The Sovereignty of God and the Local Church
Like most Baptists, these are two of my favorite subjects
1. The Lord’s Church is His living body 1 Cor. 12:12-14
-Like Christ, a church is a living organism, not a dead corpse. But how do we define living? Who can jump the highest and yell the loudest?
-All members function together for the good of the whole body, not for themselves.
-All members enter the body on equal ground;
-By regeneration of the Holy Spirit.
-By faith in the gospel (which baptism pictures).
-By the leadership of the Holy Spirit (in humble submission to Him).
-Through water baptism, which pictures;
-death to sin & self.
-death to pride & selfishness.
-death to our own will.
and -alive to Christ.
-alive to God’s will.
-alive to serving Christ and one another.
-It doesn’t matter what we were before (Jews, Gentiles, bond, free).
-We all have the indwelling Holy Spirit.
-We are all forgiven.
-We are all redeemed.
-Yes, we enter the church on equal ground.
-There are no big “I’s” and little “You’s”;
-There is not one that is better than another.
-There is not one that is more important than another.
-Every member is equally important.
2. Members of the body are to be content with there place in the body (vs. 15-17)
-The hand is not more important than the foot;
-Example: where would the hand be without the foot to carry it around?
-Nor the eye more important than the ear;
-How handicapped would the body be if it could not hear?
-All are equally important and necessary to the body;
-Not every one can be a mouth life me!!! Or the nose or the eye or ear.
-But for sure, if the Lord has put you here, you are a special part of the body!
-Once we find our place and our function in the body, we need to be content with it!
-We don’t want to be plagued with envying other’s.
-But we are needed for what we are!
-That is why God made us what we are, and put us where he did!
3. God is sovereign in the growth of His body (18-20)
-God is sovereign in salvation (refer to verse 13).
-God is also sovereign in adding to and building His Church!
-Who are we to murmur against what we are…God made us and put us in the body- be thankful!
-Who are we to despise another member…God made them what they are and put them in the body…be thankful for them; they are put here for our good!
-Who is this message for? It is for everyone of us! May each one of us examine our hearts toward our own selves and what God made us and where he placed us; and toward others and what God made them and where He placed them.
-Let us not forget Who it was that saved our wretched soul and placed everyone of us in His body!
4. Members of the body are not to despise other members or their place in the body (vs. 21-24)
-No one of us can say to another “I have no need of you”.
-We have no right to say this; it is the Lord’s body; and He placed each one in His body!
-And we do have need of the other members; each one is an important part of us!
-We are members one of another!
-The feeble (or weak) are necessary;
-Why? Because God said so!
-Because God saves this kind!
-Our less honorable members (as we count honor); we are to bestow more honor than the rest;
-Those who appear to be socially impaired, or financially impaired.
-Our uncomely (less presentable) parts (like me) we are to treat as being more comely;
-Those who are physically or mentally, impaired, whether in appearance or handicapped in some other way.
-These are just as important or more important to the body as those who are comely.
-Our comely parts have no need.
-God has placed the needy parts in the body so that those who don’t need would help the needy.
5. The purpose of God’s sovereign design (vs. 25-26)
-That there is to be no division in the body.
-We are not to despise one another, but help one another.
-We are not to look down on one another, but to care for one another.
-We’re not to put others down, but to lift them up!
-If one member suffers, the whole body is to suffer with it; just like our human body does.
-If one member is honored or blessed, then the body is to rejoice with it.
The local church and the sovereignty of God are wonderful doctrines;
-They are complimentary doctrines!
-The same God Who is sovereign in salvation is sovereign in building His Church.
-God knows what He is doing concerning His Church; far better than we do.
-It is our place just to submit to His sovereign purpose and will for our life in His Church.
-It is for us to take our rightful place of service to Jesus in His Church.
-Are you saved tonight? Perhaps God will add you to His church by His sovereign grace.