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October 20, 2020 8:00 am
Several decades ago that the lack of exposition of Scripture he wrote is oftentimes nothing more than the preacher's unwillingness to get himself into trouble and he reminded his generation of pastors and rings in my ears. We need a reminder again. The preachers are not diplomats delivering compromises. They are prophets delivering ultimatum.
This is truth or error. This is my but instead of hiding away in fear or stewing in anger about our dark world. We have a great opportunity to be a lighthouse of truth.
It's true for pastors.
And it's true for all of us to stand firm. However, we first need to clearly define who we are as Christians. What does it mean to be a true church. In this lesson Stephen Devi establishes our core identity.
We are followers of an unrivaled master and we are messengers of an unchanging manifesto here Stephen Devi with a lesson called who we are, turning your Bibles to the gospel by Matthew and specifically chapter 1622 points I planned and majolica before ran out of time so will you be to first it's it's this we are mastered by an unrivaled master.
We as a church are mastered by an unrivaled master. We are the slaves to our creator God. We are his servants, he is not ours. And in this classic text in chapter 16 Jesus is going to start asking his disciples about opinions related to who he is, is more significant now than ever.
Who is who is Jesus Christ and in Jesus comes into this.
This district were told in verse 13 of Caesarea Philippi.
Now I want to blog on her but merely set the stage he's asking this in an area where there are 14 temples, some of them dating back to the worship of bail rollaround nearby Caesarea Philippi is a hill in that hill a deep cavern from which the Romans believed the God hand PAN was born and he was viewed as the God of nature. In addition, in this city was a magnificent white marble temple by Herod the great, for the deity that the glorification of Caesar. So I find it very interesting and no doubt not a coincidence that Jesus is asked the question to his disciples about who he is against the backdrop of every evidence you can imagine that he is nothing that the gospel is nothing that there is no such thing as one God. When that is the backdrop he asked them. Here in verse 13. The people say that the Son of Man is that the title given to him and so they begin to give them all the opinions they leave out the mean stuff they give them you know some of the nicer rumors. Some say John the Baptist verse 14.
Others, Elijah still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets interesting to me to consider Jeremiah the Jews of Jesus. They were holding to the legend that that Israel would be restored.
A great glory. After Jeremiah rises from the dead, and they allegedly believe the rise from the dead, that he had hidden the art and the coverings for the tabernacle and the altar in a cave that he would rise from the dead, reveal the location bring these elements out and the glory of Israel would return. Maybe he's the band is going to bring back the glory of his room.
They go on one of the prophets in.
In other words, just just one of many prophets in line numbers 15 is the crucial question every one of us need to know the answer.
This, by the way, who do you say that I see really didn't care about the earlier stuff you knew the rumors he's focusing on is not known who do you say you caught it yet. Do you know who I am I just another profit in line they might just a good man them. I am a little miracle worker, my motivational speaker delivering the golden rule never judging anybody there is no more important question for you to ask and answer then this one. Who do you say Jesus is Peter responds in verse 16 thou art the Christ, the son of the living God's response declares two things. First that Jesus was the Christoph's the Messiah.
And secondly, that Jesus Christ was nothing short of less than deity, God the son in the original language. This phrase is only 10 words long. But there are four times this definite article appears for emphasis you get it like a renter for you whether Woodley would say this is you are the Christ, the son of the God, the living in others there is the other your God the son God incarnate the Messiah, you are on arrival not really like to stop and expelled all this means that I'm really trying to get the verse 1820 merely say this on this declaration, Jesus is not just another profit. He is the subject of he is the glorious consummation of prophecy isn't just a teacher.
He is the eternal word. He is the law gospel said to us, and to the Colossians he spoke, he was the word that spoke the universe into existence isn't just a man. He is the God man God so that he can forgive us man so that he didn't die for us isn't just the positive thinking motivational speaker delivering golden rule never said anything judgmental about anybody will just read what he said if I that's not true. Certainly isn't he actually speaks of judgment, and he will be the judge. Revelation 20 on this throne, terrifying horrific scene where he will judge all the unbelieving mankind of all. In fact, when Paul came to the Athenians when Peter preached the first sermon to that audience.
Both of them said you need to rent because judgment is kind politicians and unite watch one professor this past week is in this class online and pundits in other all congratulating each other over the sophistication and the advancement of our you know culture we've rewritten the morals and kind of grown past this idea of a single God is going to judge us.
We we've evolved one church leader, former church leaders that we've evolved past that all their clapping each other on the back and reminding everybody and I ask that you don't use this phrase over. You don't want to be on the wrong side of history. Listen, you don't want to be on the wrong side of God. So Jesus informs Peter that his statement is actually inspired by God the father and then says here verse 18 is going to get what I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, I say to you that you are Peter to the English really miss this pond. He says you are a small stone but upon this in movable Boulder.
I'm going to build my church, and you the stone fits into this effect. Peter got it because later writer. One of his letters that we are all stone built together to form the house of God were built on the foundation of Christ himself. And when Jesus said this, by the way, because his disciples a grown up hearing the Torah, they would have missed it in the Old Testament.
This is an attribute belongs to God. He is the rock in his work is perfect. Deuteronomy 32 verse four the Lord is my rock and my fortress sing Samuel 22 verse two for who is God, but Yahweh, the Lord, and who is a God, our God.
Psalm 1831 Jesus is basically calling himself God is upon me, the rock, I will. You will be Jesus delivers this wonderful prophecy as you can imagine. It's one of my all-time favorites. I don't know many techs that I have often gone to my mind over these very fast 29 years and it is given me wonderful peace of mind. Jesus said on this bedrock. I will build my church's church's church. My church is I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overpower, and maybe he just kind of turned around and point of view of the temples they represent death, they represent false religion, they represent false prophets and babies at any this which represents the gates of Hades will not overpower what I will bill to them. They got the picture for us it's a little bit lost. The gates of the city was really a reference to the big wooden things. It swung open, but to the rooms just inside was referred to as the gate. I had a chance to see some of them. Some of these archaeological digs that date back to the Solomon's day you can see the gate.
These are rooms just inside the front gates. This was where the overset. This is where the administrators plan. This is where the city fathers made decisions.
This would be our version of the Townhall Jesus is effectively telling his disciples that all plans and all the strategies and all the developments in all of the leadership of Hades will not be able to overpower what I'm going to build the church.
The first time he uses that precious word for you and me were directly. See church. It refers to those who are called out. It refers to those who had been summoned together. We have been summoned from our perspective we accepted Christ from God's perspective. He actually by his grace summoned us and placed us by his electing saving grace on this rock which is unmovable is talking about the church universal throughout the New Testament. It talks about uses the word recklessly to talk about the church local Jesus is our is our builder. He is our maker.
He is our definer.
He is our defender against the plans of the underworld in darkness.
He is our master, and he is absolutely unrivaled even though the evidence might look like he's nobody so as one author said let's not talk about standing on the rock and act as if were clinging to driftwood as if were not sure we make when I clinging to driftwood.
We are standing on the bed rock of Jesus Christ were mastered by an unrivaled master. Secondly, we are messengers of an unchanging manifesto. If you get a Webster and he looked out to discover that a manifesto is a written statement declaring the views the intentions, the motives, the agenda of its issuer of its author so we the church been given a manifesto made up, and I often tell people I have the most unoriginal job on the planet, with the stuff not appear weekly to give you my opinion, I do have an opinion only over the side identity, but that is in this place. This place belongs to the exposition of soma script Torah.
This is the manifesto given to us by our master. It's his will and his views of his intentions that we hold to. In fact, the apostle Paul will remind the young pastor who many believe was probably intimidated by the task before him, and he said look you happen to represent the church which is the pillar and ground of the truth for 7315. God is delivered to us is truth is like a pillar unmovable. He doesn't ask us to make it were not collaborative anyway to come up with will deliver our views or motives seasons our message. First, it is his one author wrote recently was Al Mohler, one of his blogs are at the summer were called to be people of the truth even when the truth is denied even when the truth is, is not popular.
God's truth has not changed. The Scriptures have not change.
The gospel has not changed, it is still and here's why it's so important, it is still the power of God's salvation. CS Lewis Eddie. He said the gospel isn't marginally important. It is entirely important. It saves one of the reasons I'm excited about the potential of the true church is that we will be more clear than ever in our culture that we hold to God's truth and in that his saving gracious power were surrounded, though by perhaps the greater problem even that are unbelieving culture that is the church, the church, which is confuse the church which is composed of unconverted people and unconverted pastors to go back in church history to study you read as I did the biography of George Whitfield, the priest outdoors primary because he could breach indoors would let during those days of great awakening. He and Wesley would bemoan the fact that they couldn't find converted pastors were not there yet were getting one author provoke my thinking. He said that the church is filled with three kinds of Christians become the first cultural Christians hear what they represent in his poles and studies about 25% of the so-called Christians of this country is able to be closer look as he did with stringent questions. He pulled with. He found a huge segment of people who said they were Christians, but only because they didn't want people think they were atheists were Jewish. Some of the religion or even pagan Christians. He went on to say that when calling yourself a Christian as these people do when when Christians are identified not with people who are marginalized and mock these unconverted Christians are going to slip away. You want to identify another large segment within the church.
He call them Congregational Christians hereof. These people really don't express any real-life commitment to Jesus Christ. They don't really care about the Bible and that they haven't read it. Between Sundays, or even looked at it.
They have some loose connection to a church either through a family member or maybe they were baptized in the church or their members of a church member record of somewhat sporadic attendance never to serve it, only to be served. They go because it offers them some peace of mind and it's a good reputation as we meet nice people pass on your business card, but he said when the church loses the approval of culture.
The revolution and resentment of culture.
This segment also quietly disappear with both cultural Christians and Congregational Christian.
The author summarized they want whatever they have because it's good for them there Christians in name only, and then he suggested that what will arise is what he calls convictional Christians churches that are filled with them will be robust committed to Christ in his mission and his word and with that he was optimistic. Frankly, I'm looking forward to the day when the true church is defined by the clarity of the gospel, and even its meeting's minutes of meetings defined by Solis retort defined by the exposition of Scripture defined by people meeting with and having a holy sense of all for their righteous God AW toes arrived several decades ago that the lack of exposition of Scripture he wrote is oftentimes nothing more than the preacher's unwillingness to get himself into trouble.
He reminded his generation of pastors and rings in my ears and we need a reminder again.
The preachers are not diplomats delivering compromises.
They are prophets delivering ultimatum.
This is heaven or hell. This is truth or error.
This is right and wrong. Churches gathering for the sake of rehearsing that and then living it out with grace and wincing this and contact and love standing.
Nevertheless, this is the church. This is our manifest is amazingly churches just abandoning their their interest in everything but just yesterday in the mail I received another large colorful card inviting me yet again to a church that promised me as I read it energetic music dynamic preaching dynamic preaching, just preaching dynamic preaching and and great programs for kids love to get a card advertising a church where the messages are not no advertises dynamic but but faithfully and tediously committed to the text were books of the Bible will take years and years and years and years to be taught come here and spend forever in one book may big gray card to get an advertisement from a church that didn't announce their music as energetic but as true and faithful to the character of God because he's the one you're singing to.
I personally hope that the scoffing of our culture will sober up the church to remind us that her job is in figuring out how to get as many people as beginning here. Their job is being trendy or relevant or cool or whatever. I'm praying that the jeering of our culture with the volume will increase over time turns the church to the glory of Jesus Christ.
Paul is praying for the church. He was praying this I bow my knees to the father that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened and the power of the Holy Spirit that he would be glorified in the church and in Christ Jesus for all generations, including ours, including I can think of a better time for us to be alive for us to be mastered by the divine master to be messengers of the divine manifesto puts his or be a storm. There's been a reprieve.
One author said from the storm.
We we've had this wonderful time in history that may very well be coming to a close. No lighthouse was ever built to get rid of the storm.
No lighthouse was ever constructed with the thought by the builders that if we bill this the heavy winds will run away from that it stood for that offer a light for those who, by the grace of God. So don't give up. The storm is not a signal that you have failed you individually in your world are we together corporately. It is a signal that we need to stop running. Turn the light down now. A few weeks ago when I close with this. I watch the news footage rather painful to watch the female Olympic athlete who was competing justice past.
Three weeks ago.
I believe she was at the world Athletics championships in Beijing and America. She was clearly in third place you watch the footage will say that she's going to win her bronze. She was unaware that someone was working her way up binder. She neared the tape unaware of that about three steps before she reached the tape. She threw her hands in the air and celebrated victory through offer gated slowed her down in that brief moment of the run a race pastor and one just kinda summed up everything you saw the picture of her with her head in her hands weeping.
She told the reporter that this kind of race is is is not really tactical. His heart is just hard and she said this will probably be the only time I will be fit enough to run. She celebrated too early. The world are celebrating too early can I turn that analogy around and tell you it was a church. Don't announce defeat too early.
Don't announce defeat, Jesus is standing with shrines surrounding him a magnificent temple to the deity of Caesar. He is for the most part a penniless homeless son of a migrant worker if there was ever a time when there was a door not making much headway we say we pack it in. You are son of God is our message. This is who we are.
We belong to run the bedrock of the character following the truth of Christ, that we conclude lesson one entitled upon this rock. This is wisdom for the heart and over the next several lessons.
Stephen Davey will be working his way through a series on what it means for a church to truly be a church in the way God designed in the lesson you heard today is called who we are. I hope you'll be with us in the days ahead as we continue through this important series. The church needs to be the church and we need to live and function as God designed Stevens going to help us with that as we continue working our way through this series.
In the days ahead. If you're one of our wisdom partners. The November issue of heart-to-heart magazine is about to go out in the mail. Heart-to-heart magazine is a monthly resource that we sent to all of our wisdom partners.
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