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Being The Church

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Being The Church

Exodus 18:19–22 KJV 1900
Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.

What does the Bible mean by the word Burden?

19Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:
20And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
21Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
22And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.

Old Testament

maśśāʾ:
++Physical load
++What a donkey carried (Exodus 23:5)
++Sons of Kohath (Numbers 4:15)
The Hebrew word for burden is maśśāʾ: meaning (physical load)
The Donkey's Load
Exodus 23:5 KJV 1900
If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.
Numbers 4:15 KJV 1900
And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.
Sons of Kohath's load was to move the tabernacle from place to place Numbers 4:15
maśśāʾ
++Physical Load
++Psychological and spiritual load
Moses's responsibility to the people Numbers 11:11, 17
++To lift them up to God
++To help them mature in God,
++To make them people of God.
This is the burden of ministry at all levels, starting with the Pastor.
Numbers 11:11 KJV 1900
And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?
Numbers 11:17 KJV 1900
And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.
maśśāʾ also speaks of a Psychological and spiritual load.
Hawaiian Word:
++Kuleana means
++"Responsibility"
Definition: “nvt. Right, privilege, concern, responsibility, title , business, property, estate, portion, jurisdiction, authority, liability, interest, claim, ownership, tenure, affair, province, reason, cause, function, justification…” Hawaiian Dictionary – M.K. Pukui & S.H. Elbert
maśśāʾ like Kuleana
++Is Active Responsibility
++Take ownership
This week I taught an intervention period at school.
I thought the first thing to do was to understand what an intervention was.
Intervention is an action taken to modify or change and expected outcome.
In this case the program exemplified a level of responsibility or ownership of the success of the students.
Ephesians 5:25–28 KJV 1900
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
(KJV 1900)
25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Though the simple meaning of Kuleana is responsibility, Responsibility doesn’t always mean kuleana.
Kueanna is also
++A Privilege
++A Position of delight
++A "Passion"
Your Kuleana
++is not just a duty
++it’s who you are.
maśśāʾ is also found in the writing of the Prophets Isaiah 13-13, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Zechariah have similar sections.
Note some recent translation uses the word oracle instead of burden.
Oracle. Divine revelation communicated through God’s spokesperson (prophet, priest, or king), usually pronouncing blessing, instruction or judgment.
Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, “Oracle,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 1592.
The basic concept seems to be that Israel’s sinful actions have caused God to be burdened. Therefore, in righteousness he is compelled to judge them.
Alan N. Winkler, “Burden,” Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996), 78.

The New Testament

Greek word is φορτίον (phor-ti-on)
++A necessary load
++The load you have to carry
is a specific load; the freight or lading that has to be borne,
Ethelbert W. Bullinger, A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament (London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1908), 120.
Job 14:1 KJV 1900
Man that is born of a woman Is of few days, and full of trouble.
(KJV 1900)
1 Man that is born of a woman Is of few days, and full of trouble.
Some trouble we face is
++Of necessity
++Life in a fallen world
John 16:33 KJV 1900
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
(KJV 1900)
33These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Jesus promises peace in the midst of trouble.
Matthew 11:28–30 KJV 1900
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
(KJV 1900)
28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
John 17:15 KJV 1900
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
(KJV 1900)
15I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Second Greek word is βάρος (baros)
++A burden
++Can be transferred to another
++Can be relieved by another
++Carried by another
weight; it denotes the pressure of a weight which may be relieved or transferred; met. the heavy weight of trial or temptation, while
Ethelbert W. Bullinger, A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament (London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1908), 120.
Acts 15:28 KJV 1900
For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
The Question:
++Did non-Jewish people have to become culturally Jewish to be a Christian?

The scripture gave them what they needed to decide.

They did not just rely on their own thinking.
James looks to the Scriptures
Amos 9:11 KJV 1900
In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, And close up the breaches thereof; And I will raise up his ruins, And I will build it as in the days of old:
They did not just rely on their own thinking.
James looks to the Scriptures
++James recognized the Lord's work
Acts 15:17 KJV 1900
That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
They did not just rely on their own thinking.
James looks to the Scriptures
James recognized the Lord's work
++The Lord doeth all these things
James has grasped the very heart of Amos’s eschatological message concerning the nature of the salvation that Messiah brings to the Gentiles. In so doing, James has replaced a proselyte model of Gentile salvation with an eschatological/christocentric one. The Lord has chosen to place his name on Gentiles as Gentiles, without requiring that they surrender their ethnic identity.
That name, “the Lord Jesus Christ,”
++The basis on which they have repented and believed (Lk 24:47; Acts 4:12; 10:43),
++The identity they have adopted in baptism (Acts 2:38; Acts 10:48; Acts 11:36)
++The reason they will suffer (compare Acts 5:41; Acts 14:22).
William J. Larkin Jr., Acts, vol. 5, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995), Ac 15:13.
Acts 15:20 KJV 1900
But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
The four requirements suggested by James were thus all basically ritual requirements aimed at making fellowship possible between Jewish and Gentile Christians.
John B. Polhill, Acts, vol. 26, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 331.
Ephesians 2:13–18 KJV 1900
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
(KJV 1900)
13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Why These Requirements?

James’s proposal, then, teaches us three things about life together in a culturally diverse church. We must say no to any form of cultural imperialism that demands others’ conformity to our cultural standards before we will accept them and their spiritual experience. We must say yes to mutual respect for our differences. And we must live out that respect even to the extent of using our freedom to forgo what is permissible in other circumstances.
William J. Larkin Jr., Acts, vol. 5, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995), Ac 15:13.
Acts 15:24 KJV 1900
Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

No additional burden.

Galatians 6:2 KJV 1900
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Christian Responsibility- to bear together.
Exodus 18:19–22 KJV 1900
Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.
Today we look at Moses. Who was he?
++Prince of Egypt to Prince of Egypt
++Fugitive to Servant of God
Moses was a
++Man
++Husband
++Father
++Servant of God
It is amazing that that so little of his life is recorded. The Bible focuses almost the entirety of the story away from the man.
The Bible records
++His mission
++His purpose
++His life in relationship to God’s plan
The dysfunction of family life is not knew to the 21st century, yet the Bible is hauntingly silent about the domestic affairs of life.
Would knowing more about them help us?
James 5:17 KJV 1900
Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed ||earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

What does he mean like passions?

Though his ministry was supernatural, his life was normal.
He had
++Stress
++Challenges
++Misunderstanding
++Just like us
Exodus 18:19 KJV 1900
Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:

The Bible teaches on the importance of wise council.

Proverbs 8:14 KJV 1900
Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
The strength of understanding
++Counsel
++Sound Wisdom
Proverbs 11:14 KJV 1900
Where no counsel is, the people fall: But in the multitude of counsellers there is safety.
++Absence of Counsel
++Abundance of Counsellers
Proverbs 15:22 KJV 1900
Without counsel purposes are disappointed: But in the multitude of counsellers they are established.
Counsel impacts purpose
++Disappointed without it
++Established because of it
Proverbs 24:6 KJV 1900
For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: And in multitude of counsellers there is safety.
Strength of Wise Counsel
Exodus 18:20 KJV 1900
And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
The burden of the church
++To Teach
++To Show
++To Empower for the work
Ephesians 4:11–15 KJV 1900
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Loading up
++Preparation
++Process
++Passion
Preparation
++Know who we are
++Know where we are
++Know what we are to be
We are the Church
++Many members
++One Body
++One Lord
Matthew 11:28–30 KJV 1900
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
The Process
++Come to Jesus
++Our rest comes from him
++Take his yoke
++Share his Load
Matthew 11:30 KJV 1900
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
My Yoke
++is easy
++burden, responsibility is light

How does Jesus help us carry the load?

God helps us through connection
++With him
++With his work
++With his power
We the church
++Helpers one to another
++Working together
++Building together
++Growing together
Being the church
++Learning
++Leaning
Colossians 3:23 KJV 1900
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
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