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April 6, 2022 8:00 am
Encouraging Word you and me today to the Bible-based teaching of Dr. Don Wilton all about the church of the living God are headed to the book of Matthew chapter 16 in just a moment, but know that we're here for you 24 hours a day at 866-899-WORD to pray with you connect with great resources. That's 866-899-WORD 9673 join me. Let's just awesome God to bless our time as we open his word to give father we just pray right now that you would put your hand of blessing that the Holy Spirit would infiltrate everything that is said and done, hide me behind the cross, Lord Jesus, let me never get in the way of what you want to say just use me as a mouthpiece and may your spirit speak to us in Lord bless your people today who worship you together in Jesus name, amen. Alright, so let's take our Bibles and I want you to turn in your Bible to Matthew chapter 16. So if you have an opportunity with the means to be able to do that today or perhaps someone is with you and can help you otherwise. Just listen and I'm going to read to God's word. In fact, not only selected one verse that began to concentrate on today and then I'm going to explain it to you so this is Jesus speaking very important for us to say that I would say that lack again. You know, this is Jesus speaking you know you and I'll often say unite God save it that sickles right – something that will really struggles with because we want to have our say and we want to determine what is right and we want to set the standard whether it's morality or direction of the way we behave.
Jesus saved us and I and that justice is an amazing statement.
They but guess what Jesus said in verse 18 Jesus said, I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Would you allow me to read that again this is a verse I promise you.
Jesus said, I tell you you are Peter, and it is upon this rock that I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
I want to speak to you today on the legal subject on the church of the living God. That's the subject so I want to put something here on the table so that we understand very clearly what Jesus was saying Jesus was not saying that he would not bless and use people like you and me to be an incredible blessing for the coals, and the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ someone is to just start out as we consider the church of the living God. I want us to just think about that because I think about you. God has used a people like you in an amazing way and I just want to say thank you. I think it's very important.
So if I was to say thank you to a people that are being used in an incredible way to impact our world and our society. Where would I start educators. Oh, you better believe I would go to teaching background myself, my wife as a primary school teacher. I have a great affinity and affection and where would we be without our educators, and God uses you.
Those of you that love the Lord Jesus Christ your educators God is used you to bring about great blessing for the gospel.
Alright, so what about our first responders.
Wow, way to restart thank you thank you to you I think about our police officers men and women in blue. How do we ever say thank you to you and I know many of them personally. I know many who so love the Lord Jesus Christ and every day they wake up and they put on that beautiful and they go out into the streets and they protect us and let God who many of them did abused and maligned and belittled. They work for very low income and yet they so dedicated God has used. Thank you. I just want to say thank you with all what about our medical personnel.
You talk about covert it's not just about covert folks. Wow, how has God used godly medical personnel, doctors versus people who take care of the physical health needs of others and who are so devoted and God uses you in in more ways than we could ever imagine what Jesus was saying here about his church was not that the church is the only instrument in his hands, whereby he would propagate the gospel whereby he would share the life of Christ, and that would be a guarantee against the advance of Satan and the demons of hell.
Absolutely that's not what he was saying. So why did he say this about the church and the church today in America is under attack, folks. The church is under attack, but the devil wants to divide the church and he doesn't always do it from outside.
He doesn't from inside. He divides the church.
He causes strife, grievance divisions in the world out there and the enemy.
The demons of hell they want the church of the living God and the word many times on the streets out there is church. Are you kidding me. I want to demean other countries, but you can go to other countries. Today, major advocate of the British people because that's part of my stock right. I love to go to England, my wife and I if I did not achieve by being the many many times. Love the English people love the English countryside yarn. I love tea and a jolly good hearts, with clotted cream and jam our love that.
I just love that. But I'm telling you the church in England is in such disarray. I was over they lost.
November preaching for the Billy Graham evangelistic Association and my heart was so encouraged because believers from the entire region came together, and the power of God came down upon us. These were pastors and laypeople.
These were men and women who are part of the church of the living God.
What I'm saying to you is I'm not saying that the church in England is over. But what I am saying to you. Compared to the great revival that we know to be true that swept across Wales and Ireland and Scotland. When John Knox approached Scotland. He cried out, and he said give me Scotland or I die. That was not pronation it was for the soul of the nation through the church of the living God, the Spirit of God and the people of God in the place that God has given to us. I love the church the local New Testament church.
This is why even at our church like your church where ever it is in whatever community I want to thank you for being so faithful for praying so much.
That's why in our church. We are passionate about vision 2020. That's why we been passionate about everything that is gone long before I became part of First Baptist Church many years ago under the leadership of right mane of God lack Dr. Alastair Walker, who is now seated at the feast table of the King. One of the most precious men of God I've ever been around Dr. John's slaughter.
You can go through the history of our church and you look at the community in which we live and you consider the schools and and you consider the bowl games on the businesses and you look at people everywhere and God has placed his church right day and he had something to say about his church. So if you don't mind me just posing this question. Let's begin with you and me. How does God use his people who are his church.
We so often confuse it. We are the church of the living God, and we gather together as the church. That's why Jesus said don't forsake the coming together of the gathering of yourselves together, and he gives us instructions how the church should function how to operate how decisions are made. You can't make decisions in the church based upon the framework of the court of public opinion. When Jesus is the head of the church God's given to us and he uses us as people. So let's begin with us as people in the church.
How does he uses someone he saves them he saves us from our sin enters Allah's number two. He gifts them when he uses these people every one of us is gifted by God.
God has no gift list children right you are a very gifted person for Christ. He equips them.
You know that the primary purpose of the church is to equip believers for the sake of the ministry and God has gifted you and then he equips you he trains you. That's why small groups Bible study meeting and worship together is so critical, he equips us through teachers and pastors to people who are trying to do that. Then he blesses them. God confers he places his gracious hand upon those that he loves and once having blessed them, he uses them that little word day that Jesus uses us as he's church in the church through the church means that he gives to each one of us. Everything that's necessary for each one of us to be able to functionally serve as cupbearer's of the King of Kings and the Lord of lords, and then he deploys us he puts us to work. He uses us to bring great glory to the Lord Jesus.
That's why I'm giving God thanks for you today and on some people say but you know this is all I do somehow remember the widows not denture. That's not just about giving Jesus uses us as his people who are his church in his church for all the gospel ministry and purpose of the church are, let's go back to what Jesus said so you know the context. This took place here in Matthew chapter 16 at a place called Caesarea Philippi. Now you find Caesarea Philippi. It's north of the Sea of Galilee.
So you got any perspective on your calendar when you go north up into the Golan Heights and if you kept going north.
You'd run into Syria right and then right next to that running into Iraq and Iran. So this is going north of the Sea of Galilee and you get right up there into the mountains.
That's way Jesus gathered with his disciples and this was a place where a lot of pagans met is amazing that Jesus would've made this incredible statement about the church of the living God in a place where pagans met is not sound like the church. Isn't it amazing that this encounter with his disciples what he said to Peter about the church, the rock about the gates of hell will never prevail against my church and he did that right.
They in the middle of the community that defined and resisted the name of Jesus I want you to really let that soaking folks. The church was never established to be a social club. The church was never established to be an isolated island.
The church was plunked right in the middle of the unleashing of the demons of hell element get very specific about Caesarea Philippi. I've been there many times this this is Jesus meeting with his believers and write that Caesarea Philippi is like a mountain is a big gaping hole in the side of the mountain and the pagans you know they do, they would sacrifice people they would throw live people through the gaping hole in the mountain and it became known as the gates of hell I can get that, I mean we don't like to talk about these things. Folks, but I'm telling you they will most pagan governments that worshiped anybody else but the one true God. They had no compass by place delay faith and trust in people in the man in the lead in the system in a politic, God wasn't in the framework. What's the end result of that, well, let's just sacrifice human beings became known as the gates of hell. Jesus was right there and he turned his disciples and he said tell me what are people saying about me and I looked at him and said well Jesus people call you this and I call you that people think you this person and that person and then Jesus turned to Peter and said, but who do you say that I and Peter Goodall, Peter.
He said without the Christ the son of the living God. And that's when Jesus made the statement. He said you are Peter, and upon this rock.
Can you see the rock where they were standing. Jesus wasn't referring to Peter in the Greek text, then name Peter Petra Petross is a little part of when he said upon this rock he was pointing to himself as the son of God. The sacrifice for our sin is the only means of access and get this is the only one who can prevent anyone from being thrown into the gates of hell God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not be thrown into the gates of hell but will receive eternal life. Powerful reminder that God provides a plan for living away for heaven in a way to see our sins forgiven.
If you'd like to talk with someone, we're here for you right now it 866-899-WORD that's 866-899-9673 or meeting online as well. A tewonline.org G and that's the place to find great resources like this. My book Saturdays with Britney is about an extraordinary relationship with a precious man impacted labs across the world. You don't want to miss this opportunity to be inspired by his life to that's is one of many great resources you'll find on our firstname.lastname@example.org back today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton and right thing Caesarea Philippi. Jesus made the most incredible statement about the church of the living God, the local New Testament gathering of believers who each one is the church gathering together in the church functioning as the church for the message and the purpose of the church and guess what Jesus said. He said I want you to know why the church is so important I just listed a couple of thoughts down here for you. You might want to write them down. Why, why did Jesus say the church was so important. Number one because it's founded by God to split the model around in your thought process, who founded the church God where the zany vision, spiritual vision, need to begin in the heart of man or the heart of God. The churches one foundation is Jesus Christ the Lord then great. What Jesus was letting us know was ladies and gentlemen, I know you got opinions and boy do we asked starting point is to get on our faces before holy and righteous God, and say Lord this is your church what you it's founded by God.
Secondly, is headed by Jesus in Ephesians chapter 5 in verse 23 talking about marriage.
Paul tells the church in Ephesus. He says let there be mode no mistake that Jesus Christ is the head of the church, Jesus Christ is the head of the church. We've got the fundamental blueprint in the church leadership doesn't come from the top down. It comes from the bottom up that how does that work of Jesus is the head will because Jesus was servant of all.
Jesus gave his life he laid it all down for the father.
Your ultimate blueprint of the headship of Christ and in Ephesians.
He's talking to husbands. By the way he sang out just because you mail and because your dad and because I'm telling you the head of your home to me just tell you how you or to operate in your headship. It just turns everything.
Everything about the church is upside down. What the wound and tells us the churches founded by God. It's handed by the Lord Jesus get this number three is a big one. It is empowered by the Holy Spirit. It is empowered by the Holy Spirit that wonderful. I remember going back to what I suggested to every believer is filled with the spirit in every believer is the church of the living God because we are the temple of the living God, and every believer who is the church gathers together as the church functionally carries out the will of God under the empowerment of the Spirit of God during the work of the church which is the will of God, who is the head of the church.
This is, I know it sounds awfully complex. We talking about the church of the living God and what Jesus wanted us to know when he established the church of the living God that we not only have the founding which is unalterable, the headship which is unchallengeable, but we have the empowerment of the Spirit of God, which is untouchable. You cannot find that source. That combination of the triune God coming together and seen and expressed through the local New Testament church. It is a powerful thing. So let me get on my fourth and final point about why the church is so important.
It is fueled by converted people, I say, you know, God uses us people to fuel the trucks that carry the ministry God uses us.
God uses you and did you notice I said converted people. I didn't say just anybody. I said converted people believers believers who've encountered a holy and a righteous God, and, boy, that's a whole subject because there's so much else you can say about that. You know that you know that you know that you know that your site and does your life speak to the evidence of the life that belongs to Jesus, the fruit of the spirit must be evident in your life. God fumes the work in the ministry of the church through people just like you. That's why I can't stop saying thank you.
Some of you fueled the work of ministry for generations.
What you've given financially what you've done sacrificially the number of people you've touched the number of smiles and warmth. You've parsed on the number of phone calls you've made the number of mission trips you've been on the number of things that you've done, seen and unseen. Some of you have have been relentless in allowing God to use you to fuel the trucks of ministry. That's how God works.
That's why Jesus brought Peter into this. I want to tell you, Peter. That's what Jesus was talking to those disciples. He said let me tell you all about to lower the boom on llama back to let you know that the churches founded by God is headed by Bart and empowered by God and he said yes. What I'm going to take my church gates of hell will not prevail against him in.
I Lord, thank you yes thank you Jesus. What powerful teaching you been listening to from Dr. Don Wilton as he steps from the pulpit in the studio. Open your heart to what he wants to share next are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Why don't you pray this prayer with me right now. Dear God, I know that Arneson and I know that Jesus died for me on the cross. Today, I repent of my sin and by faith I receive you into my heart. In Jesus name, my friend. I welcome you today into the family of God. This is exciting. You just gave your life to Christ praying along with Dr. Milton. Are we dedicated your life. Please note we would love to be a part of the next launch in your life to see you stay the course. We have free resources.
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