And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Why Be a Church member: Members are Disciples Mt 16:13-27

Rough draft sermon notes for Sunday June 1, 2014.
Saints and friends, I am today again providing a copy of my sermon notes from which I will preach today.  These notes are in an effort to help you study further during the week.  The actual sermon may differ from what is written here.  It is my hope that you will be like the Berean church who took to task the preaching of God's word in comparison with the written Word.

Why Be a Church member: Members are Disciples
Mt 16:13-27

Last week: the seriousness of being a member, not faking your spirituality, Ananias and Sapphira as well as the Laodicean church of Rev 3.

The word church is Ekklesia, which means called out ones.

Members are disciples, like bricks in a building (1 Peter)  We play a role, but all need to do their part.

I. Membership in the Church involves Revelation from God
13 at Caesarea Phillipi   “Who do people say I am?”

14 John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah  all expected forerunners of the Messiah.

15 “Who do you say I am?”  Important question for us all.
Confession and Belief
Confession can be only head knowledge, but Belief is evidenced by action.

16 Peter “You are the Christ.”  This is a confession made by a revelation from God.
            Peter’s eyes were opened by the Holy Spirit.  He understood the signs of Jesus.
            Petros= pebble  Peter= rock  A play on words  Jesus is alluding to Peter becoming a changed person.  1 Peter 2:5-7

17 Blessed are you Rock, Is 51:1-2 making peter a founding father.
From here on Jesus begins fully teaching who He is.

18 On this rock (Read as change, confession) I will build my church.
Jesus says I not Peter will build HIS church.  Jesus alone is the architect, builder, and owner.  Ephesians 2:20-22
having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,  in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,  in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

Further:  Evidence that the church is not built on Peter,
Who is the greatest in the Kingdom, and Jesus summoned a little child.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 18:1-4)
Who is the greatest?
James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, *came up to Jesus, saying, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You." And He said to them, "What do you want Me to do for you?" They said to Him, "Grant that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory." But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" They said to Him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. "But to sit on My right or on My left, this is not Mine to give; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared." (Mar 10:35-40)

Gates of Hades will not prevail, Job 38:17, Is 38:10.  Death has no hold on those who belong to Christ.  But there is eternal damnation for those who build their kingdoms apart from God.

Not even death stops the church.  Persecution seems to weed out the Ananias’ and Sapphiras and the Laodiceans of the church, and it thrives by those seeing the True church.

19 I will give you the keys.  IS 22:22 reference.  Here authority is given to the leadership of the church.  The church is given authority to deal with sin, John 20:23.  The church is to discern and teach the scriptures.

20 Tell no one.  God is revealing to hearts who He is, this is a time for intense discipleship for those who have been following Jesus.  The cross is eminent, for the declaration of the revelation has proven that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

II. Membership in the Church involves the Cross
Jesus begins to speak of the cross.
22 Peter takes Jesus aside and rebukes Him for speaking of His death.
23 Peter in turn gets rebuked with a correction to how foolish his mindset was.
To think of the flesh is death, but the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6

Peter was resting in his own assumptions.

“You are not setting your mind on God’s interests but on man’s.”
We must guard the mind, this is where the Laodicean church failed.
If He is the Messiah, we must logically follow Him, all else ends in judgment.
            Ananias and Sapphira did not follow the Kingdom of God
            The Laodicean church was in great danger of misrepresenting God

III. Membership in the Church involves Discipleship
24 “If anyone wishes to come after me”
Wishes equals desire (Heart issue)
Come equals a calling
After Me equals an exchanged life, complete commitment

Deny Self is the antithesis of self-esteem.  If you cannot turn from the pursuit of your own kingdom then you will never be a citizen of Christ’s.

Take up the cross-this is not what we often think it is in ‘cross bearing” (inconveniences, troubles, irritations)  often we misconstrue the problems of life in pity parties and woe is me drama.  Taking up the cross deals greatly with our heart attitude about life and the pursuit of Jesus.  It is not a show foe others to exalt us as Ananias and Sapphira did.  If we have to put our Christianity on display or tell people what a strong Christian we are then the odds are strong that we are not so spiritually mature.  Keeping a list of your record in the church is merely evidence of how you think highly of yourself and that you are indispensable in the kingdom of God.

Follow Me- Abide in Christ, active discipline of desiring God.  You will always follow what you love. (Sports teams, celebrities, hobbies, family, dreams, dream homes, status, accolades, rest, the crowd or approval from people you don’t even like)
Those who..
Wish to save their life will lose it  (read as you cannot save yourself)
Lose their life for Christ’s sake will find it (Read as life is only found in Christ, all else is death)

Mt 10:38, 16:24, Mk 8:34, Lk 9:23, 14:27

3 Final question based on God’s work in this passage
I ask you all today, Who do you say that Jesus is?
Is your life backing up His conditions of following as a disciple?
In judgment, are we being the church?