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November 4, 2020 12:00 am
The living moving breathing entity and its promised change God's promise to everyone in our individual lives to change us, and ultimately perfect us the presence of Christ because that's what spiritual growth means.
It means chain, but it also means to in the assembly except noise is a vision that transcends that intuitive design and desire for us to find a quiet gather together because we share faith in Christ and as local church families. Each church and all of its members are meant to encourage each other.
We encourage each other to stand firm in the faith throughout life's challenges and trials welcome to wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi in this lesson Stephen expounds upon the promises we must make as members of a local church body.
We are to pray for care for and serve one another spiritually and physically.
Stevens calling this lesson why we matter to each other. Grab your Bible. As we get started with today's lesson from God's word strikes me if you read the history of the church from its very inception, beginning in acts chapter 2, and onward you discover embedded in the DNA of God's design. This idea of people.
The idea of change.
The idea of movement. The church is breathing living body, and were given the analogy of becoming part of a body where hands and or feed door, were eyes valves ligaments blood vessel organizing active, it means noise. It means people belonging to a local church is making a decision to move beyond whatever that ideal might be of a quiet, solitary life, and if we all had our druthers and we were asked where would you really like to live more than likely we would say many of us where there are no people are deck would overlook the pond we be surrounded by trees. They don't talk about people, but the church of our Lord is designed to move beyond that solitary quiet life where everything stays put. And nothing changes to roll up our sleeves and engage all that to say a church is a living, moving, breathing entity and its promised change in God's promised and every one of our individual lives to change us, and ultimately perfect us the presence of Christ because that's what spiritual growth means. It means change but also means to in the assembly except noise and distraction. You'll get your favorite seat. Not all the time sometimes maybe you got it today. Good for you but it's a vision that transcends that that intuitive design and desire for us to find a quiet place and for me, would it would include upon, and trees. We make a promise when we come into the body of Christ to set that in a very real way.
Aside and I want to show you today. What that means in our study on the church. Thus far we have we've addressed subjects of who we are and why we belong, and how we behave in existence now are talking about what we promise overpromising as we head toward in a matter of weeks. The signing of a new constitution and bylaws. What we promise effectively relates to what we believe and so I kind of use that categorical statement and stuffed under the number of things that that we are holding to and stands which we are we are taking a biblically we have dealt with what it means to promise each other things related to our personal conduct. Now what I want to do is shift gears and talk about what it means is a member of the body to make some promises as a relates not just to our conduct, but to our church. What we promising each other. Let me be the first of two will cover today. The first promise of a member regarding his or her church is to purposefully and faithfully participate in public worship services.
All that goes with that. You might think that this is really too obvious.
You wouldn't have to say this is interesting in the New Testament, you discover early on, even in the first century, the people were choosing.
In fact, Summit Artie made the habit of withdrawing back to that quiet place. Maybe back to the pond instead of participating they were saying and theologically. There was a construct that would be accurate. You can worship God alone. You can worship God, all by yourself. So I really don't need the assembly and we've taken a look closely at some of those unique ways were God shows up in the assembly meeting we dealt with a lot of that. But it's interesting they have to be told in the first century that you need to invest personally in this living body called the church to be sure you want particular text which is currently in the Hebrew Sears attorney. Hebrews the book of Hebrews written Hebrews that is converges and I want to notice what is stated in a chapter 10 before announcing the personal responsibility belonging to an assembly of believers takes on a little bit of a history tour and he says here's what you left. Here's where you used to be looked down at verse 19.
So much of what is taught when a time to get into all that, but let's just do the summary first 19 Hebrews chapter 10. Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus by a new you could translate that freshly slain reference to the death of Christ and living way. This reference to his resurrection, which he inaugurated for us through the veil, that is his flesh suffer a moment that would have immediately meant a lot to these Hebrews. These converted Jews because they knew full well that the tabernacle and the temple, there was the separation of the holy place, from the holy of holies. By this this gigantic veil in the temple would've been 30 feet high ceiling is about 30 some feet high. So imagine the curtain that told Christ dies, it rips right down the middle. There's no hand anywhere rips the seat to then they understood for centuries that veil basically communicated stay out you can't come in here. In fact, only one man one time a year was allowed to go beyond that veil anyway.
Then there was such fear and such terror, and the people with him that they would so bells on the fringe of his robe and laid tile rope around his ankle, because if they didn't hear the jingling of those valves, they would assume guided rejected that annual sacrifice and they need to drag the dead body out so now you're talking about going with confidence into the very presence of God to be kidding. What a wonderful gospel this is and that's exactly what he's telling them this new and living way through the veil, which is the flesh of Christ which he gave on our behalf. We now have direct access into the very presence of God. So as an assembly will take that for granted because uniquely is present with us as he met with them when they met as a church or to uniqueness the corporate living truth when I can meet today and I got to deliver to you something new because God change the guidelines for access. We get into the family by faith in the gospel never changes. For by grace you have been saved through faith, not of yourselves.
It's the gift of God not as a result of works, lest any of us should boast. So sweet to see a couple baptized at the 8 o'clock hour this morning to come out of Roman Catholicism wanting to do the best they could to get into heaven and hear their testimony coming to faith in Christ and now their obedience and what a thrill to have met this week with a lady in the greenhouse and in the course of my conversation with her. She's come directly hear from Roman Catholicism and and after an hour and 1/2 to hear her accept Christ as her personal Lord and Savior by faith alone in my assignment whenever I have a chance to do that with people listed telling the tell three people just to sort of lock it into their own hearts is a use vocabulary that never used before and we went out of my office and there was our membership secretary in the outer office and I said you know what to B the first of the three so she's describing their what she's done with vocabulary. That's new, and she happened this give this phrase she said to Lori. She said my eyes were opened grade my eyes were opened, you know, it strikes me that for many of you Sunday is the only day you get to get around people whose eyes have been opened. Gears is the only day to be around people love the word and love the Lord and love the assembly and and and and want to invite that change and are so troubled by the fact that you need to change more wonderful thing to gather for spiritual food and fellowship and encouragement we got in by faith and were meeting with people who have the same story somewhere along the line God's spirit opened our eyes and we believed in Christ alone, writer here stresses first and foremost you get into the family of God by faith. Then he goes on single you get a grip on life because God is faithful.
In verse 23 that is hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering literally without swaying for he who promised is faithful to clean the hold fast to your confession that simply what we confess to be true related to the gospel.
He's not talking by the way about holding on so you don't lose your salvation you get a good grade is not talking about entering the faith. At this point is talking about growing in your faith and you cling to that confession and you understand as you cling the God not you. God is faithful for he who promised is faithful even change the rules to get in. We get into the family of God by faith we get a grip on life because God is faithful, and I thoroughly disagree when I get we gather together to encourage our faith.
Verse 24 says and let us consider how to stimulate your translation may re-provoke one another. You can translate that to start work to provoke.
It typically has a negative meaning and that's what we think and we hear the word provoke you may know some people's spiritual gift is provoking you every time you get together they provoking while it itches negatively that we can use for irritating or exasperating here carries the idea of prodding forward positively of inciting of infusing others with hope and courage.
This is a positive action word, and here's the point he's making. It takes your presence to pull it off. It takes your presence.
You notice here that this isn't an invitation for just a few people in the church, the staff of the elders, the deacons you know they're supposed to do that.
This is for every one of us. This is our commitment S let us consider thought about how to do this let us consider how to stimulate one another in the faith.
How much time do we spend thinking of ways to encourage each other in the faith. So much of what goes on here is literally the result of people thinking through ways to encourage each other in the faith. The writer goes on in verse 25 and what would seem like it's too obvious to even say what he says it, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of sound.
In other words, there are people in the first century church you've Artie decided I really don't need that stuff I really don't have a responsibility to be simply pulling back to my pond and my trees. It's already the habit of some, by the way, don't be one of the song here. Don't be one of the so be one of the somebodies and is not because just the fact that you need the assembly what he's saying here is turning around he is saying. The assembly needs you. Christianity is a team effort a team sport. We can't pull this off if were missing parts of our body, the troubles we often come to church and sunglasses wow was it was great. All I will because we sang.
We liked and we are people treat us like we liked and we got we wanted coffee was halfway decent or whatever.
The writer of Hebrews is saying we come to the assembly on the lookout for someone that we can encourage effect exonerate but encouraging one another that is literally infusing another person with courage. Putting courage in the English translated encouragement literally chairing others along you your very presence next to someone you sign with, encourage them, it wouldn't have been anything in any way shape or form encouraging to saying all by yourself whichever one another while of that incident recorded by pastor but a bratty step you wrote about Jamie's guy little kid in his church and second grade type of the annual elementary school play. Jamie had his heart set on being one of the key players and actors and told his mother about it. She knew he was introverted and rather quiet. He was in the land that role and so she was so she was concerned for him that he would be so disappointing when it wasn't chosen to play one of those leading roles, and so the day of tryouts and when the results really handed out. She she went to school to pick him up ahead with her some cookies that were his favorite usage of trade, encouragement is be so discouraging. She pulled up eventually and when Jamie sorry ran over to her.
She rolled her window down and and and and he he said guess what mom, a bunch of kids were chosen to cheer and I'm one of them.
I'm one of the interesting beloved to discover the reality one day that in the mind of God for the church, cheering on other believers happens to be a leading role leading role. We have been chosen to cheer more basically promising. By becoming part of the body. Officially, the real cheer each other on that your faith and your growth happens to be responsibility of mine and of meteors that whatever this assembly meets. It doesn't just meet to encourage us. It doesn't just meet to service it doesn't just mean to please us. It doesn't just need to give us hope it meets together so that we can do that to others along that same line that is the next promise on the cover and let's make it a little more tangible to actively pray for care for and serve one another spiritually and physically. In other words, it isn't just cheering by words cheering by means of action, deeds is verbally cheer one another one we physically roll up our sleeves and get involved in one another's lives and and and most of what we do for one another is behind the scenes. Most of what happens in an assembly on on the Lord's day. So many things are going to happen today and so much of it will not be seen, but by a handful of people sometimes on a Sunday and it happened again today outcome in the side door early met by one of the security detail will walk down the hallway through a room or two backstage eventually and I'm walking through this classroom is going to become NABF and there's this gentleman who setting up chairs and roads is come early to get ready to prepare that room is that the teacher at the assistant teacher is a helper and what always strikes me is that that man was a senior pastor for decades now in his 80s.
What can I do I can set up chairs deeply moved.
So much goes unseen but by our Lord and I think we ought to have better eyes and more alert spirits to notice was the last time you watch the movie and it stuck around read the credits as her scrolling up. You know, Indians got over 45 innings, getting 46 or whatever that music that you thought was so beautiful. Did you stick around to find out the name of the composer. Probably not. I don't there's another event for someone to go there's something to do when my favorite verses in Scripture for the second time I just dip into it and" a phrase for you but is found in the journal Nehemiah and its wonderful text where they are rebuilding the city of Jerusalem the walls and nobody living inside the city is dusty, it's broken down in their camping out in and and and and then some men volunteer to go live in the city to help protect it and take on the inconveniences of all that that would mean and there's that wonderful text in chapter 6 where it says, and the people last all men who volunteered to love that the Hebrew word for volunteer. Not that I have simply means that we could rather Woodley translated to be compelled to be courageous to be incited charged onward. In fact, you could. Rather, Woodley translated with the nuance of 2P noble I love the translation to be noble and all the people blast all those men who chose to be noble, they volunteered to take on a difficult role assignment to literally move into broken down unfinished city to accept difficulty and inconvenience for the sake of people, you know what that sounds a lot like volunteers to this day taking on the inconvenience willing to serve willing to take on difficulty and what may very well be a very tough assignment. What better way to describe volunteers, then to describe them as noble ones, noble ones. Most of the noble things you do will never be recognized on earth see when you watch a movie you typically focus on three or four leading characters in all those other people behind the scene that even made that script and made that film you don't stick around. Read the credits to find out who the assistant to the assistant to the assistant director of graphic arts. I wonder how many people will serve this church today. I know there are 200 of them just for kids fifth grade and out who will never be recognized or thanked the truth is, the ancient city of Jerusalem is a lot like this church will a lot in common. We advance as a church, any church does its advanced not by a few leading characters you know that this church is advancing by people who spot need to roll up their sleeves and say, tackle that one. So much of the ministry is is not from some top position down it's from the people of her saying, can I meet that need.
I need to do that. By the way I keep this in mind for those of you who are noble ones. God reads the credits never misses a nine the writer of Hebrews addresses that looked over chapter 6 turned back a few pages. Chapter 6 and verse 10, when encouraging text here. Hebrews chapter 6 and verse 10 for God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward his name, how in ministering and instill ministering to the Saints.
God will not forget your deeds of love, the things you do to administer the site that is the body of Christ. People forget God walked people don't say thank you as much as we ought to say thank you. People overlook you.never will. He will always read the credits.
In fact, if we want to make that analogy a little more theologically correct. We would say he's actually writing he's writing the credits in an ascending hit and miss the simplest deed done out of love for him and for those who make up the church tell you something you are among noble your spiritually and physically demonstrating the love of Christ in action credits that may never be read by people on earth are written and recorded, and one day will be rewarded by God in heaven, and it isn't only those who played a leading role with all of that behind this joint family means to promise that you will invite change to participate in the lives of others because we understand that we don't just belong to Jesus Christ because we belong to Jesus Christ. We actually belong to each other. God wants each of us be part of a help in the context of that church.
He wants us actively serving each other, belonging to Jesus means belonging to each other.
You're listening to wisdom for the hearts with Stephen Davey. Today's lesson comes from a series on the church called upon this rock Stevens calling today's sermon why we matter to each other. If you joined us late or had to step away and you missed part of this lesson, you can listen to it online, go to wisdom online.org and you'll find the link that allows you to listen right from your computer is lots of other valuable resources on that site as well. So take time to look around that address once again his wisdom online.org you can also listen on our smart phone app go to either of the Google play or the iTunes Store and search for wisdom for the hearts install that app and take this ministry with you wherever you go. Each week the staff team here at wisdom international gathers to pray for each other and for you. We were encouraged recently to hear from Sharon who listens to us from Moline, Illinois. She said I'm praying for your ministry and for Pastor Davey and the staff I've been praying for you for a while.
What a privilege it is to give vent to pray for you. I'm praying that many will come to Christ through your ministry and then she adds. Please tell Stephen I really like his sense of humor. Thanks Sharon for encouraging us and for praying for us if you'd like to send a prayer request or a note or even a gift of support to our ministry.
You can write to us at wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297, Raleigh, NC 27627. That's all for today, but please be with us tomorrow for our next lesson here on wisdom for the