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822. Let the Lion Roar

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
September 22, 2020 7:00 pm

822. Let the Lion Roar

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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September 22, 2020 7:00 pm

Dr. Alan Benson continues “Divine Design,” a series about Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood.

The post 822. Let the Lion Roar appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Sr. His intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything so he established daily chapel services. Today that tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from The University Chapel Platform. Today on The Daily Platform, we're continuing a study series entitled Divine Design, which is a study of biblical manhood and biblical womanhood. Today's message will be preached by Vice President for Student Development and Discipleship, Dr. Alan Benson. Take your Bibles and turn with me, if you would, to First Timothy, Chapter 3.

First Timothy, Chapter 3. I have had the privilege of eating in McDonald's now in 40 countries. I use McDonald's as a marker so that I can remember how many I've been to. However, the reason for my trips has not actually been Mickey D's. I have not traveled around the world to see if I could find McDonald's. It actually has been to visit, experience, and encourage really a much more colossal institution.

So fuel my experiences. I have had the privilege of sitting on the floor and worshiping with brothers and sisters in Christ in Cambodia. I have labored with fellow believers in Hong Kong meeting at a YMCA. I've huddled in the darkness in a concrete compound without power, running water for 8 days to study the Scriptures with fellow pastors in China. I have preached the Gospel while delivering babies in a grass hut in the rainforests of Honduras. I've huddled to study the Word with saints of God in Pregnostrovia, or what is known as Transnistria. I visited a church in the middle of Chapada compound.

A group of 30,000 migrant workers have gathered to labor in the copper mines in northern Zambia. Chapada is 90% HIV positive. And in the middle of that group of people, there is a faithful pastor pastoring a church, having lost his own wife to AIDS. I've preached to gathered believers in a small village in the mountains of Transylvania in Romania. Why do I tell you all this?

Because the Lord in His grace hasn't allowed me to see the world. He has graciously allowed me to see another creation of His crafted by His own hand and shaped for His own glory. He has allowed me to see the church.

Listen as John describes her for us. After this I beheld and lo, a great multitude which no man could number of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues stood before the throne and before the lamb clothed in white robes and palms in their hands and cried with a loud voice saying, salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne and unto the lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne and about the elders and the four beasts and fell before the throne on their faces and worshiped God saying, Amen. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be unto our God forever and ever. Amen.

And they're praising Him because of the church. We are studying divine design. We have been looking at biblical manhood and womanhood and we've studied male and female and the God-designed relationship between them and complementarianism.

We've discussed singleness and marriage. And today I want to look at the creative design of God in formulating a people for His own name's sake and calling them together to equip them for ministry in a rebel world and to glorify Himself through their spreading of His fame to the ends of the earth. You see, no matter who you are, male, female, married or single, it is the plan of Almighty God that you serve Him by embracing and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ through His church. I've had the privilege of being in local church pastoral ministry for 25 years. God has allowed me to see the western church in almost every facet. Church planting, that's where I grew up.

Very small church. Into ministry, I traveled some in evangelism for the university, got to preach in 140 churches in a semester. Into youth ministry, serving in multiple churches as a youth pastor, as an associate pastor, as a Christian school administrator, I survived one year of that.

An associate pastor in a church, transitioning with a pastor who served for 50 years and now serving in three pastorates as a full-time senior pastor. After all of that, I fear today that the western believers have a very skewed, very anemic view of the church. We often see it as a powerless, self-promoting social club.

And I speak this to our shame. I fear that many of you sitting in front of me today look at church and find yourself in one of two categories. You believe in the church and long to make a difference for the Lord but somehow feel disenfranchised because you don't know where you fit or even if you are truly welcome.

Or you're not really all that interested in church because you feel like there are other more effective ways to make a difference in society. We have lost sight of the greatness and glory of the church. We have somehow failed to effectively share the true greatness of the church and in doing so, we haven't passionately passed the torch.

Someone said, you don't need to defend a lie and you just need to turn it loose. And I fear that my generation has become so accustomed to trumpeting a glorious past and bemoaning a dwindling present that we have fallen prey to protecting a lion by hiding him away. And I stand before you today to declare that the church of Jesus Christ is as much a lion today as she has always been and to this generation I declare, let the lion roar. Jesus declared in Matthew 16, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

And that wasn't empty rhetoric. Songwriters said it this way, oh church arise and put your armor on. Hear the call of Christ our captain, for now the weak can say that they are strong in the strength that he has given. With shield of faith and belt of truth, we'll stand against the devil's lies, an army bold whose battle cry is love, reaching out to those in darkness. Our call to war, to love the captive soul but to rage against the captor and with the sword that makes the wounded whole, we'll fight with faith and valor. When faced with trials on every side, we know the outcome is secure and Christ will have the prize for which he died, an inheritance of nations. Come, see the cross where love and mercy meet and the son of God is stricken. Then see his foes lie crushed beneath his feet for the conqueror has risen and as the stone is rolled away and Christ emerges from the grave, this victory march continues till the day every eye and heart shall see him. So spirit, come, put strength in every stride, give grace for every hurdle that meet we may run with faith to win the prize of a servant good and faithful.

As saints of old still line the way, retelling triumphs of his grace, we hear their calls and hunger for the day when with Christ we stand in glory. I take you today of all the passages we could to 1 Timothy chapter 3 because I believe that pictures are worth a thousand words. Paul writes to a church, the church at Ephesus, what is known as the epistle on the church, really the epistle we know as Ephesians.

He writes to that same church by writing two letters to the man that is leading, guiding, shepherding that church. We may call him the pastor, he is an apostolic appointee to Timothy, he writes 1 and 2 Timothy, and he writes to him with a very specific purpose. So look at 1 Timothy chapter 3. 1 Timothy chapter 3. And I want us to see verses 14 through 16. Paul writes these words, these things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly, 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. And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness.

God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. I believe this is a pivotal passage in, really, 1 and 2 Timothy, and I believe it captures the essence of all the pastoral epistles. At its heart, Paul writes to Timothy and says I'm delayed in coming, so I'm writing to you something that is of incredible importance. I'm writing because you need to understand how you're supposed to conduct yourself in the church. And so as we contemplate that, I really want us to see just three simple things. I want us to see the purpose in writing. Why does Paul write these words?

And I think they will be a challenge to us. First of all, I want you to see that he makes an assumption. Paul is writing with the assumption that men are in the church and need instruction on how to behave. You see, the New Testament knows nothing of an unchurched believer. All the New Testament writers assumed that believers would be an active part of the community of faith, so Paul wrote in Romans 12, 5, so we being many are one body in Christ and everyone members of another. Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2, you also as lively stones are built up a spiritual house and holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. But you're a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation, a peculiar people that you should show forth the praises of him who called you out of darkness into marvelous light. And the author of Hebrews wrote in Hebrews 10, and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another and so much the more as you see the day approaching. My friends, the New Testament never sees church as an option. From the very beginning in Acts 2 as Peter preached and the souls of men responded to the gospel of Jesus Christ in repentance and faith, we find that these 3,000 new believers were added to the church. This was the first episode of over 2,000 years of the fulfillment of the promise of Christ to build His church.

Believers, those who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and rightly identify with Him, are identified with that which He committed Himself to build in this age, and that is the church. And so he writes with this assumption, this assumption that you're going to be in the church. But then I want you to see that he adds to that an admonition. Notice what he says, the word behave. It means to speak of our conduct, the way we walk, our behavior as a person.

It actually refers, I think, especially to how a person relates to other people in their conduct one with another. And so you're going to find throughout the Pastoral Epistles all of these instructions about relationships within the body, about how the church is to conduct its business, about the fact that we're supposed to gather and pray, about the preaching of the Word. You'll find all of these dynamic instructions about how life happens within the body of Christ.

One of the interesting things is that he would use this word to behave. That there is a responsibility, that there's something I should be doing, that church is not then just a spectator sport, that there's a way that I'm supposed to live, there are things that I'm supposed to do. And throughout the New Testament you will find that the church is never merely just described as an organization. It is an organism.

It is alive. And as our bodies are equipped with appendages, each with a special function to accomplish unique tasks, so Christ as the head is equipping his body so that it will have the capacities to do all that he has designed it to do within the church. And you, my friends, are one of those appendages. God designed you. God redeemed you. God equipped you because he has a capacity for you to accomplish in the church.

And so we're supposed to know how we're supposed to carry ourselves, to conduct ourselves, to carry out that role. I heard an interesting story. It's about a boat race. And the race began and off the boats went, and this particular boat makes its way to the front.

It's leading the race. The crew begins to notice that the captain is somewhat uneasy. He's walking around, he's looking back behind him, he's looking in front of him, and he's trying to figure out where they're going, what way the wind is blowing, but he seems very puzzled. And eventually one of the crew says to him, Captain, are you okay? And he said, well, I think we're going to have to let the boat behind us pass us. And he said, what? This is a race we're supposed to win.

He said, yeah, I know, but I never planned on us leading the race, so I'm not quite sure where to go. Young people, I think so often that we live our lives that way. I'm not quite sure who I am. I'm not quite sure who I'm supposed to be. I'm not quite sure what giftedness I've been given. I'm not quite sure what the church is like or what it's supposed to do.

And so we sit back and we try sometimes to lead from behind, and it never works. This book is written because we're supposed to understand how to behave ourselves in the church. I ask you this question. At this point in your life, are you figuring out who you are in Christ? Are you figuring out what abilities He has given you? Are you settling on a purpose for your life? And are you striving to see God work through you to accomplish that purpose? Because the church is waiting, and it's waiting for you to say, I know who I am in Christ and I know what His mission is, and I know how He's gifted me to do that, and I'm jumping in.

Because the church is God's plan. So when we hear the word behave, I think we naturally shrink a little. Maybe we get a picture in our mind. We think of a mother speaking to a young child in scolding tones because of their disobedience. Now you behave. Well, that's not really the intent of the word here. It actually is more a call to function properly. To live in accordance with who I am and with the abilities I've been given to accomplish a purpose. It's to live the way that I'm supposed to live and to do what I'm supposed to do. Listen then to what Paul says about the church in Ephesians 4. Here's what it's for, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God and unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, that we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the slight of men and cutting craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive.

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things which is the head, even Christ, for whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." Do you realize that in this passage of Scripture, the Apostle Paul has described the church as the place for every spiritual capacity to be carried out. It is the place where the gospel is supposed to be proclaimed to the world. God isn't just calling individual believers to declare the gospel to the ends of the earth. God is actually calling churches to declare the gospel to the end of the earth and churches are filled with individual believers. God isn't calling individuals to send out missionaries to take the gospel there.

He's calling churches to do that. God isn't calling individuals to reach their community for Christ. He's calling individuals through a community of faith, called the church, to reach their community for Christ.

They say all of that to say Paul has no scope that in any way, shape, or form individuals would bypass the church to accomplish the mission of God. Because one of the unique dynamics is this, that while you are serving God, you are being served by the people of God. And while you are equipping people, you are being equipped by the people of God. And while you are discipling others, you are being discipled by the people of God. God has called his body to be filled with symbiotic relationships, where as you give, you're given to, and as you serve, you are served, and as you love, you are loved, and as you lead, you are led. And that is his mission for taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. And that's why when we see that mission accomplished, what is gathered in heaven is a church. And so I challenge you first of all with Paul's purpose and admonition. Figure out how you're supposed to conduct yourself in the church and commit yourself to it. But then I want you to see secondly the pictures of the church. Notice the pictures that he uses here, and really they're just slides, and so I want you to see them. First of all, he pictures the church as the household of God.

What an amazing picture. We could relate to the fact that we realize in the Old Testament the temple was the dwelling place of God, and that now there's a carryover in that picture that this is now the dwelling place of God. But notice that it's intentionally in the rest of the New Testament.

It's filled with familial language. That if the church is the household of God, here we see pictured that he is the father within that house, in a place that I'm supposed to rightly commune with my father, a place that I'm supposed to rightly be disciplined by my father, the place where I'm supposed to rightly honor my father is within his household. It's within the church.

And yet he has created here the imagery that he has father, has children, and we now have the capacity to have relationships like none other. That as I become a member of a body, I am joined there to now those who are my brothers and sisters, and they may be those of other ethnicities, and other walks of life, and other mental capacities, and they look differently, and they live differently, and yet somehow now organically by the work of Jesus Christ we are brought together in one body, and we are brothers and sisters. There are some of you sitting here today, and the thing that is ravaging your soul is a sense of wanting to belong somewhere, of wanting someone to accept you, of wanting a place to fit, and you're driving yourself with thoughts of career, and purpose, and goals, and endeavors.

Can I tell you that by the design of your father you belong in the church? It's a place to find out who you are, and what you're supposed to do. It is a place to move beyond surface relationships to people who will commit their lives not just to God, but to you for his sake, and will love you when you're unlovely, and will chide you when you're unloving. They will guide you when you're going astray, and they can reach into your life and help you when you have questions.

The church is a place to find the relationships that you're longing for if we'll just commit to being the church. It's the household of God, but then I want you also to see that it is the church of the living God. An interesting expression, a word you have heard many times I'm sure, he uses the word ekklesia. And it really is a common term.

It was common in that first century Greek, not just a New Testament word, but it received special application in the New Testament because it's applied to this group, this body, this select group of people. And it really has the idea of setting something aside. Have you ever, maybe you haven't yet, I have and made the mistake, got instructions and you open the box, and you open the packages, and inside them there's one special package and it's labeled and it says, do not throw this away. And most of us as men say, and then we build whatever it is and it won't all work because then you're like, where's that thing? Where did I put that thing? And it's that one piece that you know needs to be set aside because it has a special purpose.

Friends, that really is the idea of the word ekklesia. It is a group especially set aside because it has a special purpose that is vital to everything else. It is the church and God is the one who set it aside. It's the church of the living God, not one among the dead idols, but a living God, a dynamic God, a God who is changing things, a God who created things, a God who is in control of all things, a God who has a plan for all things. And that God set aside a group of people for his own name's sake, to accomplish his mission of making himself known.

And he's asking you to be a part. It's the church of the living God. But then lastly it is the pillar and ground of the truth. What truth? Look at verse 16 and we won't take the time to look at it, but that truth is the gospel. Young people, we are living in a day where most of us in the Western world don't know more or anything about it like we should. But there's actually more persecution of New Testament believers taking place in our world today than there ever has in any other time in history. They estimate that there were more martyrs for the faith in the last 10 years than there were in any other 10 year window in history.

Somehow we don't understand that. We are living in a Western culture where truth is being assaulted from every side by redefinition, by everything that we've always assumed mattered being redefined so that it doesn't matter anymore. Young people, I'm here to tell you that Paul declares here this morning that we are to know how to act, to conduct ourselves in the church because the church is a repository of the truth that matters. And if we let the church fail, somehow we're failing to hold up the truth as we're supposed to. Now understand when I say that the church will not fail, Jesus' promise will not fail.

But hear me, it may fail in America like it has in other places. And so today, in divine design, God has created you. God has created you to be the you you're supposed to be and He's called you to be the best you you can be. To rightly understand who you are, male, female, single, married. And then whoever you are, He has gifted you to accomplish an eternity impacting mission.

And He has designed it, divinely designed it, that you carry out that mission through His body, the church. And I again am calling you as this generation, don't wait for the church. Don't wait for an invitation. Don't stand around awkwardly. Don't wonder when they'll ask you.

Don't ask if they think you're grown up. I am challenging you as this generation to look at the church as a caged lion and jump in and let the lion roar for the glory of God. Let's pray. Father, thank you for the church. I pray, O God, that you would stir in our souls a commitment for your glory, that we would be a people for your name's sake, that we would engage with relentless passion, to desire to see your truth upheld and spread. For lost men and women around the globe to come to faith in Christ, that we would long for real relationships, that we could be built up in our faith, that others could be transformed in being like Christ. And O God, I pray that you would help us to see with greater clarity that the place for all of that missional work is the church. Build your church, we pray in Jesus' name. You've been listening to a sermon preached by Dr. Alan Benson, which is part of the study series about biblical manhood and biblical womanhood entitled Divine Design. Join us again tomorrow as we conclude this series here on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-29 07:55:20 / 2024-02-29 08:05:13 / 10

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