanted really drill down and make application but you know not every group that gathers together and calls itself the church is a true church in Revelation chapters 2 and three. There are some institutions there that are called the synagogue of Satan. Nobody would like to be called that they what church you go to oh I go to Satan synagogue okay great synagogue of Satan. Even Jesus spoke to leaders who were opposed to him and opposed to his message and Jesus called them children of the devil. So just because you assembled together and you call yourself something doesn't mean you are that so we want to discover what the marks of every true church is I was reading a study some time ago that said, the most important thing that a church can do to attract people is to provide parking. The parking lot was number one want a successful church number one parking lot number two on that list nursery parking lot number one nursery that you had to read down the list pretty far to get the preaching and worship and things like that. Number one parking number two nursery. I'm not saying those things are not important. I laugh a little bit because when we first started in this building.

We didn't have parking.

We just had like 20 or 30 on-site parking spaces and people parking in neighborhoods and walked down the street and it was quite comical. We didn't follow any of that advice at all.

But here's the deal. If Jesus said he's going to build the church in Matthew 16.

If he is the head of the church. Then he gets to say what is important as being a characteristic so we want to look at.

There are four phenomena go through to this week number one every true church should demonstrate God's glory every true church should demonstrate God's glory.

Let's begin a John 17 let's read some of the verses and there is a word that is repeated more than any other word in this section you'll notice that as we go through verse one Jesus spoke these words lifted his eyes to heaven, and said father, the hour has come. Glorify your son that your son also may glorify you as you have given him authority over all flesh that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him, and this is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

I have glorified you on the earth.

I have finished the work which you have given me to do. And now, old father, glorify me together with yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was go down to verse nine. I pray for them, them being his disciples, his followers, I pray for them.

I do not pray for the world. But for those whom you have given me, for they are yours and all mine are yours and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them, but out of verse 22 and the glory which you gave me. I have given them that they may be one as we are one and and finally down to verse 24. Father, I desire that they also, whom you gave me may be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which you have given me for you. Let me before the foundation of the world eight times a word shows up in one form or another. That is the word glory or glorified, and that's a term we have heard right. Most Christians know the term glory glory of God glorifying God. The problem is what is it mean exactly what is the glory of God.

What is it mean to glorify God.

Basically, the Bible uses that word in two different ways.

Number one, it's something you see number two it's something you do it something visible when God shows up there some glorious manifestation.

Sometimes, so it something you see that it something you do to glorify God so so let's drill down a little bit. Number one God's glory refers to a visible expression of God are visible expression of God is the outward. Wow, that brings the inward. Woe, you know what I'm referring to in Isaiah chapter 6, Isaiah gets a vision of God's glory. He said in the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting sitting on the throne, high and lifted up the train of his robe filled the temple.

There were seraphim around the throne.

They were singing out to one another, holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts, the whole earth is filled with his glory immediately. Isaiah said woe is me, the wow division led into the wall. Oh, is me. So it's the outward. Wow, that brings the inward low. It's the visible expression of God. Many times in the Old Testament we read the glory of the Lord appeared and so often when you read the glory of the Lord appeared the reaction of people on earth assert a Leica before and the Wizard of Oz have the disorder shake in their boots. God showed up and then this is Christmas time so we talk about Luke chapter 2 every year in Luke chapter 2 we know the narrative that says the angel of the Lord stood before the shepherds and the glory of the Lord shone round about them and they were very afraid. So number one, it's the visible expression of God.

There's another way it is used sometimes it refers to the valued attention toward God. That's what it means to glorify God. The word is dockside so and that is a word that means to make a noun or to make famous or to form a good opinion of so look how Jesus uses it that way.

Verse four. I have glorified you on the earth but out of verse six, I have manifested your name to the men that you have given me.

Simply put, I have pointed toward you. I have focused attention on you. I the son have turned the spotlight on you father I have made you the center of focus on the stage of history, and not only have I done that I have passed that on is a goal to my followers so the purpose of the church is to glorify God. The purpose of the church. Number one is to glorify God church as many purposes and this is been debated throughout history on some people say whether the real purpose of the church is fellowship community.

Now it's not it actually is a purpose and but it is not primary and secondary others will say will the main purpose of the church is to evangelize the world because Jesus ago and all the world and preach the gospel. Okay, that's important.

We exist for that reason, but that's not the primary reason the primary reason is not going. The primary reason is not growing. The primary reason is glorifying God. We exist to bring glory to point focus to make renown to give attention to God. Every true church has a true North. It points in a direction. It should be oriented toward God and if you know what the catechism is. But if you were raised in the traditional church. You do know what the catechism as I grew up with one. It's a little manual that is used to teach children faith in God and how to follow Christ. So in the 1600s in England, there was a catechism printed, known as it still use widely the Westminster shorter catechism in the Westminster shorter catechism was primarily a tool to teach children the Christian faith and the catechism begins with a question, followed by an answer. Here's the question what is the chief end of man, what is the chief end of man.

In other words, it's an old English way of saying why are we here, what is the purpose of life as we know it. What is the chief end of man, here's the answer. The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever to great answer. The chief end of man. The reason I exist is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

So the first mark of Jesus. True church is 2.22 give attention to to make renown God. Okay, great. Glorify God. That sounds good on paper it sounds good philosophical okay good I should glorify God. But how do you do that exactly. I'm so glad you asked, because Jesus gives us two ways we glorify God by our declaration, but we say what comes out of our mouth, we declare it and we glorify God by our demonstration.

What we do, though I wanted. I want you to see that go go to verse six is the declaration I have manifested your name. I have made your name great. I have revealed your character, your name, I have made your name great and one thing to realize about Jesus is he always honored the father always said the father's will should be done. That's part of our prayer to him in the Lord's prayer.

He spoke about how great the father is he always declared God always always pointed to him.

How do we do that how do we declare well I can think of a few ways when we witness to somebody share the gospel with them.

Where declaring God is great, worthy, worthy to be believed in and followed whenever you train your children in the things of God.

You are declaring how great God is to your children you are in effect glorifying God with your kids. If you teach a Sunday school class are you having a place of instruction of new believers are disciples you are declaring God you are glorifying him. We also do that by worship whenever we sing like we just did whatever we sing the words, pointing to him. We are declaring God is worthy God is valuable in a worship is the one exercise we do where God gets all the attention if it took the focus is now off of us and completely on him that if it's true worship now can be false worship. Were you there worshiping and you're looking around to see was looking at you because look, a holy I am. My hands are raised her pregnancy so that that's not that's not real if it's real worship than all of the focus all of the attention is on him and so the first reason we exist and we meet together is to glorify our great God see the church is the only community on earth, where God is the star of the show God is the star of the show, and a lot of other meeting places at the Elks club.

God is not the star of the show at the Moose Lodge God is not number one at the chest and check her association is not all about God. Right at the motorcycle club. All of these are gatherings where God is not at the center, but at church every true church is a true North and that is to glorify God and others. Another reason why it's important to meet together because when we meet together. It allows us to magnify God uniquely something happens when I am part of a worshiping community.

It re-orients my life. It reorients my life. You know, I may come in for Lauren. I may come in in disparaged I may come in angry. I may come in selfish and then the song start being song, the people around me are closing their eyes were lifting their hands or bowing their heads and worshiping in. It reorients me.

I start thinking yeah it's not really all about me really is all about him.

Yes, God is on the throne. Yes, he is in charge as he can handle this. Don Whitney, who wrote a book on spiritual disciplines, wrote this. There there is an element of worship and Christianity that cannot be experienced in private worship, or by watching worship there are some graces and blessings that God gives only in the meeting together with other believers. You believe that I know you believe that because you're here, you know, also believe that Martin Luther liquid.

Luther wrote he said at home in my own house.

There's no warmth or vigor in me. But in the church when the multitude is gathered together a fire is kindled in my heart and it breaks its way through you know what they're referring to in layman's terms positive peer pressure.

We note peer pressure is can be bad, but it can be good and in this case it's good it's positive peer pressure. Everybody's orienting themselves toward God, putting the focus on him, so it helps media changes the way I think there's a great example of this in Psalm 73. Anderson read a couple verses to you. Me just say the background in Psalm 73. The author is a guide named Asaph. Asaph is hot and bothered about the world things are happening in his world to get him really really bummed out. So he begins by saying, truly God is good to Israel to such as are pure in heart. Now I think he started that way because he felt like he had to say that okay I'm a worship leader.

I need to say this, God is good all the time so he said it. Listen to what he says right after that.

But as for me, my feet almost stumbled my steps had nearly slipped for. I was envious of the boastful when I saw the prosperity of the wicked and the Psalm goes on, where he describes no God. I follow you and I love you and Mike's life seems so much worse than unbelievers who seem to be prosperous and at ease and not suffering like I'm suffering.

I don't get that I don't like that so is bothered about that and he says this down in verse 16 when I thought to understand this.

It was too painful for me and I'm bothered by the fact that those unbelievers seem to have it made. While I go to trial after trial after trial and God supposed to love me was too painful for me until now there's a shift until I went into the sanctuary of God.

Then I understood there and you know I came to church one day and there were worshipers there in that temple and all of a sudden when I was envious of unbelievers. Now in this place of worship. My life is reoriented and reeducated and I started thinking about the end of the life of an unbeliever. I wasn't envious of them any longer to be in eternity without God. I understood there and what happened to Asaph. He was in a crowd of believers in a place where God is worship. He was reoriented until I went into the sanctuary. So we glorify God by our declaration, we glorify God. Also by our demonstration. What we do go back to verse four in our Lord's prayer.

I have glorified you on the earth. I have finished the work which you have given me to do now look at that verse with your eyes. There are two sentences in, and this what we call an appositional statement where you have one statement made a phrase or sentence followed by another one that is parallel to the first but explains the first. So the first statement I've glorified you on the earth will how did you do that, exactly, Lord Jesus is the second statement I have finished the work which you have given me to do so. Now let me ask you the question, how do you glorify God by by finishing the work he's given us to do all I glorified you in there. I finished the work which you have given me to do. You know the God is a task for you and only you can fulfill has an assignment that only you can accomplish that. The message from his series 22's message for you.

We are excited to share how God is inspire and encourage others to share the good news of Jesus. Listen to this letter. Dear Skip, I feel that during these many months of difficult and challenging times with the uncertainty of coded I continue to have the columnists of pure peace and comfort. I'm usually very apprehensive of the unknown and as a result, been a very negative person that was my pattern. Worry and fear. Now I know because of God's love for me, and his faithfulness that he is a big God.

And I trust in him. Thank you for letting me share my joy in which your Bible teachings have helped in strengthening my walk and trusting our father in heaven.

Letters like this one demonstrate how God is using your support to change lives for eternity.

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