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1217. The Nature of the Church

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
March 29, 2022 7:00 pm

1217. The Nature of the Church

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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March 29, 2022 7:00 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit continues a series entitled “Seeking Things Above” with a message titled, “The Nature of the Church,” from Colossians 3:10-15.

The post 1217. The Nature of the Church 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 Senior's 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 travel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series entitled seeking things above, which is a study of the book of Colossians.

This study explores and applies the timeless truth that Christ is our sufficiency in all relationships, responsibilities and circumstances. If you would like to follow along in the study booklet you can order a printed copy from the Bob Jones store website shop.BJ

Let's listen to today's message from Colossians chapter 3 verses 10 through 15 where it says put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him today will learn how Paul revealed to the Gentile believers that they were part of something bigger than themselves. The church and today's message is titled the nature of the church. Colossians chapter 3 we read beginning in verse 10 these words.

Speaking of of what we are and Christ as a part of his church, he says, and have put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him whether there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision or un-circumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond or free but Christ is all and in all put on therefore is the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye scientific research tells us that having a connection to something bigger than yourself actually makes you happier and healthier as a person, New York Times writer David Brooks gives advice to college graduates in a column that he wrote entitled. It's not about you and his conclusion was that the purpose of life is not found in yourself, but it is found in it is not found in finding yourself is actually found in losing yourself, he implies that the most successful people spend their time on things that are bigger than themselves will part of Paul's ministry was to teach the Gentile believers, those that had been converted that they are a part of something far bigger than themselves. When you consider that a large portion of the believers in the early church were slaves. That was their identity.

You can only imagine what the teaching of Christianity meant to them regarding both their security, their identity and their value as human beings. And so Paul writes.

He says you're part of something bigger than yourself and what he's talking about is he talking about the church of Jesus Christ. You see, the church is God's work in the world the church if you could say this way is where it's all happening and so Paul's primary teaching about the church is found in the book of Ephesians and is found in the book of Colossians.

However, there's a difference of emphasis regarding the church in these two letters with regards to the Ephesians, he tells us that through the gospel. We have been incorporated into a spiritual body. That's called the church, the body of Christ. We become a part of that, the book of Colossians says that through the gospel.

All believers become connected to their spiritual head. That's Jesus Christ. So Ephesians focuses on the body, but Colossians focuses on the head. It focuses on the sufficiency and the supremacy of Jesus Christ, and in both letters Ephesians and Colossians Paul calls the church a mystery was a mean by mystery, a ministry is something that was hidden in the past but is now revealed in the present and the mystery simply means that as the Old Testament Jews would really have not understood this, because it really wasn't found in the Old Testament and the mystery is that a believing Gentile somebody that is outside of God's covenant could enter into the blessings of God's covenant that was reserved for the Jewish people through the gospel, and it is through the gospel. That is a Gentile. We become a partaker of the promises of God we become fellow heirs.

We are adopted is the children of God in all the privileges that go with being a part of God's children.

We receive so through the gospel. We have been become a part of God's work in the world. T.S. Eliot said most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.

What Paul is saying that we actually have become a part of the most important thing in the world and that is the church of Jesus Christ and what you think about this.

If you are connected to a church if you are committed to a church if you are serving God either in a church or in a soup board ministry for the church than you are part of the biggest thing in the world.

My wife and I were married in 1980 and a part of our valves.

We wrote our vows and commitments in a part of our valves is are as as a married couple is that we were not just committed to each to each other and to God, though, that that was foundational, but we were actually committed to the church so that we would live our lives and serve in our lives through the ministry of the church that we would raise our children up through the church.

Why, because that is the biggest thing that God is doing in the world so I could say this way of Bob Jones doesn't serve or support the church, then our existence is actually questionable. Let me say this way as a student of Bob Jones University if you go to come to school here you have to go to church if you don't go to church go somewhere else because a part of your education is a Christian education part of that education is our commitment to what God is doing in the world and that is God is building his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. So what we find here in this passage in Colossians we find in us that Paul is unfolding the nature of the church and he does this with two metaphors are two illustrations and those are the two things I like salute look at just for a few moments. The first thing he says is that we are a new creation. The church is something that God created a new creation speaks of something that did not formally exist, but God makes it so as we read in the book of Colossians we read first of all that God created the physical world. Look at Colossians 115 who is the image of the event visible God speaking of Christ, the firstborn of every creature that means he is the preeminent human being that's ever live this is for by him.

That's Jesus were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible is invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created by him and for him and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. What is Paul saying everything was made by Jesus. Everything was made through Jesus and everything was made for Jesus and by Christ's own power he sustains and he holds his creation altogether. It's what we sang about this morning and bow the knee, and like a firstborn son in the ancient world, who had all the rights and privileges of his father's inheritance.

Jesus has first place, or preeminence over all creation. And let me just say that she will never understand your purpose as a created being in this world until you realize that Jesus should have first place in your life. He is the preeminent one, so he created the physical world and then secondly he created the spiritual body called the church. Verse 18 and he is the head of the body.

Chapter 1, the church, what is the church.

The church is a society of men and women who have been supernaturally created through the new birth or through regeneration. The new creation is a result of being delivered from the first creation and what we say is Adam's fall, see the first creation, Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden Adam Lee lived before God and his wife in the state of righteousness.

They were perfect beings. However, they both acted in disobedience and the result was disastrous. Adam and Eve's entire inner nature were transformed where they suddenly went from being God centered to becoming self-centered and Adam sin was so great because he was the representative head of the human race that when he said we send in him and his nature was corrupted so that when you and I were born into this world we were born with a garrotte nature a self-centered nature and all people bear the same nature, the same sinful deprivation of Adam and the result of the fall transformed the way humans relate to each other. We all know that human society is deeply divided. We live in a very divided world.

We are divided through language were divided through culture were divided through geography, which were divided through traditions were divided through beliefs but were also divided because of sin. So what did Christ come to do. He came to reverse the curse he came to undo what Adam did. He came to create a new society. Or you could say a new race of people in this new society of people are this new creation. He calls the church of Jesus Christ. So what does he tell us in verse 11 where there is neither Greek and a Jew, circumcision or on circumcision but barbarian, Scythian, bond, or freight, but Christ is all and in all that is, regardless of where you come from. When you come to Jesus Christ. You are a part of his body, and you receive a new life and you become a new creation. The walls of separation are now broken down. That's why it's always amazing to go to church because what you see in church you see the miracle of new life.

Fact is, to me, one of the coolest places in the world is a go to church and let people just stand up and tell their story tell their testimony of how they were converted is almost like every time people start shedding tears and revival breaks out wife because it is magnifying the work of God in his grace in the hearts of people and was even greater is to go to church, that is so diverse with so many people of different backgrounds and different cultures and different languages and they all come together and they are drawn to one another because of the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

When Jesus becomes everything to everyone when he is all and in all been the potential of unity as was prayed by our brother this morning in the midst of extreme diversity is incredible what should permeate the campus of Bob Jones University is the love of Jesus Christ. And it's not you saying this to everybody else.

It's you saying this to yourself every time you point your finger towards one other person. Remember, you got three they're coming back toward you. It's you saying I'm going to love each other and I'm going to become a servant and I'm going to live out my Christian faith. That's what a leader does a leader doesn't expect everybody else to do it. He does it and says come follow and so believers who were in an unconverted state who hated each other who are separate from each other and destruction distrusted each other to disassociated with each other now have been spiritually renewed with the love of God in their life and they are part of this new incredible creation called the church of Jesus, and you know for every for every person who struggles with insecurity and identity and value and purpose. God is created something that we can become a part of where we find that identity and security and family and that's in the church of Jesus Christ.

But then there something else I like to say secondly and that is in the in the illustration we have not only are we a part of God's new creation, but we are part of God's new Israel. God shows Israel and they made him and God made them his treasured possession.

When you think of it I mean that's the nation of Israel Abraham and his descendents.

God is invited Gentiles who were completely separate from Jews. Okay, so think about this way in the world before Christ came there only two people groups in the world. There were Jews and Gentiles.

If you're not a Jew or Gentile. You might be an Asian Gentile, you might be an African Gentile, you might be a European Gentile, you might be South American Gentile. You put your Gentile but when God formed the church. He took Jews and Gentiles, and made them of one body and that is called now the church of Jesus Christ and Gentiles are now invited to participate in the heritage of Israel. We, the church stand before God is Israel stood before the Lord. So what is it called the church in Colossians chapter 3 he says in verse 12 put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, those three terms elect holy and beloved is how we addressed Israel like Israel believers have been chosen like Israel believers have been set apart unto the Lord, like Israel, God has set his love upon us because we love him because he first loved us.

And Paul calls us the Israel of God. Galatians 615 for neither circumcision counts for anything, nor on circumcision, but a new creation.

That's what we are and as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them and upon the Israel of God.

So there's a question that has to be asked not one we can develop what is worthy of asking and it's important to throw out there and that is has the church replace the nation of Israel as the people of God read the Old Testament spirit clears the beat is is the nation of Israel is God finish with the literal nation of Israel and his plan now that there is the church.

This is the difference between a covenant theologian in a dispensational theologian, what about the promises that God made Israel as a nation is he going to fulfill them with. He is going to fulfill them, then obviously he cannot be finished with the nation of Israel. Therefore, in the church. Those who are say Jew and Gentile become a part of one body by is very clear that God is not finished with the nation of Israel that he will fulfill the prophecies that are given in the Old Testament. So typically we made a distinction between the church and Israel. God's going to work all that out in his time, but God is not through with Israel and obviously today he is working through his church.

So what is the goal of the church. How should we live like Israel, listen for first Peter 29 you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people. That's what the Jewish people were that you should show forth the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. We are called to show forth the praises of God. So how do we do that how do we live that way.

Well, by living differently.

So what is it mean to live differently. It doesn't mean to live oddly, sometimes we have a tendency to think that if we wait we we do something in a certain way we show ourselves to be God's children, because God's people are peculiar and peculiar doesn't mean weird in the Bible that I know some peculiar people. I live in Bob Jones University.

The gospel light attracts some strange bugs. Let's just be honest, I'm a 40% of our student buys homeschool, we get it, but what is it mean to live differently.

We have an emphasis here at school in Christian character development, but sometimes I can be like really selfish it's almost like working to develop your character so you can go out the world. Be professional and make a lot of money that's really not the point of Christian character development is surely not what the apostle Paul thought what he said is that the development of your character is so that you can shine forth the gospel in the world and the church in the world gives the glimpse to the world of the image of God. So what are we to be like, will he gives us qualities or character qualities that we are to have a look at what he says in verse 12 put on therefore not like putting on clothes put on these things about the way these are the same qualities of God that were revealed to the Jewish people. When Moses stood on Mount Sinai Sinai when he reads in the book of Exodus chapter 34 that when the Lord passed by was merciful and gracious, and long-suffering in abundance in good abundant in goodness and truth.

That's the same thing Paul saying what is he tell us to do pieces put on therefore, the following things and their seven qualities number one bowels of mercy. What is it me, means they have compassion on people number two. He says to put on kindness. The idea of the word kindness here is the idea of displaying gracious acts of kindness for the good of others, is the difference between being mild and being harsh is the difference between a good cup of coffee and a bag was a good cup of coffee is always smooth was a backup copy. It always gives your heartburn that goes down bad and it comes up worse in a kind person is always smooth. Jesus said that we are to be kind, even to the unthankful and the evil, and then humbleness of mind, was it mean to be humble it means to think of others above yourselves, not looking at your own self being humble doesn't mean you think less of yourself, you know some people go around thinking less of themselves.

You know the soul poor me attitude that's not home. Humility is actually self-centeredness human humble people basically don't think about themselves and think about others they serve others in the notice meekness. What is it mean to be me a meek person is not consumed with their own self-importance. There person is not rebellious or reactionary, but their gentle there mild their patient Jesus said take my yoke upon you and learn of me because I meek Jesus is not reactionary. He's not gonna break a bruise read. He's not a put out a smoking flax is. He says he's always going to be meek towards people and then long-suffering. What is it mean to be long-suffering it means to put up with people for a long time and means people are pain in the neck and that's not an excuse to react but you long-suffering you actually think about it think the word long-suffering.

It means that being with you this is actually causes me to suffer me really is what it means to me how many people did you get with it and actually after while you don't want to be with him and I love the statement we love our friends. We love them when they come in we love them on the go, but to manifest Christ is to be patient and kind and long-suffering and then notice the last two leases forbearing and forgiving for bearing means to endure forgiving means to show grace by forgiving them even though they don't deserve it. And then he makes this statement. If any man has a quarrel with any he says we are to forgive what is it mean the quarrel it means to have a legitimate complaint that implies blame. In other words, everybody here has things that you can legitimately complain about this legit.

There's no point in defending ourselves.

But how are we supposed to be were supposed to be forgiving and were supposed to forbear where to put up with one another and by doing that. What do we show we show the light of the gospel and is a new Israel is a new creation. Paul says we are part of God's church in the world. We get to be a part of the biggest thing God is doing in the world and therefore we are to live this out in our lifestyle. So let me ask you, are you striving to live this out.

Are you long-suffering are you meek are you humble are you kind are you patient. Are you forbearing and are you forgiving you been listening to a sermon from the study series in the book of Colossians by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University.

For more information on Dr. Pettit series, visit the Bob Jones University store website shop.BJ where you can get a copy of Steve's study booklet entitled seeking things above, that's SHOP.BJ you.ED you, I'd like to thank you for listening to The Daily Platform. I hope that you enjoyed it. I hope is been a blessing and encouragement to you.

We are living in very unusual times. This is just such a crucial time for all of us as believers to walk closely with the Lord.

So I hope you'll take the opportunity to follow us up on these other things that we have it BJ and find out what it is that God is doing in through the ministry of Bob Jones University with our 2500 students who are coming here to get a biblical worldview and does see life from God's lenses and then go out with an accredited first class education and go out in the world and make an impact for Jesus Christ in the workplace is a go out and serve in local churches not only hear the United States, but our students are globally in demand. Christ centered servants who were trying to serve the Lord throughout the world for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So thank you again for listening and encourage your friends to listen and to be nourished and strengthened through God's word. God bless you these daily programs are made possible by the many friends of Bob Jones University and its radio ministry.

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