I would like to start with everyone praying, and asking God to bless my words, and to bless your ears (or in this case, eyes). Ask Him to reveal His Will in this sermon, and may it be used for the glory of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Jesus has laid the foundation for the building of his life dream. His dreams and hopes are wrapped up in us, the bride, or Church of the Christ. This is the Gospel. This is a joint endeavor…a joint project…a labor of love. So let’s get busy.
What is a church? A church is you, me, and people that haven’t even heard about the wonderful things God has in store for those that help build this “building”. It is the body of Christ on earth. It is an actual, not a metaphorical body, and Christ calls the Church his bride. A groom can be said to love his bride. The Greeks have four different words for love that we will use today. Starga, Agotha, Erose, and Felao. One is love as a mother loves a daughter, and one is as your love for fried chicken. Yet another, Erose, where the word erotica comes from, is sexual love, and then we have a love that is Fatherly love. Let’s look first at the church, as Jesus dreamed it. It was his love, and His dream, to have a people of a certain kind.
What is a Testimony, or a ‘Testament? Look, if you will, at Heb:9:11, and notice Jesus is shown in the middle of his dream. The passage shows us too many things to discuss here, as do all single verses in scripture. The reason for this is that the scriptures are not any ordinary written word, written by men alone; but words that are alive, and co-written by the Holy Spirit of God. They can never be pinned down to any single interpretation, or meaning. This is also the reason so many people disagree as to the meanings of Scripture. A verse has no single meaning, and the meanings they have change as often as people’s needs do. The words are alive.
Jesus is shown here in the middle of His dream, and His purpose, and His Love. It shows that the world was under law, and bound to earthly tabernacles, and a priestly sacrifice every year. He saw a very different Tabernacle, one made without hands, and one that is us. What is a testament?
Before the book of Mathew in your bible, there’s a page that says “The New Testament”. One of the many, many misconceptions of the Bible is this one. The new testament does not start here, with Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. They didn’t start at the birth of Jesus, but rather, at his death. Here’s a bit of information people often overlook. Most of the four gospels are actually Old Testament. Turn, if you will to Gal: 4:4-5. Read verses 4 through 5. You will see here, again not only Jesus dream, and purpose, but also what and why He had to do what He did. The people were under the law, and also at the time Jesus walked the earth, and taught…
Old Testament? He gives here in Gal:4:4-5 his vision for us. We all have heard of someones last will and testament. The two in the Bible are no different. The first Testament is known as the Old Testament. It was God’s will and Testament that was supposed to be carried out by man, just like they do today. Man failed in the carrying out of His will. (interesting to note, The Lords’ Prayer goes like this…Thy ‘will’ be done, on earth, as it is in heaven) So the first Will of God had not been carried out, and every year a sacrifice had to be made. Jesus came to change all that, and made Himself the Final Sacrifice, once and for all. “The buck stops here”, if you will, and the straw had this time broken the camels’ back.
Jesus envisioned a world where we wouldn’t need the building, or the sacrifice, and if you read Gal:4, a totally new people. People that are no longer under law, and can relate to God as a Father. Now, if you read your Bible, you’ll see that it states that a testament is of no effect as long as the testator lives, and only comes into effect after the testator dies. So the “New” Testament actually started at the cross. The new Testament is the last will and Testament of Jesus Christ, and is supposed to be carried out by who? We, the Church are charged with carrying out His Will. This is nothing new, as we have all heard the phrase “doing God’s Will”, but have we ever really sat down and learned what that means?
So, back to the Church, the body of Christ, and the bride. Very specific instructions are given for the carrying out of anyone’s will, and Jesus is no different. He gave very specific instructions also; among which were…“Peter, do you love me?…Feed My sheep” The church is made up of different parts, and people with different talents and gifts of the Spirit. Some are preachers, some teachers, and others can pray, etc..Some love music, and are musicians in the Church, or reach many with their talent. Some are good at just being there for people, when people need to see true love. If this is you, let your light so shine.
I have a homework assignment for everyone. Be thinking about what “body part” you are. What are your talents? What are your gifts? One way to tell, is to look at your life. What do you love? What intrigues you? What have you spent a lot of effort learning, and what do you search for when you get on the internet in your spare time? What is your passion? These are clues. Be thinking about what part you play, or would like to play, and let’s get on with the carrying out of God’s Will. Did you know that a big part of His will is that we do what we love, and love what we do? There’s a reason you love doing that one “thing” you enjoy.
Maybe we will not do as our forefathers have done before us. We have a job to do. Let’s get busy. Find out what you love to do, and more than likely, that’s what your “job” in the church actually is. Food for thought anyway…Peace, and much love.