Eph 2:22 and 1 Tim 3:15
INTRO: The New Testament makes very clear that the church is Gods house ... His habitation ... His temple. How should this house look? When you build a house for your habitation, you take great pains with design and decoration. You intend for it to look a certain way. Plans are drawn to your specifications, and those plans (pattern) must be carefully followed if you are to accept the house as yours. What about Gods house? Does He have any interest in how it looks?
I. TWO OLD TESTAMENT EXAMPLES
A. The tabernacle
1. Ex 25:8,9 ... after the pattern ...
2. immediately, specific directions are given
3. so, Ex 25:40 - 26:30 - 27:8 the pattern is vital
4. note Ex 39:32 the pattern was followed!
5. thus, Ex 40:34 the glory of the Lord filled ...
B. The temple
1. 1 Chron 28:10-12,19 a pattern was revealed from God
2. what did Solomon do? 2 Chron 3:2
3. he apparently followed the revealed pattern!
4. thus, 2 Chron 5:14 the glory of the Lord had filled ...
5. yes, both were physical structures built by revealed design, but ...
II. THE CHURCH, A SPIRITUAL HOUSE, HAS REVEALED DESIGN
A. 1 Pet 2:3-8 ... built up a spiritual house ...
1. a cornerstone - Jesus; lively stones (walls) - Christians
2. should we think that God, who has revealed patterns for His habitations in the past, would suddenly have no interest in a pattern? in how the house would look?
B. Heb 8:1-5 What conclusion is to be drawn here?
1. there is a true tabernacle - habitation for God
2. the example of Moses is cited with reference to the revealed pattern ... as an example
3. even a spiritual house has design ... pattern
III. WHAT MIGHT BE SOUGHT IN THE PATTERN?
A. How one enters (or becomes a living stone)
1. Acts 2:47 critical point: the saved are added
2.so, the question of Acts 16:30 is relevant
3. Rom 1:16 - Mk 16:16 - 2 Cor 7:10 - Rom 10:10 - 1 Pet 3:21
4. the gospel - belief - repentance - confession - baptism are all
necessary to salvation ... thus to the Lords adding
5. 1 Cor 12:13 & Gal 3:27 in baptism we enter the body
6. briefly, this is part of the great pattern for the church ... if we do not follow it, we are not in the church
B. How the church is to be organized
1. Col 1:18 beginning point: Jesus is the head!
2. at 1 Tim 3:1 is bishop which means overseer - I mention this to take note of organization idea
3. further, at 1 Tim 3:5 is function: take care of ...
4. Acts 14:23 elders (same office) in every church
5. Phil 1:1 overseers and deacons - note, then, 1 Tim 3:8 ... now, at vv14,15 these matters are matters of instruction relating to the church - necessary matters
6. again, a brief part o the great pattern revealed from God
C. How the church worships
1. Acts 20:7 - 1 Cor 16:2 - first day is specific meeting day
2. the Lords supper - collection are both part of this day
3. 1 Cor 14:15 notes that praying and singing are part of assembly
4. 1 Cor 14:19 note that teaching (edifying) is part of the assembly
5. on the first day, then, we should expect (in the assembly) the Lords supper, giving, singing, praying and teaching ... 1Cor 14:40 decently and in order
6. the revealed pattern: is it important?
CLOSE: We can be assured that God does have a vital interest in the design of the church. The church is for His glory (Eph 3:21). And it can only be to His glory if His pattern is followed.
Cecil A. Hutson
27 May 2001
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)