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October 6, 2022 4:00 am
What's the difference between being restricted and being religious. Find out today on Truth for Life, we discover how and why genuine faith completely changes the way we think and the way we behave. Hollister biggest teaching from Ephesians chapter 2 were looking at verses $19-$22 come to this. So then so then what so then what is the implication.
What is the result of this is not the complete result, but it is the result of Paul by the Holy Spirit wants us to focus on just now. We are now. He says fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. I know you fed up with me mentioning it, but I never stopped me before moon stop me now, but remember when having little left and right to go to China and eventually he was to Diane China and when his train pulled out of Waverley station.
The last thing that he did before he left was roll the window down and leave the vast crowd gathered in Waverley station underneath the castle.
Many of you have been there and he led them in the singing of Jesus shall reign where'er the sun.the successive journeys run and his kingdom stretch from shore to shore. Moon shall wax and wane no more.
Why did he do that because he's a citizen of the kingdom you have been made citizen of the kingdom. That's what he said the mystery on the back all the way to chapter 1 before the dawn of time.
He loved you. He drew you to himself, he made you what, you've never been not in order that we might just enjoy ourselves and sit down and please ourselves, but in order that we might understand what I mystery it is that I become a citizen of this great kingdom and let God also help us in our citizenship in this kingdom. And that's what policy at one time but now, so that citizens secularly and quickly members included with the saints, all of God's people made members of God's household. God is a house is it where the metaphor here is a picture of the same word in Greek for family and for householders is virtually synonymous. So members of the household of God are members of the family of God.
The churches he is not just an aggregate of diverse people.
The church is individual people united to each other on account of their union with Christ you know. Attachment to a local church by means of profession of faith and whatever else is involved is simply to give an outward understandable dime mentioned to an internal decisive reality that you belong to me and I belong to you. In Christ, whether you like it or not, you can choose your friends but you can choose your family and you can choose your church family. Although some people do.
That's why they come for a little while and then they go to the church down the road and then a church up the street and then they listen by themselves because they can find the perfect church so they just listen on the radio and then come on come on you, you love your sister, don't you mean she's a pain in the neck sometimes on talking about your siblings. Now, sometimes your brothers will opportunity flag a lot of times it may be that, and maybe many more things. But the Bible is realistic about this. That's why the picture of family so helpful. Paul doesn't address it here, but in Colossians, he does. He says you know since you are God's chosen ones, your holy and your beloved. That's what you are tracing become what you are not try make yourself something you're not. See religion says try and fix yourself trying trying clean up your deal.
Christianity says look what Jesus has done in dealing with your sins and making you his own, therefore become what you are, your holy and your beloved, and I would your set apart for God and your love by God. Okay implications. Make sure you have compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, patience.
Bear with one another and if you have a complaint against another, forgive them, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. So the community of faith is to be a community by God's grace that is marked by these elements. Compassion rather than in sensitiveness. Humility rather than pride.
Meekness rather than aggression, forgiveness, rather than holding crutches to know how many that the microcosmic done mention of it is expressed in our own families where you've got siblings physical siblings that won't forgive each other and people want to come to the family of God and duplicate the same mentality. If he doesn't. If she doesn't if she this is he that then I want this person.
How long did the Lord Jesus wait for you to finally clean up before he loved you how he loved in the cleanup process began right there now when you think in these terms, you realize what a wonder this is because grace actually humbles and prayed. Creates disintegration and who we think we are individually shapes the flavor of our family relationships who I think I am as an individual shapes. My family relationships. I think I'm very special. Then I will expect people to treat me as someone who is very special. If I think that I should always be Herod, then I will wait for everybody to silence up so I can be hurt. Whatever it might be and what happens is when we see ourselves as we really are. When we remember at one time and we realize the wonder of Christ's redeeming love and we see this is fantastic in this household. This family is not a flimsy family is built on the solid foundation of the apostles and the prophets.
The apostles and the prophets remember the beginning of it all.
Jesus says receive the Holy Spirit wait in Pentecost and undoubtedly come onto the streets of Jerusalem in the in the building. The building goals Jesus as the cornerstone is the capstone. Everything else fits into it from there and there is a sense in which since the apostles and the prophets spoke the word of God as it was revealed to them and recorded by the very foundation of the family is in the Bible itself are easy. This was anticipated in the Old Testament. Isaiah writes as follows. Behold, I am the one who is laid as a foundation stone in Zion a stone attested stone, a precious cornerstone, and a sure foundation, and in the New Testament. That picture is picked up.
For example, in first Peter chapter 2. You are all living stones. He says that we must come. In conclusion, first of all, were citizens of the kingdom. Then we are simultaneously members of his family, and thirdly and finally we are stones in God's temple stones in God's temple.
He is building something we used to sing it in Scotland as children. He is building day by day as the moments pass away a temple that this world cannot see in every victory one by grace will be sure to find a place in that building for eternity Christ Jesus.
The cornerstone in whom this whole structure being joined together in Christ grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
Notice again in Christ and the Lord is again verse 22 in him you are also being built together into a dwelling place for God by the spirit where on earth does God live. There's a grandchildren question grandchild question, where is God live city asked the ask you that this afternoon I was thinking grandpa I'm just wondering I know where you live in, and we live where does God live our young adult while you tell him that he lives in a temple in Jerusalem, but were just waiting for it to be rebuilt.
I hope you're not going to tell him that he still lives in a tabernacle somewhere in the wilderness, but we lost the tabernacle were not sure. Now he doesn't live in a tabernacle in the wilderness.
He doesn't live in the temple in Jerusalem, but he lives, the dwelling place of God is in the church is in the church, the people of Gaul are the dwelling place of God and that to which the tabernacle in the Old Testament and the temple in the Old Testament pointed is the church itself go back for homework and read Exodus chapter 25 in the instruction that God gives Moses to his people. This is how your to construct the art here is where the mercy seat will be and I will meet with my people.
There and when they moved through the wilderness.
When the cloud that hovered over it.
Move the people moved when the cloud remained stationary. They remain stationary because they recognize that this was symbolic of the presence of God himself. So when the psalmist wrote how lovely is your dwelling place or Lord of hosts, he was thinking in physical terms. He was thinking in terms of the temple. Of course he was. It is here in this great structure that the spiral can find itself in safety and the swallow can build a nest beside the altar and the people can come and they can sing and they can rejoice and they will be in this place. But when we sing Psalm 84 and we sing. How lovely is your dwelling place, what are saying about a temple in Jerusalem where singing about the fight that God is creating a multinational temple constructed of living stones that the plan and purpose of God is to so indwell his people in all of their gatherings and all of their different places, which is why incidentally, you can travel the world internationally. You can going church buildings and regional like 1829 Lucerne service was up, and there's the building itself is of historical and so on. There may be nothing in there of any particular impact to your talk and that you can meet someone in a coffee shop and you begin the conversation a while and then you realize I never met you before in my life, but we have the same father. We have the same elder brother.
We love the same Savior we sing the same songs were different. By virtue of our background by our intellect by Alvarez pyroclastic by our culture.
But we are now part of a multinational temple that is being created and one day the world will see Jesus says they'll recognize you because they didn't recognize me and that is why loved ones. We have to have the Bible adjudicate on our identity on the nature of our community. When we come together tonight outside and we see here with the young people who have graduated from high school and will listen to this young couple from Singapore and we hear from somebody else who was converted in Brazil. When we do all of these things is simply an expression again of the community of faith is what God has done. Wonder what a privilege because think about the stones. Your 191 we don't fit together really easily doing I'm in there certain stones that you like in the church. I like to sit next to stone 4942 like solstice in the same seat next to 27 and whatever it might be by this summer. I don't want to get anywhere close to them at all because if it were a benefit together. There's only some hammering and chiseling going on in here to get these two together and of course there is both individually and communally and communally. That's why in mere Christianity you know CS Lewis says you know if you think about your life as a house and and you become a Christian and you think everything is going fairly well and all of a sudden a bunch of workmen show up and start smacking your house around bashing it and crashing it in changing and fixing any says that is exactly what you should expect because you thought that God would be content for you just to be a little cottage but he wants to make you a mansion for himself and what he does individually.
He does corporately see levels that the privilege is immense, and the need for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to this is huge. It should be here part say that the spiral can find a place that Paul 700 has a song begins, who will love a little sparrow that travels far can remember anything beyond that. But think about the sparrows and the greater Cleveland area, small and vulnerable and needy people getting key can you fit Julius Julie got little sparrow will be okay here you think somebody's been married four times, is living with somebody and knows that her life is a moral disaster would be okay to come clean about it here. Part say church do you think the person who's become a religious snob who so stuck on himself and how well he knows everything would be able to be absorbed into the community and have some of those arrogant rough edges nor of his big fat head so as to make him happy, productive member of the community. See our culture right now and with her so close our culture right now is manifestly chaos. It's there's virtually no level you can touch that he's not saying so myself. Phenomenal opportunity for the church is a phenomenal opportunity for the church was bad. If you like for the culture in terms of his disintegration is an opportunity for people saying I don't know where I'm from within the church.
We can tell you you're not a bunch of plankton you're not molecules held in suspension.
You will created by the living God. He pursues you. In Jesus, I know that I don't know that there's any hope in life. While we could tell you about this Jesus brings us to a living hope by the resurrection, the white see Lovins to the extent that we think about going to church with Mr. we have to realize is we are the church.
The elders wouldn't go for this for years ago. I wanted the sign outside to say Parkside church meets here as opposed to Parkside church because this isn't the church where an error does God live in his people who support in the century what century, there is no sanctuary to think Jesus is more in this room than in the messy choir room back here or the ladies. John no no seaweed we can. We think are wrongly so you you are me and I and you and your stock gloriously, wonderfully stuck, and the way in which we view ourselves controls the five if we see ourselves in terms of our achievements or our acquisitions or our merits or our privileges. Then only those who can match our achievement, share our privileges and so on will feel comfortable amongst us.
But if we prepared humbly to acknowledge at one time I was but now I am you see the character of a local church. The character of Parkside church and our character is growing. I hope we are all in each of our lights were. We are on were hoping that as time passes.
We were making progress, but by the character of a local church is molded by the self perception of the individual members. The character of Parkside is is essentially the aggregate of the perception of those who are truly members of Parkside, I was driving north along the run I came on the back of a Volvo and I hope it's not your Volvo certainly is in the birthplace of aviation and then Energizer writer take a photograph of that I am special. How did teachers. How do you teach with therapy. Of those in your class.
I am special.
How do you run a sales force of 15 people every one of them coming and going. Hey, I am special we say, but in Jesus we are special yes but you just use the correct phrase in Jesus outside of Jesus, we gotta pray that God will make as wise as serpents and harmless as doves that we will that we will be seen to stand firmly on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets because we differ on multiple levels. We differ on innumerable labs, but that is not the issue.
The issue don't lie and try to make everybody the same as is the issue lies in recognizing that the God who has redeemed us has been putting us together purposefully so that this multinational temple that involves every nation and tribe and people in language be brought to fruition in the government gives any part in that is a quite wonderful ministry, Bible makes it clear that everyone who trusts in Jesus as Lord and Savior becomes a citizen of God's kingdom, a member of God's family and the stone in his temple listing to Alistair Begg on Truth for Life. Alister returns in just a minute, and today's the last day in our study of the book of Ephesians. If you have enjoyed studying chapter 2 and would like to study the entire book of Ephesians with Alister. You can always listen to the series for free on the mobile app or online the Truth for Life.org if you'd prefer, you can purchase the full series on a single USB for just five dollars and shipping is free in the US, the series is simply titled a study in Ephesians, you'll find it in our online store, but Truth for Life.org/store. There is a person in your church who typically accomplishes much more than you realize this person isn't always recognized for her contribution to pastor's wife.
The woman who support your pastor behind the scenes encourages him throughout the week as he prepares to serve the congregation and today we want to recommend to you a book that was written just for her.
In fact, you may want to get it and give it to her as a gift this month. The book is titled partners in the gospel.
It's a book of 50 meditations that address the joys and challenges of ministry life the reflections offer encouragement taken directly from Scripture. Each meditation is followed by a couple questions to reflect a prayer suggestion and an action point for the day.
Bless your pastor or elder's wife by offering her this book as a gift. You can request your copy of the book partners in the gospel when you give a donation Truth for Life.org/donate now, here's Alister with a prayer. We look away from ourselves to you, our Lord and King.
Thanking you that your word is both understandable and clear.
Any fogginess is on our part.
Lord, I pray you look upon us, in your mercy, and in your grace as a church family that you will help us Lord to tolerate no man-made barriers of culture or class of race, we'd rather be here would rather be amongst your people.
Quite honestly, deep down inside we would rather actually be amongst your people because amongst your people were in the place that you desire for us to be in heaven and earth will pass away your work will never pass away. Lord draw to yourself, those who, as yet I've never trusted you strengthen those of us who have make us all that you desire for us to be, to the glory of your name we ask about the pain. Thanks for listening what you know about John the Baptist was a peculiar man dressed strangely food and with all do respect, had a rather unusual personality. So why did so many clambered to hear him preach out of the wilderness.
Join us tomorrow to find out Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life with the Learning is for Living