Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18 Psalm 119:33-40 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23 Matthew 5:38-48 February 23, 2014
Y’all belong to Christ. I hope you know how important that is to say and to hear. You all belong to Christ. Is that any plainer?
Let me say it another way: everyone who calls Jesus their Lord, they belong to Christ.
Someone told you about Jesus Christ, that he is God’s only son. You realized the fact that your sins have kept you from enjoying life. You have realized that you are no longer comfortable living a life that is not holy. So, you decided to accept God’s offer of reconciliation by listening to and following Jesus.
Then you started to Sunday School, Bible Study, or a small group to learn more about Jesus Christ. You even attended Sunday morning worship to hear some good preaching, sing some hymns to God, and know the presence of God.
There have been many voices that have taught you something about living as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Some have had greater influence than others. Yet, we are built on the foundation that is Jesus Christ.
- We build on the foundation that is Jesus Christ (3:10-11)
- God gave grace to Paul – from a persecutor of the church, to a church-planter!
- Paul knows his stuff – he has studied the Scriptures (our Old Testament)
- Somebody followed Paul
- When John Wesley started to preach in a vile fashion, in outdoor settings, he had many come to him who wanted to flee the wrath to come. To help these people, John Wesley set up a society with bands and classes. The society was the large weekly gathering of all those who had lived the practices of the bands. Classes were a mixed gender group of people who met to bear one another’s burdens. Through the class meetings, the individual disciples realized what they were being built on the foundation that is Christ. The bands were small groups of men or women, never mixed so as to limit temptation, who met to encourage one another. For the early Methodists to us today, what John & Charles Wesley built must have been very fine indeed!
- “In the latter part of the year 1739 eight or ten persons, who appeared to be deeply convinced of sin and earnestly groaning for redemption, came to Mr. Wesley in London. They desired, as did two or three more the next day, that he would spend some time with them in prayer and advise them how to flee from the wrath to come, which they saw continually hanging over their heads. That he might have more time for this great work he appointed a day When they might all come together; which from thenceforward they did every week, namely, on Thursday, in the evening. To these and as many more as desired to join with them (for their number increased daily) he gave those advices from time to time which he judged most needful for them; and they always concluded their meeting with prayer suited to their several necessities. This was the rise of the United Society, first in London, and then in other places.” These early Methodists realized they were part of God’s temple.
- You are God’s temple (3:16-17)
- You are God’s temple
- God’s Spirit dwells in you
- If you destroy God’s temple, God will destroy you!
- God’s temple is holy, therefore you are holy
- Wow! We are being built together by God. Every person who believes in Jesus Christ is part of God’s temple. You matter. This church, Gladeville/Mt. Olivet, matters to God. This church matters to Galax/Carroll County. God’s Spirit is among us. He is helping us overcome our selfishness. The Holy Spirit of God is helping us to live holy lives. It is not our pastors/preachers who do this with us. We dare not boast about any pastor, district superintendent, or bishop. We get to boast about Christ.
- We boast about Jesus Christ (3:18-23)
- This world’s wisdom won’t get us anywhere – it is foolish, compared to God’s
- All the pastors who have been here had some influence on you
- This world is your world – to tell about how Jesus has given you life
- Life – an abundant life comes from knowing Jesus
- Death – gives us rest till we can be with Jesus
– Dying to the wisdom of the world, we look forward to God’s wisdom
- Present – Jesus is working in your life today
- Future – Jesus has good in store for you as you follow God
- All belong to you; you belong to Christ; Christ belongs to God;
- You is still plural here
- John Wesley: “Watch over one another in love.”
- Francis Asbury: “We shall be a holy people, or we shall have no people.”
- God is Holy (Leviticus 19:1-2), therefore we are to be holy – a wisdom not of this world.
- Jesus Christ is about every part of our lives. St. Patrick’s prayer helps us see how much God has for us (BOW 529). Y’all belong to Christ. Repent of not seeing Christ in the brothers and sisters in the church. Repent of not being Christ to the brothers and sisters in the church. You belong to God. May the world see God living and moving in our church!
We can bear one another’s burdens. Why? Because y’all belong to Christ and can bear one another’s burdens. You know someone within the church who has a burden, help them with it. Jesus Christ has taught you how to live as disciples. Let us be built upon Christ as our foundation.
We praise God for all who have taught us. And we boast about Jesus Christ. For it is only through Christ that we have been brought together to be the temple of God.