The Church: A Divine Design ~ The Essence of the Church

 

Sunday, March 19, 2017
 
1 Peter 2:9-10 ~ “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.”
 
Many of us have been a part of the church for a long time, but do we really know what the church is and what we have been called to do? Are we really aware of what we are blessed to be a part of? Do we fully understand what is required to be a part of the church?
 
QUESTION: What separates the church from all the other groups and organizations? The church is much different, it isn’t an organization. In fact, it is an organism, living and breathing. Those who genuinely make up the church are born of God and live unto Him. Our membership to the church never ceases, it just transfers and changes locations.
 
Ephesians 2:10 ~ “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
 

Let’s look at some elements of the church:

 

  1. The Selection of the Church (1 Peter 2:9):
    1. Peter reveals that we are a chosen generation; we were literally chosen of God. God in His infinite wisdom and mercy provided a means for our salvation. He looked out over the masses of humanity throughout eternity and chose to save us! We were and are included in His plan.
      1. We really don’t like to think in the terms of us being so underserving, nevertheless, it is true! How many woke up the morning we got saved intending to get saved?
      2. Who am I that a King would bleed and die for? Who am I that He would offer such wonderful, marvelous grace? Being a part of the church involves being chosen of God.
  2. The Dominion of the Church:
    1. We also see that we are a royal priesthood. This reveals a twofold state:
      1. Our Standing ~ Those who belong to the Lord, those who have been saved and born into the family of God are royal.
        1. That has to do with majesty, sovereignty, and divine rule. This does not imply that we possess the deity and authority of our King, but we do belong to His royal family. We are ambassadors to the world. We are the King’s children!
        2. Isn’t this amazing? We were all unworthy of His grace, deserving of hell, and yet He redeemed us and made us part of His family, partakers in the eternal inheritance that He alone provides.
      2. Our Service ~ We are a royal priesthood. This reveals the blessing of serving the Lord and the responsibilities associated with it. Membership has its privileges, but it also has its obligations.
        1. Prior to Calvary and the birth of the church at Pentecost, the priesthood served God’s people. The high priest was man’s representative to God. He was the only one who was privileged to experience the presence of God.
        2. With the New Covenant and our salvation, all believers are now a royal priesthood. We are no longer limited in our service to the King. God has set the guidelines for particular offices, but all have the privilege and responsibility of working in the ministry of God!
        3. We can go directly to the throne through prayer, making our intercessions known, and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ who stands as our Mediator with God!
        4. This is an abundant blessing, but it also carries an awesome responsibility. We must maintain our fellowship with God in order to carry out the work that we’ve been called to do. There is no reason for any believer to be lacking in their work in this royal priesthood!
 
Pastor Andy Lambert
{pastorandy@cvcog.church}

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