1 Peter 2:9-10 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”
The church is going to be built and it’s going to be built by the people.
Ex 36:1 “Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded.”
This is focused on building. This is a prophetic thesis and a call to action.
The Who, the How, and the What of Building the Church
Who’s job is it to build the church? It’s the people’s job. How? It’s going to be exemplary. Exemplary means representing the best of its kind. People will follow you as you follow the Lord. Be an example.
Why are we building this way? What is the aim, the goal of the church? We are looking to incorporate into the body. Two things need to happen in order to incorporate people into the church. People need to make TLC their church. That’s fairly obvious. They must make this their church. They must see they have much to offer the church. The second thing that must happen is that TLC must make the people who come in their body. This is not as obvious.
Eph 4:12 “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (16) “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
It’s the body’s job to build the body. It’s the ministry’s job to help the body build the body. It’s wonderful to watch our Father work. God will heal and comfort and guild and we can watch. This is a beautiful thing.
The people are being equipped to build and edify the church.
It’s the body connecting with one another and loving one another. It’s good to minister to one another. This is the function of the body. This is what the church is called to. Each person has an impact to make in the body in building the church.
Get your own Pentecost, your own overflow of the Holy Ghost so that other people want what you have!
The term ‘riding on someone’s coattails’ is like baby ducks riding on the back of a mother duck. Men used to wear coats with long ‘tails’. Women used to wear long skirts that flowed. People used to follow those people, they had influence. This needs to happen today that others will come riding in on your coattails.
The whole gospel to the whole world by the whole church! God wants to give you, the people, the power to witness to the ‘uttermost parts of the earth.’
Ex 35:29 “The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.”
Ex 36:2-4 “And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it: And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning. And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made;”
It’s the people who built the tabernacle.
v5-7 “And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.”
The job of building the church is the people’s job.
1 Peter 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
Eph 2:20 “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;”
1 Cor 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
Eph 2:21 “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:”
Each of you is a stone in the temple where God almighty dwells, held together by God, to create a church.
Loving God, Serving People, Transformation
The cornerstone is often the larger, heavier first stone placed. Every other stone is placed in reference to this stone. We do everything in reference to Jesus. ‘Fitly framed’ is how we fit together.
1 Kings 6:6 “The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house.”
It appears that the temple stones were held in place without the need for fasteners. That’s what ‘fitly framed’ means. There is no need for nails. (Like Llegos.)
‘Church’ the first instance of this word is Matthew.
Mat 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
It’s not me that lives, but Christ that lives in me.
The word ‘church’ means ‘called out,’ ‘a congregation of people who have been called out.’
Who should show forth His praises? You should! The church is supposed to do this. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost by calling them out of the world and He’s still doing it today.
The Lord called you OUT of something and INTO something else.
Mat 5:14 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”
You are called to be light, calling others out of something and into something. You are calling people out of loneliness and despair and into a body that loves them and gives them purpose and love. You are called to see clearly and help others do that as well. Just as the disciples you go from fishers to fishers of men.
John 1:37 “And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.”
These were John’s disciples who left him and followed Jesus. It’s what John had been preaching all along.
John 1:38-40 “Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.”
Andrew was Simon Peter’s brother.
John 1:41-42 “He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.”
Andrew called his brother, Peter. You don’t know who your brother might be.
John 1:43 “The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.”
Jesus called Philip directly. Philip was with Him from the beginning.
John 1:44-46 “Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.”
Philip called Nathanael.
John 1:47-48 “Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.”
You’re not doing this alone. Jesus sees and will help.
John 1:49 “Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.”
You don’t have to go through training to call people to join with you to the greatest thing there is on earth! Just say, ‘Come and see.’
Andrew was called first and then Peter.
Mat 4:16 “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.”
You are that light!
Mat 4:17-22 “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”
Notice Andrew and Peter were casting their nets and James and John were mending their nets.
Mat 4:23-25 “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.”
Casting nets can be viewed as outreach. Mending can be viewed as body building. This is how the body is built. Who gave the gospel message on the Day of Pentecost? It was both Peter and John, both the caster and the mender, both the outreach and the body builder. It is the people’s job to build the body.
The sick were physically, spiritually, emotionally sick. Jesus dealt with the whole body, mind, body, and soul. He called people out from darkness into the light! He promised that if we trust Him, we will do greater things. The cycle of transformation can be repeated over and over again.
1 Cor 1:1-2 “Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:”
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Charles Li.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!