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Sermon 47 Joshua 22 Living Godly means having a witness of accountability to one another in the church

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LIVING GODLY

Bible Text: Joshua 22, read 1-6 and then others as go through

Subject: Accountability

Title: Living Godly Means Having A Witness Of Accountability To One Another In The Church

INTRODUCTION

Biblical Orientation:

In our passage today, another landmark will be set. Do you remember the traits of a godly landmark?

The landmark must contain elements of the event. Since our landmark tells a story, the landmark must come out of the midst of the location of the event. The landmark must represent a symbol of the event. The landmark must tell the story for generations to come

This landmark was a witness to remind everyone that they were all part of the same group. What witness is there in your life that you are a part of the body of Table Mountain Baptist Church? Should there be a witness? How do you hold to that witness?

Sermon Orientation:

A church is different than a nation, however, we can learn from what they did and make some application

EXPOSITION/MAIN TEXT

I. THE REUBENITES, GADITES, AND MANASSEH GET TO GO HOME V 1-6

A. The Wars Are Over

1. Everything west of the Jordan river is in their possession

2. When these tribes claimed the areas east of the Jordan river, they promised to help go over and subdue the land, Numbers 32

3. Now, it is time to go home

B. They Have Fulfilled Their Duty

1. They kept their word

2. They are honorable before the Lord

C. One Last Exhortation V 4-5

1. Joshua reminds the tribes that they still have a responsibility to the LORD God

a. They are to heed His commandments

b. They are to love the Lord

c. They are to walk in all His ways

d. They are to keep His commandments

e. They are to cleave to God

f. They are to serve Him with all their heart

2. After all, they are a part of the nation of Israel; and God holds all the tribes accountable for one another

II. THE TRIBES BUILD AN ALTAR ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE JORDAN RIVER V 10

A. A Sense Of Isolation

1. As they prepared to cross back over the Jordan river there was a remembrance of the great event that took them over this river

2. Now, the river seemed like a barrier to them and their people

3. Would out of sight mean out of mind?

B. They Had A Need For Identity

1. It is like being a part of Table Mountain Baptist Church

a. Going to another church will not do

b. Your body is here

c. One cannot feel at ease if they do not have the identity God has given to them

2. Therefore, these tribes built an altar to be identified with their brethren

3. It was an altar that was so large that all could see it, for miles around

III. THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL PREPARE TO GO TO WAR OVER THE ALTAR V 12 & 16-19

A. The Reason For Such A Reaction V 12

1. The Jews were afraid of two things

a. Apostasy- to be seen as deserting the Law

b. Worship at the wrong altar- God had told them that any sacrifice was to be brought to God’s altar and come through the door of the tabernacle of the congregation

2. The blessing: rather than go through some of the heartaches they endured during their wilderness journeys; the Jews said we would rather fight than switch

B. Getting The Story Straight V 16-19

1. Let us just stop here and apply for a minute

a. How many times have you flown off the handle before getting all the facts?

b. We can learn a lesson from the Israelites; they got the story straight before killing off their brethren!

2. The first thing they asked was are you trespassing and rebelling against God?

a. They reminded the tribes about Peor

b. This is when they began to marry the daughters of Moab and worship Baal-peor

c. God plagued the children and 24,000 people died before Phinehas killed the Midianite woman

3. They plead with them because there is so much more than their lives at stake; a whole nation is at risk

4. To make sure that there is not an unseen problem the Israelites ask if there is a problem with their inheritance

a. If so, you can just come and live with us

b. Just do not build an altar beside the altar of God

c. Living godly means you have a passion to only worship the Lord of heaven

IV. A REPLY TO THOSE WHO HAVE COME INQUIRING V 21-27

A. God Knows

1. This is a Jewish figure of speech

a. It used to say, no matter what anyone believes, God knows I/we have done right

b. Their answer is going to say, we have not done wrong

2. We have not sinned as you think

B. They State The Purpose Of The Altar

1. The altar is to be a reminder to our children

a. Often as generations pass, the reality of heritage begins to dissipate

b. We begin to forget who we are and where we have come from

c. Crossing the Jordan made them think, we need a landmark to remind our children and your children that we both have an inheritance in the Lord

2. The altar is to be a witness between us

C. This Altar Is Not For Sacrifice V 26

1. It is a witness to the generations after us that we have a right to the blessing of service to the Lord

2. When our children worship at the tabernacle, all will know they have a part in the LORD

3. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh did not wish to lose their identity; it was too valuable

V. A SIGH OF RELIEF AND A NAME TO REMIND THEM V 30 & 34

A. Phinehas And The Princes Are Pleased

1. Upon hearing their explanation, they were joyful

2. They also valued a relationship with God

3. The Holy Spirit was there and gave the peace of the LORD in their presence

4. Therefore, they returned home

B. The Tribes Of Reuben, Gad, And Manasseh Name Their Altar: Ed

1. The Hebrew word is pronounced עֵד

2. Thus the Jews have the expression, you want to go see Ed? Ha, ha, only kidding

3. The witness that this altar gives is the LORD is God

a. East or west of the Jordan it would not matter

b. They are both the children of God

4. Having a witness in your life that the LORD is God is not an option, it is a necessity

LESSONS IN LIVING GODLY

We have studied the importance of setting up the right landmarks in our life. The King James Bible, prayer, and church are three that ought to be a part of the life of every believer. Yet, to whom are we accountable for these things? Yes, we are all accountable to God; He is first. We cannot forget, the church is a living body of Christ. Each of us has a part of this church

Therefore, we are accountable to one another for living godly lives. We know the nation of Israel is not the church, but we can learn some principles from her. We can learn what it means to live under a relationship with God in a body of Christ. God holds us accountable to one another

THERE ARE TWO PROOFS IN OUR PASSAGE THAT WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO ONE ANOTHER

When We Lose Our Accountability We Lose Our Identity

1. As a person no longer reads their Bible, prays, or goes to church; they also lose their bond to one another in the church

a. Going to services becomes less important

b. Being involved is less important

c. A person forgets their bond with the church

2. While we do not lose our identity in Christ, we lose our identity in the church

a. Is this important, after all, we get to go to heaven even if we are not part of the church: right

b. Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it

i. Christ died for the church
ii. God thinks the church is important, important enough for His Son to die for it
iii. The world looks at the church very casually and does not realize its importance
iv. As a Christian, realize that Christ died for the church just as He died for your sins

3. Your identity with the church should be as important as Christ made it: a high priority

There Is So Much More Than Just Your Life At Stake; A Whole Church Is At Risk When We Fail To Hold Each Other Accountable

1. When we lose a member of the body to indifference or ungodliness, each of us is affected

2. When people quit coming because…

3. When a man or woman refuses to take care of their house, spouse, or children

4. Whenever we experience on of these things or many like them; it is a disease that does not just effect self, it effects the whole body

We Must Hold To The Ed Between Us

1. We have a church covenant, it says…

2. Take it home, study it, and realize that is to be our commitment to God and to one another

3. Notice that the thoughts contained within it are Biblically based

a. The difference between a church with and without the Spirit of God is the Bible in the lives of the people of the church

b. As our lives fulfill the spirit of this covenant, our witness between each other will never fail

4. Two things we must do as a part of this body:

a. Be accountable to one another

b. Hold each other accountable

5. Accountability does not mean harshness; it means you are unwilling to worship anyone other than the Lord of heaven

a. Exhorting one another to holiness is to promote the welfare of the body

b. Accountability keeps a body whole

CONCLUSION

Therefore, remember that your life is not your own. You are part of a greater body. Be an encourager to each other to live holy lives. Never be ashamed to tell another that their actions could effect the whole body if they are improper

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