Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Administration of the Church

The scripture lesson is I Peter 2:4-12.

We have great power and authority as God's people.
When God gives a mission He gives authority and power to the task.
But with power and authority comes great responsibility.

Everything we do or do not do has eternal consequences. 

The Church is not the Kingdom of God.  It is the custodian of the Kingdom of God.

Certain tasks are fundamental.

Marks of the Church. 
  1. The church will faithfully teach God's Word.  I Peter 1:23-25: The Word stands forever.
  2.  The church will honorably and duly administer the sacraments of Jesus Christ. They are a visible preaching of the Word of God.  Testimony: we were dead in sin, we are alive in Christ. (There is no saving power in the water; the power is in Jesus Christ.)  The Lord's Supper, or Communion, is a means by which God communicates His grace in a sensory way.  Baptism and communion remind us that something that is too good to be true is true.
  3. The church will display the community of faith as rightly ordered.  The clergy administers the sacraments.  All have a part in membership, discipline, caring for and ministering to each other and to others.  Holiness of heart and life is a must.  Grow up in the Lord.  That is holiness.  We are called to be present among the people in the world.  If our community looks to us to see Jesus, what does Jesus look like to them?  Scripture says we are in the world, but not of the world.  It does not say we are "above" the world.  It says we are not "of" the world.
  4. The church will bring glory to God. God is glorified every time we come together.  God must receive all the glory.  If we bring credit to ourselves we have missed the mark.  It is our place to bring glory only to God, never to ourselves.
The Church does not administer salvation.  It administers grace.
Its task is not to charge people, but to show Jesus.
It task is not to tell the world what it is doing wrong, but to tell the world of the saving grace of Jesus.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

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