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October 29, 2020 8:00 am
There is no plan. There is no hope of atonement or forgiveness in the Quran.
Even Mohammed was fearful of his sin, standing before God there. There's no there's no hope of forgiveness or salvation by God to give you your simply on a course in your reincarnated hopefully ascending sending ascending of your bad to come back as a termite. They all put you on a process of self-improvement and good works, and maybe if you're good enough to get into whatever heaven you believe that there is only 2000 years being part of the church has been an act of bravery and it still is today. Christian living is not for fence sitters or culture lovers.
It's not for people who want society to accept. It requires complete submission to the authority of Scripture, the pursuit of holiness in all aspects of life and the avoidance of sinful habits and entanglements as a church we must walk together in the path of light keeping each other accountable and being encouraged by God's word, which is the final authority here Stephen Davey with the lesson called who has the final series on the church continues today. Thus far we've covered who we are, why we belong.
Why we exist how we behave in this fifth study together.
What I want to do is begin covering a number of points that are woven into our new constitution and bylaws like they're just sort of being the final version and the proofing all of that for the go to print in a simple categorical phrase these points could be understood as what we promise what we promise each other older terminology would refer to promises like these as a church covenant your old enough in the faith. You may remember, perhaps joining a church with a covenant at the beginning of its Constitution end and bylaws. It was full of things that you would agree to as members. I pulled out our original covenant. Those of you that are members of this church you may have never seen it or read it. I don't know but it's there. It's a page long, and that units in its length, and it in these original points or promises are basically being carried over, but the formal languages is a big change so that we can understand it without a dictionary of nearby. Some of the phraseology changes. In fact, this covenant dates back to over 100 years ago. Even if Ross is 30 years old. Statements in the original covenant like we strive to promote the prosperity of the church with the redefined prosperity in these days going.
We promise to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin to cultivate Christian sympathy and courtesy to always be mindful of the rules of our Savior.
What are the rules of our Savior.
What is it mean to you know to cultivate Christian sympathy and courtesy.
Well, one of the things were doing is giving clarity to this matter of covenant promises and were dropping the vocabulary we no longer understand. However, it is worthy of revising and it is worthy of rehearsing these effectively. These privileges and responsibilities of the members of a local church church covenants go back hundreds of years in church history.
It reminds the believer that we are not only surrendering to the truth of the gospel and his word, but we are choosing to surround ourselves with people of like faith and like doctrine and like passion and light purple. It was possible to actually join the church. Nowadays and not even know what they believe you walk down the they turn around to sign a card they raise her hands and you're in your never mind what they believe for what they pursue. But even still, it's possible to join a church and inspect the documents to inspect the roles of elders and deacons to look at the finer points of doctrine to focus on the bylaws and its relationship to 10 years in officers and annual elections or whatever and then do all of that and have absolutely no commitment to one another. It is possible that to join a church and not really like the people in it and that would be okay. We can do all of that and I love each other but we sign our name to tell every one of those things and those things in which we will play a role and we will play a part in the body of Christ. The local church. The church covenant effectively causes us to resist the pull of individual rep of radical individualism that said American breed where your written and you're all that matters in inside me and mine and I knew your ride solo to heaven know that isn't the idea of the New Testament church you explore the New Testament and you find yourself in the pages of the New Testament as a believer not only belongs to Christ. But he belongs to a redeemed people to a local assembly. In particular, so the languages we learned that of a church is a reference to the body of body in your hand or a footer about sin you muscle it refers to the church as a as a family. It was the first church is called out eight AAA commissioned body of believers. So, we read that Herod began to persecute those who belonged to the church. They were seen as individual identities but as members of an assembly acceptor 12 is one we read of Paul and Ann Barnett is being welcomed by the church. From a missionary journey, we find the body commissioning people to the field of service which is one of these with the privilege of doing today with the with the Heymans in acts 1427. They gathered the church together and I love Luke's commentary and spent a long time. I don't know how long that church service was but it was evidently long enough or look to say it was a long time so it's clear the believers belong to each other was called the local church. We demonstrate the gospel to each other. We delineate and then strategize on delivering the gospel through us to those who never heard the average Christian in this culture, especially has lost the concept of what it means to have holy obligations to a body of believers that he is in writing solo to heaven that he actually belongs to a wedding party, wedding party, as members of the bride of Christ heading for the marriage supper of the Lamb and then in the future when the bride is completed and Christ calls us to himself and to the father's house.
So in the meantime during this wedding processional. What kind of relationship do you and I have with the rest of the bridal party somebody told you they were married, had some kids and you asked them what you want your relationship like with your wife and your family all man I love my wife and I love my family really.
Oh yeah, I guy guy go home at least once a week if she's cooking something I like them and in all he needed, and if my kids are doing some I want to say we did not there doing something. I want to seal.
In at least you know, maybe two or three times a month for about an hour, but man do I love my family would you say that man's devotion. Not much thought about the fact that a body of believers have holy obligations, privileges and responsibilities to one another. So what we promise each other. The elders are put together, 21 of these 21 and were just calling them or dropping the name Ward covenant and were just calling them the holy pursuits and promises of membership.
The holy pursuits and promises of membership. Obviously, if I might preach a message with 21 points on holy obligations were not interested in increasing our membership more than likely or not necessarily interested in decreasing our membership. So I think both will happen.
What we are saying is that we are not falling in line with the average American church that is lowering the bar to such a degree that anybody and anyone can join know how to send a message. I do hope you get this. We are raising the bar raising the bar.
Our intention as shepherds of this flock is to call people to the definition of the New Testament church and then watches God applies the truth of the word somber and I don't want to join some ghettos, some are going to get as far away from here as they can. This may be the last time we see you. I don't know were hoping that you understand and make such commitment to Christ that you cannot be apart from a local church either. This one or another one of like faith and practice.
Think of the early church in Jerusalem where God moved in holy anger toward two individuals who lied, they came into the assembly and they lied about the amount of money they were going to give.
They said this is the amount of money for a piece of property. We sold it really wasn't that Much of it for themselves in God's spirit so moved in holy justice, that he struck both that husband and wife dead as if her church service in a telling comment. In the New Testament church is this just being inaugurated. I think I did that for reason is it's just being inaugurated. This telling statement that the rest of the community did not dare to associate with them, but they help them in high esteem acceptor file. Imagine being the church. It is both feared and respected by your ungodly culture.
Imagine imagine somebody not going to a church assembly for fear that God might lose in righteous anger against their hypocrisy for church sign out on the lawn welcome to all who are prepared to die if you're a hypocrite. Services at 89 3011 6 PM welcome. I know about you, but the older I get in the faith, the more I like her church to become a place where people fear to go, knowing that God is uniquely present in the assembly. People are afraid to attend unless they truly and transparently desire or want to know how to truly worship this true and living God to listen when I doing this. This is not an exercise this fall because we really want our membership to increase.
We wanted to be clarified. In our doctrine position and commitment to one another. Now what I done is taken these 21 promises and holy obligations and from basically, much of it from our original covenant we've rewritten them added some some away. We we divided them into three categories okay at first I thought this week I would do a three-part sermon. Each of them have seven points and since I'm going to get to the first three of 21. This is going to be. Who knows how long.
But this is the exercise were engaged in.
So here we go right. The first category is this a member's promises regarding their conduct or personal conduct. The second category is a member's promises concerning their church. What are we promising each other and and thirdly, a member's promises regarding the community ever thought about the fact that there are at least seven things that you and I are promising our unbelieving community as members of the local church are the first category I will get through three points today.
The members promises regarding their conduct that. Let me let me make a statement. I think we had to get up on the screen next Lord's day so you can see it but it starts out by by saying this.
Members of this congregation willingly and faithfully pursue these promises and that language is important, it doesn't say that members of this congregation have arrived no members of this congregation pursue these promises was nobody gets it perfect. What were not to say you didn't get it right will come back next week who would be here. My wife would be to throw that in. She's in this hour honey, it's always worth five points. Okay, none of us. None of us we fail and will get through the list of all the grace of God, and a lot of things but we we sometimes of makeup work to do right only stay after we we need a little help, tutoring, discipleship, wonderful grading you promising them a little card out about you, but my report cards together. They were never something to talk about my parents never put my report card up on the refrigerator was never something to behold come home on Friday. They had to sign it. I do take it back on Monday and those were the worst weekends of my life effect one year when I was in sixth grade or seven I could remember get back to me I would be better if my parents never saw my report card. Missionaries are already suffering for Jesus. Why make them suffer even more so I forged my father's name on that report card and then I did such all shop that I dribbled water on it and smudged it to try to make it look like I made dropped it in the yard or something and and let's just say it didn't work and I would into the pastorate so become your forger okay it was not a good time at all. Listen were not doing that were not handing out report cards right and sign it. However however we are and do what you love to get in high school or college or graduate work when your teacher would give you an exam schedule and guideline did you love to get that this is what's gonna be on the test.
This is this is the standard I would expect you to regurgitate back on examination. Basically, the teacher of our church who is Christ has delivered to us. The examination guide to tell us how to live and what to learn what the real learning how to walk. There's there's no confusion, no confusion.
So here are the holy obligations and promises were going to make in relation to personal conduct number one first. We promise to submit to the authority of Scripture is the final authority to whatever it speaks. It is the final authority. There are other authorities in your life and mine but they are subordinate to the authority of God's word which we cannot violate ticker take your Bibles and turn to second Timothy three quickly. Second Timothy three and let me just drop him quickly on the text here. Second Timothy three love to hear the rustling of pages to great sign but you can't do that on the night just want to make that, although that's amazing to come out with an invention is to make the sound until then, verse 14 second 73. You, however, he's writing to Timothy on Pastor Paul is writing you, however, continue in the things you've learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you learn that we know he learned from his mother and grandmother from another text that from childhood you have now the sacred writings would you underline that in your mind, or maybe even on the page you have come to know the sacred writings. These are the sacred writings. What about the McGavin Geeta of Hinduism is that sacred. What about the time of Islam is that sacred will ask yourself the question, can they lead you to this sacred destination. Can they lead you to this sacred truth.
Verse 15 the sacred writings, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ beloved. There's no plan there is no hope of atonement or forgiveness in the Quran. Even Mohammed was fearful of his sin, standing before God there. There's no there's no hope of forgiveness or salvation by God Geeta, you're simply on a course in your reincarnated hopefully ascending and descending ascending of your bad to come back as a termite and you start all over again.
There's no there there is no sacred destination or forgiveness in the Apocrypha or the book of Mormon. They all put you on a process of self improvement and good works, and maybe if you're good enough you get into whatever heaven you believe in amazing the sacred text gives us the wisdom that leads us to salvation, witnessing to Hindu here in our community. Eventually, after asking a lot of different questions. I knew some things that he believed I finally said, you know, sir. The distinctive difference between your beliefs and mine is what I have seen myself.
I have watched priests in India, washing in what they call the sacred water of the Ganges, attempting to wipe away or wash away sin through ritualistic cleansing the difference between what you believe and what I believe the primary distinction what you believe to be sacred writings and mine is that mine delivers to me the news that my sins can be forgiven and I can be saved and yours does not he, with courteous, courteous attitude. Sadly, nodded his head at me and he said what you say is true. These are the sacred writings delivering the stunning truth and eternal life is unearned is not something you do for God whatever God it is hoping to get in good favor without God. It is something God is done entirely for you for 16 all Scripture is inspired by God inspired therapist us the breath of God. This is God breathed and profitable for teaching, so you what's right profitable for reproof it tells you what's wrong profitable for correction because you how to get right profitable for training you have to stay right so wonderfully outlined that verses by one where speak for 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work toward equipped is a reference to someone about to embark on a long journey and they're stocking the boat, there's stocking the ship bringing supplies down the dock and there loading it on the boat. Paul, in this analogy is effectively telling Timothy what you gotta do is start up with the word for your voyage in life.
Somebody might say well you know the Bible is just a bunch of guys writing down their opinions they just they just made the stuff up will take your Bible and turn right dozen pages are so to second Peter you run in the Revelation is gone too far.
Second Peter chapter 1 and look at verse 20. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will. In other words, this block was not conceived by human mind and human will is in you and I really like this point, I think I'll throw that in there. No, not by human will notice, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God that informs us that the spirit of God superintended the movement of men's hearts of the what they wrote was his truth.
This is the word from God. So when we do about it if it's God's word. Look up in verse 19. So we have the prophetic word made more sure to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place.
In other words, this book is all the more important the more dark and your culture becomes around you. Do you have the lamp of the word is David in Psalm 119, 105 I word is a lamp in my feeling in my pathway. The word is the lamp. The word is pointing the direction for the word is tell he was out of bounds.
The word helps you be trained and equipped for life.
The word of God is the final authority. Follow this then and it will lead you by its lights in the light, dismantle it, discarded, ignore it, debated, redefine its and you will effectively abandon yourself to darkness and confusion like our culture around is it ever occur to you that the Christian is never asked to vote on matters God is made clear.
God is never said you know not really sure about this… Take a poll with the sake of the note. His word is the final vote. The only vote I'm amazed. Frankly, in our culture these days of the audacity of churches and denominations number my culture expected from them. Churches that really bothers me and denominations.
I watch them over the recent years, establishing committees to study issues of sexual ethics relationships.
In light of co-changing time I don't how many times I've seen some church or school organization appoint a committee to take another look to take another look. One denomination said recently that they were going to appoint a committee to study the issues of sexuality that they would engage in a quote time listening there listening to. That's another way of saying we we've heard from God. We really don't like his message arena. Listen for some other is the difference between darkness and light, and we make this promise as members.
When God speaks will be our authority as we correctly interpreted, we are now living in progressive revelation in these letters the apostles to the church we find in their marching orders find timeless principles in all Scripture.
Whenever God speaks it's always true. We had to such we live as a Christian in this dispensation of grace this church were committed when God speaks no one else has to.
God speaks no one else has. That's because God always has the final word. Thanks for joining us today here on wisdom for the hearts with Stephen Davey, what you just heard is part one of a lesson called who has the final word. The written revelation of God's word is contained in the Bible and we obey what ever we find there. Stephen has more to this lesson, but we need to pause right here and he'll resume it on tomorrow's broadcast ministry receives all of its funding by people like you who listen and support us. You can send us a gift from our website, which is wisdom online.org and if you'd like to write to us. Our mailing address is wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297, Raleigh, NC 27627. That's PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627 will have the conclusion to this lesson tomorrow.
So join us here on wisdom