This is the eighth sermon in a series covering marriage, family, and the church. This message was delivered on the evening of July 22, 2012 at Hillcrest Baptist Church. This message deals with the foundation of the church. Of special interest are Christ as the foundation, and family as the organizational model. You will find the sermon notes, and the audio. Please note that the sermon notes are NOT a full transcript. Typically, as I preach, I add to what is in my notes. So, for the full sermon, please listen to the audio version.
On what foundation does Jesus say the church is built? The Catholics say Peter, they claim him as the first Pope. But, is this what Jesus said?
The words “this” and “my” are very important. He did not say “Upon you I will build my church.” He said “Upon this rock I will build my church”
Whose church, built on what rock, and built by who?
Jesus said “my church”, the church belongs to Him, and is built by Him.
The foundation is the revelation that Jesus spoke of. The revealed Word of God.
Jesus is the word (John 1:1, 14), and that Word was revealed to Peter by God.
Jesus spoke of Himself when he said “Upon this rock I will build my church”.
Can Jesus build His church on any foundation that is inferior to Him? No!
Is Peter superior to Jesus? No!
Is Peter even His equal? No!
Peter, as all humans, is the creature, created by Christ. Thus, we are all inferior to Christ.
Can a brick house be built on a foundation of straw? No, but many people try.
If the church belongs to Jesus Christ, He is the only one to have authority over the church.
We must never allow the government or the ACLU to dictate what or where we preach.
We must never stand in fear of groups like the ACLU, but trust
Christ to take care of it. As long as we stand in fear of man, we will be an ineffective and lukewarm church, a disgrace to Christ.
Acceptance without condemnation of sin.
1. God accepts you as you are, but He loves you too much to leave you that way. If you are His child, He expects you to act like it.
2. When we just say “come on in”, and don’t expect repentance of sin, we are building a false church.
Diversity and pluralism (acceptance of other beliefs and Idolatry).
1. We DO NOT all worship the same God, and we must never allow anything unscriptural in the church.
Numbers (How many members do we have).
1. We must always remember that church membership is reserved for born-again believers. Membership that is not based upon salvation is not only meaningless, it signifies a false and unbiblical church, not God’s true church.
A church of the unsaved is no church at all, it is a social club.
Money and fancy buildings.
1. A church whose priority is to have the most money or the most elaborate building, has its eyes on something other than Christ.
2. Their message is not “Look at Christ”, it’s “Hey, look at me”. Just like the tower of Babel. Remember, membership can’t get you into Heaven.
1. In order to avoid conflict, some churches interpret scripture according to secular beliefs. This renders scripture meaningless, it is no longer God’s word, but man’s word. Man’s word can’t save.
2. Always interpret scripture with scripture, and in the context of the whole Bible.
2 Peter 1:20-21
4. God’s word often brings controversy. Everywhere Jesus preached and taught, he encountered resistance, and found controversy.
5. If Jesus was unable to preach His word without being in conflict with the world, it is certainly impossible for us to do so.
verse 32 tells us that the marriage relationship is intertwined with the organization of the church.
We will see more examples of how the family relationship extends into the church as we progress through this study.
Add to that the numerous references to being adopted into God’s family, and we have a picture of believers, the body of Christ, the church, being knit together as a family.
It paints a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church, and therefore, gives us the necessary guidelines for how the church is to be organized and operated.
Therefore, we can see, which will be confirmed later, that the basic gender roles are the same, as well as the same hierarchy for accountability.
Church needs to, once again, be the picture of a Biblical family where there is some time set aside for families to worship and learn together.
This modern model of splitting families and sending each group to their separate corners defies the Biblical concept of what a family should be.
There are some churches that don’t even allow children in the worship service, and that is just plain wrong!
Sure, you may have people from time to time that don’t control their children as well as they should, but that doesn’t mean that God’s model needs to be changed.
I do believe that there is a time and a place where dedicated classes are beneficial, but there needs to be a service where families worship and learn together.
We should never forget that the attraction of the church should be Christ, not programs.
Solid, in depth Bible teaching should lead the way at all age levels, with the various programs stemming from there.