Faithlife Sermons

Images That Help Us Understand

Church by the Book  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

We began a new series last week that will take us through November.
Church by the Book: A Biblical look at the Church.
Last week we looked at
As we began thinking about the church together we noticed several things from that passage.
We noticed the
Certainty of the Church
Owner of the Church
Identity of the Church
Foundation of the Church
Invincibility of the Church
Authority of the Church
(all of this is centered upon Christ)
The goal today is to learn more about the church from the Biblical metaphors, from images that we are given in the Bible.
As I meditated on many of the metaphors that we are given in the Bible this past week i think we can see that many of these metaphors can be seen as teaching us one of three things
I want to focus on three things that we can learn about the church.

Our Dependence upon God

Our dependence upon God is something that we see in many of the images or the metaphors that we are given for the church.
Let’s consider some of these images
1 Peter 2:9–10 ESV
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Not only are we His people but we have been born into His family. We were not His people, but now we are His people. We are not a part of His family but now we are a part of His family
We are His People; We are His Family
He is our Father
Ephesians 3:14 ESV
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
We are His children
Ephesians 1:3–6 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Eph. 1.3-
There was something that took place so that at one time we were not His children and then we became His children
There was something that took place so that at one time we were not His children and then we became His children
John 1:12–13 ESV
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1.
The new birth and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
The church is made up of those who have been born again.
Born once and we are children of wrath, children of this world
You must be born twice if you would be a child of God
John 3:3–8 ESV
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
John 3:3–8 ESV
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
John 3
The church is made up of those who have been born again
We are those who have been born again
We are those who have been born again
1 Peter 1:3–5 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:22–23 ESV
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;
1 Peter 1.
James 1:18 ESV
Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
There is a recurring theme that we see in all of these passages.
We see our dependence upon God. We were not His people, we were children of wrath and yet God is His mercy acted and caused us to be born again.
We did not make the new birth happen, notice , the Spirit blows where it wills.
says that He brought us forth by the word of truth and that it was of His own will.
I love this passage listen to this
Colossians 1:13–14 ESV
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Col.1.
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness, He transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.
We see our dependence upon God in even coming to be His people, of entering into His family.
We see the Work of the Father, the Son and the Spirit
The Father is the One from eternity past that ordained salvation for His people in Christ
Christ is the One who came and purchased His people with His blood
Holy Spirit is the One who applies the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ by opening hearts to hear and to receive the Gospel
We see the Trinity working in Concert for the Salvation of the Church, the Creating of a New Humanity in Christ.
Even that a new humanity is something that we could talk about
Ephesians 2:14–16 ESV
For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
But not only do we see our dependence upon the Lord in becoming a part of His family, but we are dependent upon the Lord for staying in His family
Notice
Ephesians 1:11–14 ESV
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Eph.1
1 Peter 1:3–5 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Jude 24–25 ESV
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Many other places that we could look, we could look to where the church is compared to a sheepfold and Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep and what does He say?
John 10:27–29 ESV
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
This is the picture that we get Church, we are His people by His grace and for His glory, we only continue to be His people by His grace and for His glory.
Church, we are the people of God, we are a part of His family, but let us not get the big head because it is all of grace.
You may be here today and say, well how can I know that I am one that has been born again, how can I know if I am in the family of God?
Have you repented of sin and trusted in Christ?
Are you trusting in the redeeming work of Christ only to make you right with God?
You may say well I want to be a part of the family of God, what should I do?
Look to the Lord Jesus Christ, trust in Him and in Him alone for the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life.
Maybe you are here today and you say, well i have trusted in Christ but you know i fell my weakness and i don’t know if i can continue on. I don’t know if I can continue to live of life of turning from sin and turning to Christ (cause that is what Christianity is, it is not just a one time thing). Maybe you feel your weakness and you feel the pull of the world, the flesh, and the devil,
I want to say to you that if your perseverance depended on you then you would leave Christ, but praise God that your perseverance ultimately does not depend upon you but upon Christ,
Christ will keep you
No one can snatch you out of His Hand, no one can snatch you out of the Father’s Hand.
You are safe in the everlasting arms.
The Imagery of the church being God’s people, God’s family, God’s sheep reminds us of our dependency upon God.
But we see our dependency upon God in another way as well
John 15:1–5 ESV
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15.
If we do not abide in Christ, then as individual Christians, as the Church of Jesus Christ we can do nothing.
Oh brothers and sisters, we are a dependent people, we don’t have anything to brag or boast about in ourselves.
Our boast, our strength is Christ alone.

Our Dependence upon One Another

1 Corinthians 12:12–26 ESV
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
We learn here brothers and sisters our dependence upon one another.
We will talk about this passage more this evening but I want to point out that we see a dependence upon one another here.
This dependence upon one another teaches us two things.
We need one another to grow.
Ephesians 4:15–16 ESV
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
1 Peter 4:7–11 ESV
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
2. Our lives have an effect on the rest of the body.
In one member suffers all suffer together, if all rejoice all rejoice together.
There is a connectedness within the body of Christ so that our personal lives effect the rest of the body.
When a brother or sister is going through great difficulty it is hard on the body.
But not only that, when a brother or sister in Christ is spiritually sluggish, when they are being spiritually lazy and not using the gifts that the Lord has given to them then it has an effect on the whole body.
When the body sees an individual who is a member of the church regularly missing and just choosing to be other places than gathered with the Lord’s people it is a discouragement to the whole body, it has an effect on the whole body.
Have you ever thought about even a decision to be lazy and to lay out one Sunday can be a discouragement to the whole body?
Have you ever thought about how withholding the gifts from the church be putting all of your powers and energies to other things can be robbing others of a blessing, of a means of grace?

Our Distinctiveness in the World

Ephesians 5:22–27 ESV
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Just as a bride is to be pure, the white wedding dress to represent the purity of the bride
As the bride of Christ we are called to be pure and holy.
Giving ourselves fully to Christ, not cheating on Christ if you will, being His wholeheartedly.
No groom wants to hear his bride say on their wedding day, i am giving myself partially to you but i am partially another’s.
Christ made us His so that we would be wholeheartedly devoted to Him.
So that He might cleanse us and sanctify us, that we would be holy and without blemish is what the text says.
The church as the bride of Christ speaks to us being set apart from the world, we belong to Him and we are live as if we belong to Him.
We get the same idea in 1 Peter
1 Peter 1.
1 Peter 1:13–19 ESV
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
1 Peter 2:9–12 ESV
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
As the church of Jesus Christ we are not to live as much like the world as we can
we should not value the same things the world values
we should not long for the same things the world longs for
we should
our speech should be different
our love for one another should be different
our lives should be different
Let me ask you
Do you live like you are a child of God?
Do you live like you are a part of the body of Christ?
Do you live like the bride of Christ?
If you are a part of the church and you don’t the call of the day is
Repent and turn to the Lord again.
Listen to what Jesus said to a church that would have said no to all of those things
Revelation 3:15–20 ESV
“ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Related Media
Related Sermons