Jesus Begins to Instruct the Church

Instructions For Subjects of King Jesus
Book of Matthew Chapter 18

As “Born Again” Christians the greatest asset we have is our “faith”. Hebrews 11:6 says without “faith” it is impossible to please Jehovah God!
You might be able to please the false gods of this world because they do not exist, but you will never please our Righteous Living God without faith!
Remember the Holy Spirit provides “saving faith” so here we are talking about faith above and beyond this “saving faith” that is freely given.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We did not have to work for it, nor could we earn it, all the things of salvation are freely given to us by our Merciful God!
This faith must remain with us all our lives and it must grow, it is our shield against the evil of this world!

Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

In the first part of this chapter Jesus teaches us we must become as little children in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
The disciples were consumed about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven and Jesus said you must humble yourself as a child.
Most children are not trying to get to the front of the line they are simply excited to be in the line and not be left out!
They will take the back of the line if that is all that is available.

Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

There must be some modesty along with that faith.
A little child knows nothing about ambition.

Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

In this context, every Christian, even “babes in Christ” must be allowed access to the things of God!

Mar 10:15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Then we must realize that these children, “babes in Christ” and those who have been led away from Christ, are the same ones the Lord Jesus is referring to in our lesson today.

*Mat 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
Mat 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

Why did the Living God pour Himself into a body of flesh? He came to save that which was lost, which is all of His creation.
How will He do this?

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Then Jesus uses another parable to explain these things. The Parable of the Lost Sheep.
Jesus is very serious about all those with “childlike” faith who have received Him as their Savior!

Mat 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Mat 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

We should clearly understand that the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of the Bible, Jehovah, takes His stand with those who love Him and believe in Him.
The Lord Jesus Christ says: “I Am Your Father”!
The Lord Jesus Christ is our Lord!

What did Isaiah write of our Savior?

Isa 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

The Lord Jesus was afflicted on the cross, but every time one of His children is afflicted today, He suffers with them.
We should keep this in mind as we witness all the suffering in our world especially the persecution of the Church.
As we honor those who love the Lord, we do honor unto our Lord!
If we have a hand in any persecution of the Church, then we are persecuting our Lord and our Savior over and over again!
We should allow this to sink in to teach us how to behave one toward another!
Jesus came to save those who are lost, He certainly will not lose any of them!
The Lord Jesus Christ left Heaven with a purpose!
The world is full of those who have strayed from our Creator.
Those that remain astray are doomed to be destroyed unless they are reached and saved by the Lord Jesus Christ!

Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Rom 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Rom 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Rom 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Rom 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
Rom 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:
Rom 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

There is no one outside the scope of God’s love, but we must come when He calls us to return to Him!
So Jesus teaches these disciples so that they clearly understand their purpose and the purpose of each disciple today.
Jesus said: think like, I think.
We should understand this “certain man” as our Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He has gathered a 100 sheep, but one is gone astray before it reaches the safety of the truth of salvation.
I do not like the term “once saved always saved’ because it suggests that we can do as we please after we are saved, and God does not care, and this is very wrong.
The fact is that once we have given our heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, our goal is to be like Him which is the reason of the term Christian, (Like Christ).
There were 99 of these sheep safe in the hands of the Lord and one who was lost and had not found its way to the Lord.
The Lord Jesus has done everything He can to insure our salvation for, whosoever will come to Him, and it can be said that He is actively seeking all those who are lost.
Why?

1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1Pe 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

The Lord rejoices at the salvation of every soul!

*Mat 18:13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

We must never think that these lost sheep mean more to Jesus than those who are safe in the sheepfold!
We must understand that this parable is about Jesus building onto His Church.
The Apostle Paul got it right:

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

We already know the Lord Jesus is the “Good Shepherd”!

Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

We should know the Jesus is talking about His Sheep, the Church and then later on He will deal with Israel.

1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

All of Heaven rejoices over every soul that is saved.

Luk 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Here in the Book of Luke, Jesus uses a similar parable to teach us about those who justify themselves, but there is joy in Heaven over every sinner that is saved.
We always ask about the will of God.

*Mat 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

God has provided the only means there is for us to be saved.
God poured Himself into a human body just to die for our sins!

Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Once the Lord finds us lost and rambling through this lost world and we see the truth of the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ and believe, we become a member of His family.
He becomes “Our Father”!
He then expects our help to reach out to other “lost sheep”!
Keep in mind He does not need us, but He promises rewards for becoming employed by the Holy Spirit.
We are also expected to help care for the flock by helping them to be witnesses of the “Gospel” and fishers of men!
What we refuse to do someone else will be sure to do!

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Jesus Christ died for those weak in their faith just as He died for those who are strong in faith!

1Co 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
1Co 8:10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
1Co 8:11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
1Co 8:12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
1Co 8:13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

When we do things that are offensive to those, weak in their faith, we may cause them to stray.
These things must be avoided!
We are to be as forgiving as Christ Jesus, but the Lord Jesus also gives us some guidelines on how to deal with them.

*Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Again we see Jesus teaching us about the Church.
If the Lord Jesus is teaching us then, He is teaching us how to be more like He is!
A brother would be a brother in Christ, a member of those who assemble for Christ, the Church.
We see the Church in this world, all those who go through the Door, which is Christ, have become enemies of each other, rather than unified in defense of the Gospel!
We still live in these bodies of flesh so we will be at odds with each other from time to time, but that is no reason for these things to cause us to be enemies.
If we go in good faith to that one and explain how we feel about what that person has done to us, we may actually make a better friend.
If we have not already forgiven them prior to confronting them, then we will not help the matter come to a good conclusion.
***There is no need to broadcast these things to any others until this first step has been taken.
We are to confess our faults to one another and pray to the Lord before we confront each other.

Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Jesus admitted that this will not always work.
Sin is not always easy to get away from, and it cannot happen without the Lord!
The next step is to take one or two more who were witnesses to this trespass.
What one may deny in front of one may not be so easy to deny because of others who witnessed this sin.
Still, do not resort to making this thing known to others or to the assembly of other Christians.
Mistakes are made in our lives and can be forgiven, but a ruined reputation may not ever be overcome.
We must keep in mind the purpose of these things is gain a brother and not to lose a brother.

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Gal 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
Gal 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
Gal 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

If this does not work restore this brother, then it is time to go before the assembly, all those who assemble in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We must remember all God’s Children are already “justified” so this assembly is not set in place to judge this person.
Only the question of Christlike behavior is to be considered, knowing we all fail from time to time.
We simply cannot live in denial of the truth of God!
The sin that occurred is now to be made public to the Church and it is the assembly that is to seek to restore this brother or sister.
Again, keeping in mind the Lord Jesus is teaching us how to build on to the Church and not to tear down the Church.
We cannot rate the growth of any assembly by numbers.
The rate of the growth of any Church should be how well we adapt to the truth of the Scriptures and to be more like Christ Jesus!
We must understand that the Church did not exist at this time, so the Lord Jesus is teaching these things for future use.
There will still be those who will not listen to the assembly of God’s people and then, it is time to ask them to leave that assembly.
Remember these are Holy Ghost filled people who are trying to obey the complete Word of God and we cannot allow any one person to deny the truth of God because, one bad apple can certainly ruin the whole bunch.
This person has forfeited the right to assemble with God’s people, but it does mean we should not continue to seek to restore this person as the opportunity arises.

*Mat 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

We should clearly understand that the Body of Christ has every right to discipline in their assemblies, but the one caution needs to be observed is that only the Word of God should be used.
Those who break man’s laws will be disciplined by those laws without Church interference, except for the times when man’s laws conflict the Word of God.
The Word of God is always right, rightly divided!
We should understand that personal matters are not up for discussion in the Church unless that person causes it to happen and not many will.
This is not a testimony unless that person causes it to be a part of their testimony.
We should clearly understand that no one but God can forgive sin!
We should clearly understand that no one but God can doom anyone to Hell!
We should understand that no one but God can make us free!
When that person refuses to reconcile their sin with the Church, then he is lost to that group of believers!
This means, the Church has failed to reach him or her and they are bound to earth, their business between them and a Holy God.
If this person ever comes to their senses and reconciles with the Church, they can be received as a redeemed brother or sister.
Those who attempt to divide the Church must be dealt with!

Mat 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

Divisiveness causes the Church to look corrupt and weak, it must be put down immediately!
Divisiveness threatens all the ministries of the Church that first one being making disciples to witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Notice that it is the Lord Jesus, upon which the Church is founded, that gives these instructions or better said, commandments!
The Church must always stand on the Word of God!

Php 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

What is a true Church? Those who are gathered in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

No other group who gathers in assembly are part of God’s Church!

*Mat 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Nothing in the Church is ever over until it has been bathed in prayer!
***Nothing in the Church is ever over until it has been bathed in prayer!
You see the Church must be united in this prayer and all divisiveness put down.
We are ambassadors for Christ, and we need to act like we are!
When a local assembly comes together in agreement with the Word of God, in prayer in the name of Christ Jesus, then and only then will that body of believers know how to handle that one who has divided himself or herself from the Church.
We must seek God’s will and God’s approval before we close the doors to anyone!
We must be unified in the name of Jesus Christ!
Notice this is not seeking the arm of God, it is seeking the face of God that many of us have forgotten to do.

1Ch 16:10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
1Ch 16:11 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.

The greatest truth here is, that how can we ever attempt to correct a brother or sister if we do not have a close relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ ourselves?

Then Peter asked another question.

*Mat 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Mat 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Again this is a fair question when we think like humans. There must be some limit to our forgiveness.
But with the mind of Christ, then there can be no limit to our forgiveness.
Think back to just how sinful we have been and continue to be, yet the Lord continues to forgive us our sin.
In fact, it should be harder for the Lord to forgive our sin since we have made a promise to follow Him in His ways.
I cannot help but to remember the Apostle Paul.

Rom 7:13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
Rom 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:for
to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

A good study of Romans Chapter 7 will help us all in this matter of living in this body of flesh!
I know we find it difficult, but in all things, we are to have the mind of Jesus Christ this means, we need to think as He says and as He does.
He has given us multiple examples when He was upon this earth.
He has shown us time after time how He reacts to sin, to abuse, to government, and to the Church and we know He will never change.
There is no way to improve on the “Goodness of God”!
There is no way to improve on the “Mercy of God”!
Because there is no way to improve on the “Love of God”!
God can save anybody anywhere at any time!

Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

There is always another side to what God says and far too many travel this path to destruction!

Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

Amen

The Danger Of Remaining A Babe In Christ

The Problem Of Carnal Immaturity

1 Corinthians 3

The English word “carnal” comes from the Greek word “sarkikos” and it means “as pertaining to the flesh”.

The Webster dictionary describes “carnal” as pertaining to the flesh, sensual; opposed to spiritual; as a carnal pleasure.

The Bible says:

Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

It is obvious that those who do not know the Lord Jesus as their Savior are indeed carnal and follow the ways of the world or are led by their own desires.

It is also a fact that one who has just accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.” is just one step from where they once were” and still possess a carnal mind.

The reality of Christian life is that there will always be a process of spiritual maturing that follows salvation of each individual!

Each individual must realize that they are a three part being made up of a fleshly body, a carnal mind, and an eternal spirit.

Upon salvation it is only that eternal spirit that is “Born Again”!

Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

So let’s continue with the Apostle Paul and the Church at Corinth.

*****1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

We must all realize the distinction between the “spiritual” believer and the “carnal” believer!

The “spiritual” believer is under the control of the Holy Spirit!

The “carnal” believer is still under the control of his own flesh!

A Christian can be carnal and still be saved but they need to examine themselves and make their salvation sure.

This is sometimes the problem with “babes in Christ” who have not “grown in Grace” and “the knowledge” of the Lord and our Savior, Jesus Christ!

God expects us all to grow in the ways of the Lord!

When Paul established this church in Corinth, he, himself had stayed for at least 6 months and had taught them.

Apollos had since come and spent some time to help them mature but they had not grown in the Lord and this was the main problem in this church, they had remained as “babes in Christ”.

And a baby requires milk rather than meat!

*****1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

What is the milk of the Scriptures?

Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be “the first principles of the oracles of God”; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

It is a fact that all Christians differ in their measure of understanding and strength, as well as the gifts of God but every Christian should grow, striving to reach maturity throughout their remaining days.

Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Every new child of God is a blessing to God and to the Church but if they remain babes indefinitely they are of no use to God and they will drag down the Church rather than help it grow!

When we allow our old nature to take control of our actions then we are still acting the way the world does and the world will see no difference in the Christian and the lost.

The way we lead our life, the way the world sees us, is our most important witnessing tool.

Today here in these United States we see the Church looking more like the world every day!

The modern day Church have rejected the meat of the Word of God calling it old fashioned and not ready for the modern times and the Church is sinking and unproductive in the things of God!

The Church can no longer discern between whats good and whats evil!

This was a problem in the days of Paul and the same problem exist today!

How can we tell, the same way the Apostle Paul could tell!

*****1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

These things are all manifestations of the flesh!

Envying is also jealousy and rivalry.

These are the same sins that have disgraced the Church from it’s early beginning!

Every Church that displays these things to the world is walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit nor
walking in the Lord!

The truth of salvation rests solely upon the completed work of the Lord Jesus Christ, but rewards are to be earned by “our spiritual service for God” and will be according to the quality of our works and not the quantity!

A carnal Christian has only a fleshly service that is perishable and will suffer a loss of reward at the “judgment seat of Christ”!

The doctrine of Jesus Christ and His becoming our Mediator between us and God are the principle doctrines of Christianity!

How do we know we are in the last of the Church Ages?

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

If Jesus is standing at the door and He is knocking, then He is trying to get back on the inside of the Church, no one knockes to go outside!

Take a serious look and you will see that Our Lord And Savior is being kicked out of the modern day Church!

The Church is walking as men “who have made no confession of faith” and not walking with the Holy Spirit!

The carnality of the Church can be seen as it allows the views of the world to mix with the elements of the new life it has received by Jesus Christ!

*****1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

The question Paul is asking is “are you not influenced by mere human passions”?

ALL those that are influenced by men rather than the Word of God are truly carnal in their behavior!

This happens when we do not take the Word of God literal!

Jesus says this about those that bring the Word of God to us:

Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mat 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

A minister is then, no more than the chief servant of the Lord.

It is the Word of God itself that we are to live by and not the words of any man and not some commentary written by some man!

*****1Co 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

It is not easy to learn that the planter or the waterer are nothing but the messengers of God but the absolute truth is that once saved we must become instruments in the hands of God for His use!

We are simply God’s fellow workers and under a higher authority than we ourselves!

Paul clearly understood this and the Church must understand this also!

Again Jesus had these words:

Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: “for without me ye can do nothing”.
Joh 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me, and “my words abide in you”, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

When we think of ourselves as some one mighty in the work of God or we think of other men as some one mighty in the work of the Lord we are only deceiving ourselves!

Gal 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

We are simply laborers together with God!

*****1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

Husbandry refers to a farmer and the principles of farming.

As God’s husbandry, we are simple farmers who till the soil of that one who is lost or we are the ones who water the field to that one who needs to grow in Christ!

This lost world is God’s field to bring forth His harvest and we are but workers in God’s field!

We are God’s building, means that after our salvation, we are being constructed for God’s use and He does this by filling us with His own Holy Spirit!

2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people”.

When we think of ourselves or some preacher as something greater than these things we are ignoring the plan of God!

The Apostle Paul says it takes a master builder to be smart enough to lay a proper foundation!

And there is only one foundation that is the proper foundation of the Church!

*****1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

This means not some mere abstract doctrine of Jesus Christ but “that Jesus Christ Himself, His person, His deity”, must be the foundation of every church, and every group of believers!

God has laid this foundation of His Son and mankind cannot lay a better foundation than God!

Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Those that pervert the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” are cursed of the God they say they serve!

2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ “depart from iniquity”.

No part of any structure can be built without a solid foundation and be expected to stand!

God’s created world is the foundation of life of the cosmos!

Jesus Christ was the Creator before He became our Savior!

The record of our created world back in the Book of Genesis is the foundation of the revelation of God!

Jesus Christ, first our Creator, then our Redeemer, is the only foundation of any true and Lasting Christian Life!

1Pe 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

It is only after the foundation of Jesus Christ has been laid that the house of God can be built!

*****1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

Gold and silver can go through the fire and come out purer.

Precious stones can go through the fire and the fire will have no effect on them. Granite and natural stone, actual building materials can withstand the hottest of fires.

That fire that is to be revealed is God’s judgment!

2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

It is a fact that wood, hay, and stubble will not withstand any fire at all!

The Apostle Paul had laid the proper foundation in every church he had established but if those that came behind him or those in that church did not properly build onto that foundation then their work would fail.

Jesus said these things:

Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Any church not built upon the knowledge of Jesus Christ as the Son of the Living God, will not be able to stand against the gates of Hell!

If Jesus Christ is only a man then the Church will one day fall from existence!

Jesus Christ must our Prophet who proclaims the truth of God!

Jesus Christ must be our High Priest who stands between us and God and provide the proper sacrifice.

Jesus Christ must be our King who claims our love, our loyal obedience and our thanksgivings and our worship.

It is the Divine presence of the Lord Jesus Christ that must dwell in our hearts!

There is good teaching about Christ and there is bad teaching about Christ.

Good teaching is the showing forth of Christ Jesus and His Word and in His Life in our own lives and it is these things that will be rewarded at the “Judgment seat of Christ”!

*****1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Many things go on in the modern day church called the outreach of the church.

If we consider the outreach of the church as the walls of the building, then we can be sure that fire will destroy walls that are built of shoddy material, such as wood, hay, and stubble!

At the “judgment seat of Christ”, Christ will reveal the worthlessness of some of the church work that is being done and that has been done since it’s beginning.

All those that are responsible for these things will suffer a loss of rewards but as one who escapes a burning building they will escape with their lives!

All those that build on anything other than Jesus Christ will suffer loss!

We already know that it is God that controls the increase of the church so quantity is in His hands.

Therefore these Scriptures are referring to the “quality of the work” and “the motivation of the church” and also each individual believer.

It is very important that we assemble as the “Body Of Christ” but of as great an importance “we will be judged for what we do outside the walls of the church”.

The reward for attending church is becoming a better disciple of Christ for the work outside the church!

The rewards at the “judgment seat of Christ” is taking that knowledge and teaching all who cross our path of the love of God and His Redeemer!

We are called of God to contribute our share, to the building of saved souls to become a place that God dwells through the Holy Spirit!

Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

In addition to this main thing we must not neglect the building of our character on the “one foundation” of Jesus Christ!

It is a fact that all are saved who have made Jesus Christ the foundation of their lives!

It is also a fact that they remained saved, though the work that have done has accomplished nothing in the building of the “Body of Christ”!

And it is a fact the God will judge the work of His Church before He will judge this world!

1Pe 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that “judgment must begin at the house of God”: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

We must consider that no matter what we do and no matter where we go, we are carrying with us the Holy Spirit of God!

*****1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Every believer on the things of Jesus Christ will certainly come face to face with Jesus one day, therefore it is vital that we live in daily obedience to the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit.

We must die daily to our own wishes and pick up our own cross and follow the Lord!

There are many who say that God speaks to them!

That “still small voice” comes from within each believer is the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will never go against the Word of God and will always lead us in the ways of Jesus Christ!

Anything that goes against the Word of God is not following the lead of the Holy Spirit!

We must be especially respectful of our bodies and what we do with them for we that are saved house the “Glory of the Lord”!

Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, “among whom ye shine as lights in the world”;
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

If we are not rejoicing in the day of the Lord now, we certainly will not be rejoicing in the Lord on our own day of judgment and we are deceiving ourselves if we think so!

*****1Co 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
1Co 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

God says it takes a fool to reject the Lord Jesus Christ as the One and Only Redeemer!

We are not to reject the knowledge of this world because we still live in this world, but God says we are not to glory in that knowledge.

The truth is that God’s way of thinking goes far beyond our own way of thinking!

What is the truth?

All the things of God’s creation will serve each man and woman who serves Jesus Christ!

The Lord Jesus Christ came down to this earth to do the will of His Father in Heaven!

Luk 22:27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but “I am among you as he that serveth”.

When we are serving the Lord Jesus we are serving the great purposes of God!

God will then allow His entire creation to serve the individual believer who place their trust in Him.

This includes the extremes of our own existence, the extremes of His creation and the extremes of the duration of our own lifetime!

Rom 8:28 And we know that “all things work together for good to them that love God”, to “them who are the called according to his purpose”.

Those that depend on the wisdom of this world will find out that the extremes of this world will not serve them.

The preaching of the cross may be foolishness to all those that are unsaved but their own wisdom is even more foolishness with God!

Psa 7:14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
Psa 7:15 He made a pit, and digged it, “and is fallen into the ditch which he made”.
Psa 7:16 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

*****1Co 3:20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

God knows “the plans” of those that think they rule this world but only God’s plan will be fulfilled!

God knows “the purposes” of those that think the wisdom will prevail but only God’s purpose will remain in the end!

God knows “the designs” of those that think they are so wise but we know that Moses got the complete design of the Tabernacle from God. The design of the Temple came from God.

The most important design here on earth is the plan of salvation which came down from Heaven!

One day soon we will see God’s design of the New Jerusalem and the New Heaven!

It is only God’s designs that will prevail!

The thoughts of those who are wise in the ways of the world are vain things in the plan of God because they truly lack real wisdom because real wisdom comes only from the Lord!

Therefore:

*****1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
1Co 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
1Co 3:23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

God says everything belongs to the Church!

We have a great pastor here at Gethsemane but sent him to serve the Church and not the Church to serve him.

There are now and have always been great men of God that have been sent to the Church but they were sent to serve the body of Christ and not for the Body of Christ to serve them!

All the things of this world, all God’s creation unfolds to serve the Church in some way!

All things pertaining to life and death belong to the Church because we can begin life eternal while we still are alive!

All things in this present life and all things to come, belong to the Body of Christ!

Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

When we believe all these things, then those few things we suffer in this world cannot compare to the Glory of Christ on the day we will be glorified with Him!

Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Those that belong to the Lord Jesus Christ then also belong to God!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!