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February 1, 2021 7:00 am
Will read your Bibles… Go to Matthew again this will be again a foundation stone, and were going to come back to it, probably next week when we finish this little series and obsessive what I've decided this this this series will be something that prospective students are those who want to partner with this.
Not everyone will go to the school that partners they could increase missions, but those who want to partner with us will be asked to watch this and fill out an apple at outline of some kind, and then give a written statement that yes I embrace those truths. I'm committed to that. That's what me and my church are the elders of my church are looking for.
We would like to unite with you, brothers and sisters and so you might ask why you preaching it to us what two things.
First of all you need to grasp these things because it's not my ministry are TM sales minister of the staff ministry. It's our ministry God gave this to us.
We walk today but probably next Sunday will look at numerous passages where the apostle Paul. Just assumed he didn't ask. He didn't discuss that there was not a voter committee meeting he's assumed all the churches he was helping would welcome and support all the mission work and the other churches he was helping he don't like to Rome or wherever he went, and he say things like, I'm going to stay there with you while. Then I want you to send me on my way what that meant.
What you can put me up you going to feed me and take care of me and then when I go out you go to give me funds. Take care. Ms. I go up other churches and do other mission work. He just assumed the churches, the church body, not just the church leaders but the churches would help them in network so one of the keys to anchored in truth missions is that it's it's a product of us having to a good and decent degree walked out the truth. We teach and we believe sometimes people ask: why is it taking so long because it takes a long time to get a Baptist church. They are, they don't just wake up in the morning honoring biblical truth and so now that word that place where I think we have a sound theology and proven methodology.
Now we want to aggressively reproduce these things and brother Steve was telling me this week. There's more and more opportunities around the world and were getting fabulous feedback from our sermons were putting in places around the world and usually what that does is certain pastors and church leaders will begin to hear that preaching, think safe. Hey, that's what we want to be part of that's that's what we believe and we need help work on about ourselves and the contact us. And before long, will have a a what I might call a mother church in that region that we can work with and then begin to train pastors and support them out of their and maybe maybe maybe if you don't go to sleep on me. Maybe if you don't post on me not take enough vitamin B we can have 48 TM 12 of these centers around the world listen to me, all centered out of proven established biblically spiritually healthy local churches, which is the only model we see in the New Testament. Nothing we do. Nothing I do is unique or creative.
It's all the old Bible stuff. For some reason, folks just don't do it well. I think I know why it's easier to do other stuff but the other stuff is true.
The other stuff doesn't last. Matthew chapter 9 verses 35 through 38 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness powerful little phrase verse 36 is Matthew 936 saying the people he felt compassion for them because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Therefore, beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest. That probably failed there. Maybe you would say you probably failed there to about how much have we as a church family said Lord thrust out labors and were willing to train them, equip them, mentor them and then follow them where they go and continue to support and help them as they face the trials the burdens the difficulties of planting or revitalizing churches to be biblically spiritually healthy churches. God give us the men raised them up, thrust them out maybe. Maybe the Lord was waiting for us to get to this point where we can now say we have an adequate training approach to these men and in a way to properly equip them and then follow up and mentor them as they get on the field so Jesus says are like sheep without a shepherd. And we need to pray the Lord of the harvest with thrust out labors so will get back to that as we round things up. A moment now. I've entitled this local churches in unity and cooperation. First of all, every church that's a true biblically spiritually healthy church has unity with every other biblically spiritually spiritually healthy church.
That's just natural it's it's amazing how I can go around the world and walk in the fellowship like Allie McLachlan there in Scotland and I just feel like I am one of the I just like I've known for years. We believe the same doctrines we stand on the same truths were trying to function in the same methods within the church, but there is a place for those churches to formally officially linked together and say, not together we can do more.
Again, we won't look at it today, but a week from today will show you how thoroughly the New Testament illustrates churches holding hands and partnering together to continue to help one another and plant more churches so you know what to do with my glasses over so we talked about.
First of all, who is the creator of our unity and our cooperation will it's Jesus Christ up to go to going all of this, but he talked about that he has sheep PS sheep of the Jewish fold, that he had sheep the Gentile fold piece about but there's all going to be one sheep one flock with one shepherd emphasizing the unity we have with all true believers everywhere. Jesus prayed in his high priestly prayer in John 17 that they may be one even as we are one is praying to the father we pray to get in John 17. I want those Fontenot sheet to be perfected in unity. I think the idea there is almost timid to mature spiritually and the fruit of spiritually mature solid Christians is unity very often in churches.
We get that backwards. We try to push unity without maturity, and we really have toleration of the flesh instead of spiritual unity. So as we grow and mature and as individual churches grow mature, they find themselves able to unite together and serve the Lord now. The second thing, not only are we one shepherd of one flock that was a only Jesus pray for unity, but now we come to the stomach that will close my second pulpit on the screen for me. I've used two different forms about lines here Roman to RI Roman one was Jesus who is the creator of our unity and cooperation Roman to is the central pillars of local churches in unity and cooperation and those of the three pillars that were going to unite with other church… Let's hold hands together and let's training.
Let's send out these pastors. Let's support them and mentor them around wherever they are around the world were doing that now quite a bit of it, then we must know that we are united in doctrine where united in the central matter of Spirit's work in the spirits empowerment and were united together on the basic discipleship that churches are to be involved in a discipleship here is not like personal discipleship will that must be there.
Of course it's more the churches methodologies. We agree on the basic biblical principles that local churches should be embracing now for us.
That would include a lot of things but three of the foundational things would be that we hold to the preaching of the word and the power of the spirit as the centerpiece of congregational worship we hold to every member ministry through small groups if any church would say to us. We have no desire to see the body care for love, encourage, correct, rebuke disciple one another through small groups.
They would say we love you but you don't need to be part of our ministry because you are letting go of a very great essential biblical doctrine of what makes a church to church. So one of the methods preaching the word and the power the spirit. The other method is every member ministry through small groups.
Another method would be per/strategic world missions. I've been through this a million times with pastors and church leaders when I'll given those three things and show them exhaustively how biblical they are. This I got wheatgrass that that's good stuff but can we do this and this and this to and I'll used to say well that's not necessarily wrong but are you doing those three things well already. I been doing this for years. It is about killed me to get those three things done right are yearly and I think that's one of the things God's help this with the years is we decided there's a few foundational things we must do well. And if we get those done well then will do basketball for Jesus are puppets for Jesus.
Not that that's all wrong, but my point is do what the Bible says we must do before you go to other stuff, and when I tell that the pastors of Artie set them up because none ever get through with the three to get to the other stuff you said we don't need to go to God and say God we are so clever God. We are so creative and we are so unique we can get your work done better than what you prescribed to do it. I revolted at that. Let's pray for the world. God's wisdom is best and God's wisdom is right so that's why we've come up with those three strokes. Sometimes I call them the structures of grace.
There are means of grace with the means of grace, like preaching and praying and fellowship. Whatever your calling church discipline, etc. the means of grace needs structures to function through preaching the word coloration worship every member ministry through small groups and per/figure world missions you do those well you will not have time to get to anything else. And secondly, your church will be blessed and encouraged because you're not running around like a dog chasing his tail about what's the new emphasis this year was the new emphasis for the next five years. No work work by our Infosys is 2000 years old is been there all along. RI so were talking about the central pillars of churches in unity and cooperation and we talked about the let's elaborate again a little bit. I'm going to build on little bit. The pillar of sound doctrine.
Now this is one that you expect the majority of churches would already have this down. They should already have a solid doctrinal statement that they say they are committed to and hold to. We put a lot of work in hours. It means something to us is not a dusty piece of paper in a filing cabinet. We believe in hold to inscribe a walk in that statement of doctrine that we believe were Dr. just means teaching. Now I think I said this when we ended last time.
But that is the quote the work of missions should be the object of cooperation among churches and doctrinal truth must be its base. We do not you, not together to do missions, will you not around truth and then being anchored in truth we do missions together.
Are you with me church this whole what did you hear that all we gotta be unified will unified around want.
If you disagree with me on such a central doctrine, we can't be unified and that's as I said early is a reason why we have not for many many years been cooperating hard at all without the denomination we were once a part of because so many in our denomination are all over the place in their doctrine.
Yes, there some good godly solid brothers out there. I praise God for them. Some of my best friends are are functioning and so the bed just like but yet they agree with me that we have far too much into this big tent. This denominational big tent of a variety of doctrines that actually contradict one another. How can you do missions together unless you be agreed on the basic doctrines of what who Christ is what the gospel is with conversion is what the church is and by the way, what moral absolutes the Bible teaches were not were not. We are not absolutely not going to cooperate with anybody who is beginning to question if the moral standards of Scripture, apply anymore.
Concerning human sexuality, particularly we have leaders. Leaders no later the president of the largest Protestant denomination in the world going soft on whether it's really as bad as the Bible says to be involved in sexual relations with someone of your own sex. How can I do missions was someone like that answer my question. You can you can't doctrinal agreement in the loop were not talking about files in one side lot issues.
Okay you can have a low disagreement on spiritual gifts here and they are in the thousand. One of the things were talking about foundational things that matter. Now here's what you run into my cooperating together you run into, and we have seen it.
I mean over and over and over again folks that will tell you one thing only and we agree with that. Yet we stand on that and you watch how the function of the church and they're not standing on it and they don't function like they believe that all so fidelity and true doctrine and course that gets to our third pillar and get ahead of myself will just keep a few quick thoughts on how thoroughly the New Testament talks about. We must unify around sound doctrine. For example, just listen to me right now in second Corinthians 11 Paul rebukes this young, immature church because they begin to be open to quote another Jesus and begin to be "another gospel which obviously there is no other. It's it's a figure speech as he's rebuking them for beginning to toy with other doctrine's about Christ, and other doctrines other than the ones he gave them about what the gospel really is in Galatians chapter 1 he says there are those who are preaching a quote different gospel and they are quote distorting the gospel and they are quote disturbing you. That means they're upsetting the unity, what you saying if we can agree on the doctrine that I gave you as a local church if you got guys standing up there beginning to produce.
The new twist on things and well Jesus but is really this kind of Jesus are quite like the Jesus Paul taught you and is the gospel, but this is really what the gospel to be little different than what Paul taught you composite get rid of that stuff.
He actually goes on to say let anyone who does that.
Be accursed of God.
Anathema set-aside is only worthy of destruction and wrath power. He's pointing out the importance of unity around doctrine and in Galatians chapter 5. He says a little leaven will live in the Holland live in this yeast put little yeast in a big Olympic know it will impact the whole lump.
Eventually, and that's why I'm telling you listening church. That's why when we hear these key denominational leaders in order to get along with the culture and avoid persecution begin to say these things that we might not want to stay in where our forefathers and all the way back to the men of the Bible stood all moral principles and moral absolutes anymore and hear what they do what they do this they cloak all of this compromised in this light, leaning away from Bible truth into a culturally interpretive understanding of truth.
They lean over and that because it they said they would say it helps us reach more for Jesus all really know what you're doing here distorting the gospel your preaching another gospel. And so when people begin to lean that way. Listen to me church.
If that is the context when people get the lien away from sound doctrine. That's the context in which Paul said a little of that will will poison the whole thing and see that's what makes it challenging is that when it first starts our natural inclination, I think, is to be kind and understanding. Give them some space. Well, that's not that big a deal. That's the way it always starts. Not that big a deal, but they never stop there brother you kick open a crack in the door and site nestling it wide open. We have to be united around doctrine these to be on your screen. Second Thessalonians 314 and 15. If anyone does not obey our instructions.
That is, are teaching our doctrine in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him so. Notice there can be no unity with those who begin to embrace and teach false doctrine taught us one 1011 for there are many rebellious men eat the talkers into sepals was deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced. One we post to hear everybody in the church.
No were not to hear everybody in the church will have the First Amendment here we hear truth in the church because he said those people begin to teach these things that are contrary to sound doctrine.
They must be silenced because they're upsetting whole families, teaching things I should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. He said really what they're trying to build their own club to try to boost their own ego and gave them the following is all we have been sought your elders know you will decide with us against them. No unity you can unify few not agreed on sound doctrine. Second John 19 through 11. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ means there's a definite doctrine of who Christ is what salvation is pieces those people they do not have God and the one who abides in the teaching he has both the father and the son.
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching that means the doctrines I gave you about Christ and the gospel do not receive him in your house and do not give him a greeting. The one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds again.
The whole concept is if there's no unity in doctrine.
There's no unity at all. I don't care how aggressive they don't care how many churches they claim I planted. I don't care how many a much they've grown in numbers. I don't care how enthusiastic they are. I don't care how much they sacrifice if they do not agree on the doctrines of Christ and the gospel and the foundational doctrines of the faith.
In general, there can be no unity and cooperation and mission work done together.
Thus, again why we many years ago informally just a year or so ago said we don't see any future in cooperating with the machine called Southern Baptist to do missions. There's too many contrary points of doctrine. All right pillar number two.
The second pillar of our unity and cooperation is they must. There must be an empowerment of the true spirit empowered by the true spirit of this is a little more difficult to discern, and it takes some time, but here's one thing you want to point at his word. Considering the second pillar essential for unity and cooperation and that is that these so connect together and I found this in Bible truth over and over again. We want to organize things and we want to like an engineer just lay it out and structured real nice and neat in the Bible just don't quite let us do that because they so intermingled, though, you can discuss them for understanding separately, but they always can get it. For example, note how spiritual power connects inseparably to true doctrine.
The spirit wrote the Bible that gives us true doctrine, then this spirit interprets the Bible to us so we can understand true doctrine and in the Spirit empowers us, so we can live out true discipleship.
Following true doctrine and that's the third pillar to discipleship single main just altogether nice season chapter 3 verses three and four says that we are being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, for there is one body and one spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling and he says there is the unity of the spirit and there's one body and one spirit, not the word. One spirit means this is a specific special unity that's created by this one specific spirit that other other spirits is the worldly spirit in all and it comes on the handy hitting of the antichrist spirit.
When a congregation comes together are for individual coronations, unite together, there must be evidence that it is the one the Holy Spirit that is change the people in the congregation and that we are seeking to live by his power to do God's work, listen to music timing you got listen to me because you can help me do this.
These pastors ago coming that will talk to you and you the go talk to you and you hear something want to know do you guys really believe this for you to sit there on Sunday by Jeff now that yells at you. 45 notes I hate usually 50 minutes or an hour so this 45. You gotta be able to say as a layman know we believe those things. We embrace those things and we join those things, and by the way you have been doing that and that's part of the power of the growth of our ministry is that they see the reality and you. It's bigger than just me. It's not my ministry it's our ministry. So this Holy Spirit has to be doing a work in that church. That is, he's the one who's converting them, drawing them the Christ, and he's the one who's continued to sanctify them, and all the churches that embrace the true work of the spirit can be in unity and cooperation.
Tongue-in-cheek on my son-in-law sent me a and add and I guess churches can can buy-in or pay for our connect to this this webcast whatever it is and you put on the screens and you watch the Super Bowl and you share the gospel together.
I'm not here to tell you that died in the wool able to watch the Super Bowl at church that we are never going to do that but I tongue-in-cheek took that article that I had that promotion that my son-in-law sent to me and I sent it to Brother John Doe seems I can't tell you from the pulpit by nickname for him but nonetheless he's quite firm in his convictions on things and then I put on there. This would be real effective. If the Holy Spirit does not empower the preaching of the gospel is my point. If you believe that the spirit works the way the Bible teaches it works.
You don't have to do that stuff to draw crowds and build a church if you go to church all that stuff what you don't do next.
What carnival you go to put all next week to make Jesus attractive enough, for your loyalty and your devotion. God says, my word will be accompanied by my spirit to reveal a man them. The glories of Jesus Christ and they will begin to love him and treasure him and serve him and appalled that I will build my church, not your bringing in of worldly clever nonsense into God's church will we been building off Ephesians 4137 as we talked about these killers and were talking about spirit empowerment must be the gotta be careful your total for the second when we begin to work with the church they may be just beginning to grass I truly regenerate church membership. Those regenerated by the Holy Spirit. You and I have been there a man.
It was decades ago. But you and I were there. Do you remember when we had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and that's not enough. More than that on our membership roll that gave zero evidence of being born of the spirit you how we know they gave zero evidence be borne spirit number one we could never they never came never came church number two we knew enough about a lot of them that they were living like they did know Jesus out in the world.
That's not a spirit raw church.
That's a worldly church. And that's commonplace. It took us many years to get that in a in a decent shape of health if you will concerning membership so we have to be careful because there is a false spirit that mimics the virtues of the true work of the spirit listen to me time and usually reveals the truth as we've been in fellowship with pastors and church plants for many years now unfortunately it's not unusual for us to have a church that we have to part ways with and we usually were very gracious were long-suffering. We talked to them extensively about what's going on and what they're doing because they begin to grab at this and grab Thad and run for this and run for that and they're not trusting the spirit to use the preaching of the word to build the church there trusting their own strengths and abilities and wisdom, and pretty soon there's a parting of the ways, but it took time before it became evident that they were not one of us now. The good thing is the majority the time they themselves pull themselves away because I no longer want to be around us because there contradicted by our convictions. If not convicted by our convictions.
First John 41 reminds us, beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, is attesting over time of personal individual Christians but also of individual churches to see if they are really of God. One powerful example of how the spirit can change things and I'll just read this because as the illustration of Jews being saved and becoming Christians and Gentiles being saved, becoming Christians. Now the leftist of our day, would like to convince us that there is a radical foaming at the mouth, hatred and racism in our country well as longest mentor fall and there's going be hatred for 1001 different things including skin color and renowned it and that's wicked and evil and wrong.
We denounced. But there's all kinds of hatred evil in men's hearts.
It would be hard to find it anymore venomous enmity between two groups in the ancient Jews in the ancient Gentiles. They hated each other. The Jews are regularly not tongue-in-cheek. Regularly referred to the Gentiles as the Gentile dog's pretty strong stuff. Vincent Gentile started come to Christ and some Jew started come to Christ some bumps in the road. Here's what Paul said about that in Ephesians 214 through 18. Ephesians 214, 32, for he himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall by abolishing in his flesh as Christ in his flesh the enmity which is the law of commandments contained in ordinances so that he himself might make the true into one new man, thus establishing peace and not reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross by having put to death the enmity and he came and preached peace to those who are far away and peace to those who are near or through him we both have our access. Here it is in one spirit say that is the work of the Holy Spirit listen to the Holy Spirit can so rightly change or reform.
I need to reduce heart that he could put his arms around the Gentile and say you're my brother more than the descendents of Abraham, and an old arrogant secular, godly and moral perverted Gentile of this day could receive Jesus Christ his heart be so radically transformed. He turned just back almost worldly and Gottlieb away and he put his arm around the Jew that he just just by side today. You are my brother more than my Greek and Roman heritage, only the spirit can do that folks Holy Spirit can do that. And so that's what builds a mature, healthy church when, by and large the membership for those who have had a true regenerating born-again work of the spirit and then those individual churches who are all metric together can unite together and cooperate to do missions together. So just a practical challenge at this point it is taken me so long to get through these notes I just look at where I am in looking at the time you look at the time. Raise your hand. I didn't think you would post this is in my bone marrow. I believe this stuff what's in your bone marrow you know the one thing that really matters for time and eternity of Jesus Christ and his church.
The rest of the stuff just filler.
Are you hearing me this is just filler.
What about my family groveled out one day and you will be by yourself with the church still be here a hearing you get to heaven you not be married like you are down here. I know we got the seminal songs about wall be together in heaven. I don't know who will not get will be there but I don't know if anyone brother sister in Christ is more important to you than any other brother sister in Christ when you get perfected in heaven. I think what it really be was there all lock your babies and your uncle and your grandmother and your daddy everybody be like that. The Netcool did you enjoy going to your grandmother's house is much as I enjoyed going, mom, grandmother's will.
Everyday in heaven. You have 100 million grandmother's amazing. I just think that is hard to fathom the glories of heaven.
So coming down to local churches and this is a charge to this church is to charge to other local churches. What glues your congregation together, what forms your unity is it called doctrine.
There those groups who have impeccable doctrinal statements.every they crossed every teeny of orthodoxy but that's all they got. They don't have the power of the spirit. There's nothing more joy and love of the brethren.
It's called rigid old doctrinal skeleton the life's not there.
That's not enough folks is it is it denominational loyalty motive loyalty to the nomination. That's going wrong is a great and volatile idolatry. God did not establish the United Methodist Church. He did not establish the southern Baptist convention.
Those things may be helpful when they veer from sound doctrine, we are to reject them and go with God. Is it denominational loyalty is the fear of man. Some pastors are considered successful pastors because they can keep everybody together. But upon closer examination, sometimes you find that they're just skilled at keeping all the powerbrokers happy. This lady over here. She's a powerbroker. She wants to do these ministry so he keeps her happy. This man over here.
He's in his pride and ego. He's got his own ministry got to give him some blessing keeps him happy, then this one and this one this one this one and the really great pastors of those that can, and manage all those different sects factions if you will, in the church keep them happy while they're doing their own thing. Listen to me brothers and sisters. I don't have my own thing in the church. Here's the thing you don't have your whole own thing.
Here's the thing that you do have elders are to honor and submit to boots we better make sure that were following the book and what we call us to do together as a church.
Is it cold doctrine as it denominational loyalty that holds you together or holds a group of individual churches together is the fear of man is it extra-biblical idolatries. Legalism's know there's some great groups who been together for years. The author centered around we hold the seven or eight don't so we hold these separate dues and but that's what we hold.
It can be as ridiculous as women not wearing makeup or we don't go to the picture show and all points in between and that that you not together around some rules that have nothing to do with the gospel change spirit regenerated hearts in the life of the spirit bring them to get all of those things called Dr. denominational loyalty, fear of man extra-biblical idolatries. These are not spirit raw unities. So if were gonna connect together churches and do missions together for the glory of God. The church is involved. Each individual church must be striving toward a spirit raw membership and must be striving toward a spirit raw unity and ministry in the church. It's hard to know sometimes but time usually entails going to close their right so we come through this bumpy road of a presidential election that might be the most bizarre in American history, things seem to be enough people, some of you would say yeah, and the antichrist is taken the throne in Washington immodest lifted out of the antichrist is without a pandemic. This really made things so strange and quite honestly I know some of you have suffered with anxiety and worry, and maybe even depression and sympathize with that. I've tasted of those things every preacher I've ever studied and marred with the bouts of depression. I think because the weightiness of what he has to handle. Listen to me. God's work done. God's way for God's glory goes on anyway. God didn't save you didn't save me and call me the ministry to fix America, but to build his church of the best way to help America be better to have godly churches everywhere and I say it again, I do say this because it's the denomination.
I know the most about all 42,000 Southern Baptist Church had pulpits that were aflame with righteousness preaching the word of God without compromised would be so much salt and so much light splashing over. We never have to worry about who's running for office. Nobody could be elected denied God's truth.
Are you hear me church. The church is the key, but not fix the culture, we will have true churches when our true churches that will help the culture more than anything, that's what I've spent my life doing and now many of you can say that's that's what we spent all afternoon with you.
So I believe God's brought grace life church in a country's ministries to this last phase of getting the way we equipment we been doing this for years already. The said no but now were doing in a more structured, effective way. And now we must not grow weary in well doing, I need to gird up. I need you to gird up your loins. Go get your vitamin B shot. What are you gonna do as a pastor, let's keep on going for the glory of God. Amen