Being the Church; Ephesians 1-4

Main Point: Being the church is a glorious calling.

Today is a special day for me because it was 15 years ago that I preached my first sermon as one of the pastors here. I am keenly aware of how much grace you have given me because of my pride and fear and immaturity and selfishness. I pray that I make progress in putting off these sins. This means anything good in this church is the product of God’s grace working in us and through us. I thank God for you.

If you would humor me, we are going to push pause on our journey through Acts and look at the book of Ephesians and the great blessings that our ours and how these blessings should shape us for the next 15 years.

Read Ephesians 1:15-23

I. You have received the greatest and strongest blessings

Here is the strongest and greatest blessing on which every other blessing depends

  • We have been united to Christ

I want to introduce you to what it means to be united to Christ because our experience of the blessing of being the church will grow as our understanding and dependence on Christ grows. Turn now to Ephesians 1:1. This letter was written to the saints in Ephesus. 1:4 celebrates the fact that Christians are chosen in Christ to be holy and blameless before him. God’s goal for your life is holiness. We are made holy and kept holy in Christ (1:1-4). We can’t keep ourselves, but Christ makes us and keeps us pure.

The big picture is we are blessed in Christ. 1:3 tells us that we are blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. We have the righteousness of Christ, the gift of the Spirit, the loving care of the Father, eternal life, a sure inheritance, the church, and so much more. We are #blessed.

We are chosen in Christ, chapter 1 verse 4. Before the foundation of the world, God set his love on particular people; he set his love on us. Just as we are made holy in Christ and blessed in Christ we are also chosen in Christ. Every good thing, even election, is connected to Christ.

With Jesus, we are given the rights of sons. Chapter one verse 5, the Father determined to make us his sons and daughters through Christ. You don’t get yourself to God. God gets you to himself through Jesus. This is power and faithfulness and love.

But before you get too puffed up, remember we are the display of God’s grace in Christ. Chapter 1 verse 6, we are to the praise of his glorious grace. We look around and understand the only reason for holiness, the only reason for blessing, is the grace of God. None of us deserve to be here. None of us deserve to be loved or cared for or made holy. We, once broken and powerless, live lives of faith as a display of God’s grace. We were trapped in sin, but God saved us by his grace.

So, remember how we got here. We have been redeemed from sin through Christ’s death. Chapter one verse seven says we have redemption through his blood. Chapter two verse seven looks into the future saying in the coming ages God will show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For all of forever, we will celebrate God’s kindness towards us because of Jesus Christ. We have a future!

We have an inheritance in Christ. 1:11, “In him we have obtained an inheritance.” The God who works all the details of every good thing and every bad thing according to his will, has committed to giving you a good future. You may have been dealt a terrible hand of difficulty or suffering, but God has promised to gather all the cards, make all things new, and give you a glorious future. You are sore from the fight but lift up your eyes to the blessing of what lies ahead.

Look around and take in what is happening right now. In Christ, we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit (1:13-14). You heard the gospel, believed the gospel, and received the Holy Spirit. The Spirit in you, strengthening you, correcting you, and speaking to you, is the guarantee that you will make it to God. That’s chapter one! Now some of the blessings of chapter two.

We are brought to life with Christ. 2:5, “we were dead in trespasses and sins.” We were set on destroying ourselves living life without God. We were slaves to our dreams of a better life on our terms. But God brought us to life. God opened our eyes. God made us alive with Christ. This is resurrection language. We are blessed with the ability to live a new life. Do you hear the emphasis on “we”? You are not alone.

We are brought into the people of God in Christ. Jesus is the gate through which we get in. 2:13 paints a dismal picture of our past lives. We were far away from God. We were outsiders. We had no hope and were without God, but God brought us in by joining us to Christ. Some of you grew up with an awful biological family. God has given you a new spiritual and eternal family.

Hold fast to the truth that all these blessings are undeserved and unearned. We have these great gifts because we have Jesus.

We are reconciled to God through Christ. 2:16, both Jews and Greeks are reconciled to God together. At Mary’s funeral, Manuel reminded me of the recent story of rival gang members in Coffield prison being baptized together. In Christ, because of the blessings of Christ, those who were once separated from each other come together. And we come together to form something unthinkable.

In Christ, we are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Look at 2:21, “In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” God’s plan is to dwell with us. We are gathered together each Sunday. We roll ourselves out of bed and we dust ourselves off from a hard week so that we can come together as the dwelling place of God on earth.

What a blessing! God wants to be with us. Church, we have only scratched the surface of what it means to be the people of God. These good things we are enjoying are the smallest taste of the good to come. So, why do we gather together? We gather as the church each Sunday because God wants to be with us. We are united to Jesus and he brings us to God. We are drawn together by the Holy Spirit to be the temple of God.

We have received the greatest and strongest blessings and we want to grow in them. We want more of Jesus! And here’s what’s cool about us getting more Jesus. When we get more Jesus, it puts the goodness of God on display.

II. God’s plan is to display his glory through us

Let me prove to you that God wants to demonstrate his greatness through little old Mambrino Baptist Church. Let’s start big

  • God’s plan is to unite all things in Christ (1:10, 22)

Ephesians 1:10, God’s plan is to unite all things in Christ. When the time is right, when the fullness of time comes, the Father will make everything right because of and through the Son. Look over at 1:22, the Father put all things under the Son’s feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Right now, God wants to demonstrate the greatness of Jesus. Do you know how God plans to show his glory? The Father has given his Son to Mambrino Baptist Church so that we can be filled with the life, joy, and holiness of God. The church is currently the fullness of him who fills all in all. Let’s start getting specific about how this works

  • The salvation of these early Jews and Gentiles displays God’s glory (1:12)

When Ephesians was written, Jews and Gentiles were like rival gang members; they did not get along with each other. Go back to Ephesians 1:12. Those early Jews and Gentiles were given an inheritance and predestined for the express purpose of praising God’s glory. The world looked at those early Christians and said, “Would you look at that! Those enemies who despised each other now love each other. That is God’s grace!” Now, what was true of them is supposed to be true of us.

  • The church is the display of the wisdom of God (3:10)

Flip over to Ephesians 3:10. After celebrating this unthinkable, spiritual, and God glorifying union of Jew and Gentile as the people of God, we learn God’s plan, “so that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

There is so much hatred in the world. There is so much pain and selfishness and abuse and tyranny. There is too much pride and waiting on the other person to make the first move. But look at the church. There is the manifold wisdom of God. The church is a people where enemies become brothers. Satan and the fallen angels who rebelled with him see the wisdom of God in the unity of the church. Satan and his angels are meant to see the wisdom of God in the unity of the church. This is precisely why Satan works so hard to divide Christians. Satan doesn’t want church members united around Christ. Our unity is a display of God’s wisdom. Every word out of our mouths must build up and give grace to those who hear because our unity displays God’s wisdom. We are made to glorify God through our shared concern for one another and

  • We are meant to be a display of God’s power (3:20-21)

Look with me at Ephesians 3:20-21 and you will see something wonderful, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.

Now let’s be careful and follow Christ our example. God’s power worked in Jesus’ death and his resurrection from the grave. While it is not always the case, it is generally the case that God’s power at work in us is God’s power at work in our weakness and sacrifice and suffering. Like the Son dependent on the Father, we are to be dependent on Christ. God is most clearly glorified when we keep asking and keep trusting and keep depending. God has designed this world so that his power is seen in our weakness.

Let’s ask it this way, what will it look like for God to be glorified in Mambrino Baptist Church?

III. How we can live for the glory of God

Ephesians chapter 4 is a fundamental passage in my thinking when it comes to the actual structure of a church. This chapter helps us understand what a church should look like. Now let’s consider how we should live for the glory of God. God is glorified by

  • Everyone being careful

We are so often slow and selfish, weak and wrong-headed. We dig our heels in and stand our ground when we should go and be reconciled. Look into chapter 4 and how we should live. This is 4:2, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Be careful how you think about these brothers and sisters. Be careful how you talk about these brothers and sisters. Christ gave his life for him. Christ gave his life for her. Address weaknesses, sin, and disagreements with care. A careful church glorifies God and God is glorified by

  • Everyone coming together

4:4, “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” It’s easy to focus on just the local church. It’s easy to focus on just the universal church. We glorify God when we strive to come together on both levels around our reconciliation with God through Christ. But there are so many disagreements and there are so many things to do. God is glorified by

  • Everyone getting equipped

The picture painted by Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12 is that every Christian has been gifted by the Spirit of Christ in order to do good to others. Some Christians are gifted to be, Ephesians 4:11, “apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers.” I believe the offices of apostle and prophet ceased when the foundation of the church was laid but evangelists, shepherds, and teachers continue in order to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. Every one of us gathers with the church in order to be better trained to go out and do ministry. In some sense the church is like a gym where we gather to get bigger, stronger, and faster so that we can go out and do the work to the glory of God. God is glorified by

  • Everyone getting to work

The image of Ephesians 4:11 and 12 is not a pastor doing all the ministry or a group of pastors doing all the ministry. The image here is every member doing his or her part of the ministry. Pastors and teachers lead the members to do the work. We all do our part because God is not glorified by you showing up each week and then doing nothing. God is glorified by you working to help and encourage and strengthen your church family. God is glorified by everyone working and by

  • Everyone growing up

Verse 12, we’re all working to build up each other with the goal of spiritual maturity. We labor, verse 13, to attain the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God. At times, we are going to disagree about what it looks like to follow Jesus. Go back to 4:1-6 for direction here. We are going to disagree; that’s ok. What’s not ok is to respond to one another sinfully when we disagree. What’s not ok is to let disagreements fester. Listen, baby Christians are not bad. I hope we always reach more souls and have a steady influx of baby Christians. That is good; stuck Christians are bad. Stagnant Christians are bad and easily swayed by false teaching. We must keep growing together by teaching the truth and correcting error. Know this, God is glorified by

  • Everyone speaking the truth in love

Instead of being sneaky, crafty, underhanded, or deceitful, we must (verse 15) speak the truth in love. We must work out our disagreements and differences with love. We don’t gossip. We don’t talk behind people’s backs. We say what needs to be said in order to build others up and we say it with love. A healthy church is made up of members who say hard things to each other because of love. It is this loving truth-telling that keeps us following Jesus and growing more like Jesus. When each joint of the body is loving the others and serving the others the body builds itself up in love.

I want us to think now about specific ways Mambrino Baptist church can glorify God. Let’s talk

IV. Priorities for the future

  • Grow in our dependence on Christ

Since every blessing is received and enjoyed because of our union with Christ, we need more of Jesus. We need to gather around the word of God that points to Jesus every Sunday and throughout the week. We need to gather together and praise God as God’s house and house to house. We need the big family gatherings and the one on one gatherings. One on one discipleship is necessary to help one another grow in dependence on Christ. We have different gifts and different circumstances, so we need particular help. Expect us to keep urging you to gather with the church, join a Sunday school group, and meet up with others throughout the week so we can enjoy more of Christ.

Here is our next priority

  • Get into the Next Gen building

We need you to continue to give, to get back to giving, or start giving. Thank you for what you have given.

If you have ever worked on a house or built a house, you know it takes a lot of mental and physical energy. A building can be a great tool. Let’s keep at it and get in it. The spray foam insulation is in and the sheetrock is coming next. The metal walkway has been painted and the metal is going up soon. In our Members’ meeting on August 25 you’ll get a detailed update as to expenses to date and cost to finish. And let’s remember that this building is a tool to help us do ministry. Another priority moving forward is for us to

  • Get into our community to meet needs

We want to equip you to do the ministry. We want to give you opportunities to do ministry. We want you to join us Thursday at 2pm when we go to Mambrino Elementary School to encourage and pray with teachers. They know we’re coming, we’ll have cold water and sodas for you to pass out. Let’s go and serve others this Thursday, 2pm at Mambrino Elementary.

But that’s only the beginning. Baptist Student Ministry lunches will start soon at the Granbury campus of Weatherford Community College. Be watching for this opportunity to get to know college students and share the hope of the gospel with them. Our youth are working on mission projects to encourage one another to get out and care for others. The new Sunday school year is starting for our students and AWANA will begin on September 4. Brothers and sisters, we are called to evangelize and disciple the next generation. Our moms and dads are doing great work. We need you to volunteer to come alongside that discipleship in the home. Come and be a part of this church glorifying God in a hundred different ways. Stand firm on Christ. He is the blessing and the only firm foundation. Let’s look to Jesus.

Keep Building One Another Up

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Main Point: Build others up because Jesus is coming.

We are a people who love God, love others, and listen to the Word. God’s Word is divided into two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the story of God’s people looking forward to Jesus. The New Testament is the story of Jesus and what it means to live as his people waiting for his return. Today we are in the New Testament; we’re in 1 Thessalonians 5. The Thessalonians were a people who had been celebrating the Lord’s Supper and declaring Jesus’ death until he comes. They were looking for Jesus’ return, but it wasn’t coming quickly, they were being persecuted, and church members were dying. They had questions about what it means to be the church waiting for Jesus to return. The end of it is this admonition: build others up because Jesus is coming. Let’s read it. Let’s read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.

When it comes to living the Christian life,

I. Remember what you have been taught (1-5)

Acts 17 records the story of Paul and Silas planting the church in Thessalonica. Acts 20 records the account of Paul returning to the area and people from Thessalonica joined him in his missionary work. So, when Paul writes, in 1 Thessalonians 5:1, “Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night,” Paul is here referring to the fact that he has thoroughly taught them concerning the return of Jesus. From the very beginning of their Christian lives, they had instructions about the 2nd coming of Christ. What follows in chapter 5 is a reminder of what they already know as well as some application on how these truths should shape their lives. Here’s what they know

  • Jesus’ return will surprise the world (2-3)

Look back at verse 2 and pay attention to what they are fully aware of, “For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

We really need to define that phrase “the day of the Lord.” What is the day of the Lord? The day of the Lord is the day when Jesus returns to judge the world and save his church. For one group, for the world, the day of the Lord is a terrible terrifying day. Isaiah 13:6 says, “Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come!” (ca Joel 1:15; 2:30-32; Amos 5:18). For the unbelieving world, the day of the Lord is a horrible transition to judgment. For the believing church, the day of the Lord is glorious. The day of the Lord is, verse 9, when we receive the fullness of salvation. The day of the Lord is that 1 John 3:2 time when Jesus appears, and we are made like him because we will see him as he is. For the church, the day of the Lord is good and glorious; its everything we are hoping and striving for. For the world, the day of the Lord is awful and terrifying; it’s the loss of every good grace and it is the fullness of God’s wrath.

Look back at 1 Thessalonians 5:2. What is the coming of the day of the Lord like? The day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. Here’s the problem with burglars: they don’t tell you when they are coming. Jesus’ return is certain, but he will return at a time when it is unexpected by the world.

I want you to notice why the return of Jesus will be unexpected. The world won’t expect Jesus’ return because things will appear to be good. 1 Thessalonians 5:3, “While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security’, then sudden destruction will come upon them.” The picture we have of life just before Jesus’ return is one of a sinful world enjoying their sin in relative peace and security. Sodom and Gomorrah enjoyed their rebellion in relative ease until the very day of destruction. So it was in the days of Noah, “They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all” (Lk 17:20-37).

People who are longing for Jesus’ return, people who are putting sin to death, and people who are enduring persecution for the advance of the gospel will not be surprised by Jesus’ return. On the other hand, people who are sleeping morally and are drunk on pleasure will be surprised.

But let’s not judge them; they already have a judge. Let’s fear for them and love them and share the gospel with them. We fear for them because of what is coming. Look at the end of verse 3, “then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” People who are currently enjoying the ease of sinful pleasure will soon suffer the fullness of God’s wrath because of their sin. An eternal hell is coming for those who are not looking for Jesus’ return. Like a pregnant woman who cannot escape the coming pain of her labor, so the sleeping world cannot escape the coming pain of judgment on the day of the Lord.

The return of Christ will surprise the world but not the church.

  • We will not be surprised by Jesus’ return (4-5)

Look at verse 4, “But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.”

When you are in the dark you cannot see what is going on; you can’t see what’s coming. But when you are in the light you see what’s going on; you see what’s coming. We have the Word of God, a lamp for our feet, so that we can see the reality of Jesus’ return.

The first reason we are not surprised is we are not in the darkness. Verse 5 gives the next reason we are not surprised. Look at verse 5, “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.”

This is more than you have a Bible, verse 5 points to the very nature of what it means to be a Christian. To be a Christian is to be a son of light or a son of the day. This is a Jewish way of saying light and day characterize your person. In Acts 4:36 we meet a man named Barnabas. Barnabas’s name means son of encouragement. Barnabas was an encourager. He comforted the church and built up the members. Just as Barnabas was characterized by encouragement so also Christians are characterized by light and day. We are not in moral darkness because we have been given the light of Christ. Jesus said, “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” So, in 1 Thessalonians 5, being a child of the light means you are believing and looking for Jesus’ return. You aren’t making excuses for your sin. You are hoping for Jesus’ return.

John Stott puts it well, “Imagine you and your family are enjoying your summer holiday. One evening the sun goes down, you draw the curtains, and everybody goes to bed. You sleep well too, because the following day you are expecting a visit from the family’s favorite Uncle Bill. But because you are tired, you oversleep. In the morning, the sun rises as usual, but you know nothing about it because you are still fast asleep and the curtains are still drawn. Only one member of the family wakes early, your eldest daughter. She gets up and flings back the curtains of her room, so that the sun streams in. Suddenly, there is a loud knock on the front door, and Uncle Bill stands outside. Your daughter is ready to welcome him. She is not taken by surprise, for she is awake, alert and in the light. But the rest of you are covered with confusion because you are still asleep and still in the darkness. So, the question which Paul’s teaching presses upon us is this: to which age do you belong, the [light or the dark]? Do we belong to the night or to the day? Are we asleep or awake? Are our curtains still drawn, or has the light of Jesus Christ shone in upon us? (John Stott, The Message of 1&2 Thessalonians, 111).

If the return of Christ never factors into your decisions, you are probably not a Christian. Are you sleeping in the dark of this world or are you awake to the reality of the return of Jesus? If you are a Christian,

II. Be watchful and sober (6-8)

Paul has established the difference between the world that will be surprised by judgment at Jesus’ return and the church that is aware and waiting for salvation at Jesus’ return. What Paul does now is establish an ethic as we wait. We need to see how we are supposed to live. Here is our first order

  • Keep awake and be sober (6-7)

Look with me at verse 6, “So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.”

This same message is loud and clear in 1 Corinthians 15:33-34, “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals. Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.”

The picture here is one of Christians slowly drifting back into the world’s ways of thinking and living. Don’t be deceived. The people you hang out with, the music you listen to, and the shows you watch all influence you. If we are not alert and sober, then the people and stuff around us will corrupt us. Wake up! Turn away from sin. Get ready for Jesus’ return. Get your neighbors and coworkers ready for Jesus’ return. They are sleeping in the dark. Take the knowledge of God to them and plead with them to wake up.

It appears that there is a direct connection between being awake and being an evangelist. The more you think soberly about Jesus’ return for salvation and judgment the more you will labor to wake souls.

So, the woke Christian is the Christian who is alert and sober minded concerning the day of the Lord. The woke Christian isn’t trying to make sleeping sinners comfortable. The woke Christian is armed for battle and is fighting to turn sinners from the idols of sexuality and skin color to serve the living God. The woke Christian is waiting for God’s Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come (1 Thess 1:9-10).

1 Thessalonians 5:7 continues the comparisons between asleep and awake, drunk and sober. When you are asleep you don’t know what’s going on. When you are drunk you don’t care about what’s going on. When you are awake you know what’s going on. When you are sober you care about what’s going on.

Parents, are you aware of what’s going on inside your child’s heart and mind? Do you care? Sober up. The darkness is coming after your child. The Pied Piper is playing his tune.

  • Be sober and gear up (8)

Look at verse 8, “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” Since you are a Christian, thinking clearly about the church, work, family, sexuality, gender, money, justice, and the like; be sober.

A soldier who knows he’s about to plunge into life-and-death hand-to-hand-combat puts on his armor. A soldier who thinks he’s going to a party picks up a bottle. Christian, do you have a bottle in your hand or a helmet on your head?

Now that I have your attention, Jesus is coming soon in judgment, we are to fight for souls, put on the breastplate of righteousness and love. Put on Christ. Repent of your sins. Believe in Jesus for his righteousness. Pursue holiness in your mind, at your work, and in your home. Put on the righteousness of Christ so that you can live a righteous life. And put on the breastplate of love. Know who you are. You are chosen, you are holy, you are loved (Col 2:12). Knowing the fullness of the love of God we go and love our teammates, coworkers, neighbors, and our church.

If we suddenly had emblems on our chests that reflected the focus of our hearts what would be on your breastplate? Sober up, believe in Jesus, and put on righteousness and love.

For your head, put on the helmet of the hope of salvation. The world is trying to get into your head. The world has its drunken ideas about meaning, money, sexuality, race, and family. You put on the helmet of the hope of salvation.

In Philippians 3:14 the helmet of the hope of salvation looks like this, “I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” I’m awake to the reality of Jesus’ return for my salvation. I’m sober as to those temptations that will tempt my fellow members to sleep. I’m striving, I’m straining, I’m putting on the helmet of the hope of salvation. Be watchful. Be sober.

III. Rest in the work of the Lord (9-10)

Listen, living with a sober mind in the light is difficult. The Thessalonians knew how hard it can be to put on righteousness and love while the world mocks you and gets drunk without you. Verse 9 tells us why we stay armed and alert

  • God has destined us for salvation

Look at verse 9, “For God has not destined (or appointed) us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Some of you are nervous because you know what getting ready for the day of the Lord will cost you. You are worried you won’t have what it takes to endure. You are afraid the day of the Lord will be a day of judgment for you. Rest in this, “God has chosen you. God has destined you. God has appointed you. God is holding you in his sovereign strong hand. Despite the battle, your end is salvation.”

But man, it is hard today. There are so many days when you really just want to get drunk and go to sleep, but you can’t. Why is that? God has not destined you for wrath but for salvation through Jesus Christ. The Jesus who is returning for you is the Jesus who is sustaining you. Your salvation is through Christ.

  • We are united to Christ

Rest in the truth of verse 10, “Our Lord Jesus Christ died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.” Your union with Christ will see you through. More precisely, because of your union with Christ, he will see you through. If you die, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, you will be raised. If you are alive at the day of the Lord, you will be transformed. Rest in this: the purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection was to give you life. That life will be yours at Jesus’ return. Stop trusting yourself. Rest in Christ and the reality that his death and resurrection are the only sure reason why you will be saved. Rest in Jesus and

IV. Get to work (11)

Verse 11 starts with a “therefore.” God has destined you for salvation and you are united with Christ for life therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. Church,

  • Keep encouraging one another

I had this verse put on a big piece of canvas to remind us why we gather each week. Why should you wake up and gather with the church each week? You need encouragement. Why should you wake up and gather with the church each week? We need you to encourage us. If you aren’t here, then we miss out on encouragement. If you aren’t here, then you miss out on encouragement. It’s a battle out there, we need to focus on encouraging one another in here.

Each Sunday when you see this verse on the wall, I want you to pray a simple prayer: God show me one person to encourage today. Maybe you need to give an encouraging word of thanks to a brother or sister. Maybe you need to give some financial help to a struggling brother or sister. Maybe you need to help that discouraged member put on the helmet of salvation. Maybe you need to help that beat down guilt wounded member put on the breastplate of righteousness and love. Let’s keep it simple, if we are going to keep encouraging one another we must come early, stay late, and meet up during the week. Come early, stay late, and meet up during the week.

Hebrews 3 is our New Testament reading for today. Listen to verse 13, “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today’, that none of you maybe hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”

The day of the Lord is coming quickly. Make room in your life so you can encourage your brothers and sisters every day. Keep encouraging and

  • Keep building one another up

For months now we have been building a building. We’ve torn stuff down, leveled stuff out, laid a foundation, and built walls. We are building a building. I want to remind you that the reason we are building that building is so that we can build one another up. Particularly, our goal is to build up the next generation with the truth of Jesus. I’m going to again state the obvious: we need money. Maybe you can write a big check. 23,000 dollars would pay for the septic system we need. Maybe you can give a few dollars. An electric outlet costs about a dollar and we need those too. My point is we need every member to do what they can to finish this building. Thankfully, this work of building a building is temporary. We’ll soon be done hauling lumber and swinging hammers.

But Mambrino Baptist Church will never be done investing in and helping one another follow Jesus. There are only two ways to get out of making disciples in this church. The first way out is the grave and the second way out is the return of Christ. Seeing that you’re not dead and Jesus has not returned, we have work to do. We must proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

In the Lord’s Supper we remember that Jesus died for us so that we can live with him. The Lord’s Supper is for believers. The Lord’s Supper is for those who have been baptized. The Lord’s Supper is for those wounded warriors who need the reminder of God’s promise of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Think for a moment about how you can encourage us through the Lord’s Supper. Maybe you need to get up and go pray with a brother or sister. Maybe the simple act of you eating and drinking will encourage us because we see that we do not fight alone.

Think for a moment about how you can build up the church. Maybe you need to write a note to a member this afternoon or set up a meeting this week.

In preparation for the Lord’s Supper we are going to stand together to pray for, encourage, and build one another up. Karol and Janie are going to play one verse and while they play, do what you need to do. Pastor Jay and I will stand down front. Pastor Aaron will be in the back. We would love to pray with you. Let’s stand and let’s pray.