Today’s message summary of July 23, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:
Many people think that they have no need of church. We will explore why we do need it, and why.
The church has transitioned to such a degree where church, here in America, is more of an enterprise. It is bigger than any corporation or business. It is not organized as a business would be, but it functions in a similar way. The product is in high demand, and it is only available through the church. It is guaranteed for life.
For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
1 Corinthians 12:27-28
Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, next miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, various kinds of tongues.
The Holy Spirit is the distributor of information, and the head of it is Jesus Christ. The priests that go forth on behalf of the church are its members—the body of Christ. There is no company that exists that can do for you what the church does.
The church teaches how to live a spiritual life that emulates Jesus Christ. In living such a life, you will see how that means living a sacrificial life for Him.
The church stands on its own. It stands on the strength of the One who is its head—Jesus Christ. It stands on its own without government existence. The church is to raise up leaders that will provide societal leadership. It provides godly people who can serve in government and society, and that will continue to honor the Lord Jesus Christ. It provides guidance for generation after generation.
The church is strongest when the entire family is in the church hearing the message and worshiping together.
In the church, we have priests (servants) who lead the people. They are a group of people that are chosen by God. They stand with the mindset that is ready to serve God.
Now if you will carefully listen to me and keep my covenant, you will be my own possession out of all the peoples, although the whole earth is mine, and you will be my kingdom of priests and my holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites.”
The church is a congregation of priests ready to serve the Lord. As a follower of Jesus Christ, God has chosen you to represent Him and serve Him. You are His treasured possession!
But you will be called the Lord’s priests;
they will speak of you as ministers of our God.
God will always provide the finances for His program. If He wills it, He will fund it. He knows what it takes to do His work. God never assigns us to do anything in and of your own strength. He does not want to open up the occasion where anyone can take the credit for it other than Himself.
1 Peter 2:9-10
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
The church moves in response to God’s voice speaking to the people, and the people’s actions are those of submissive hearts.
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.
If you are saved and serve in the church, Jesus Christ is the High Priest that leads you. It is important for you to stay busy at what God has called you to do in ministry. Remain faithful where God has called you to be, and work at it. The High Priest, Jesus Christ, remains on the throne and He meets the needs of the church.
Many people in the church are willingly serving Jesus Christ, but there are still those in the church that largely serve themselves. A lot of people who attend church do not know the Lord. They’re not there to serve.
But because He remains forever, He holds His priesthood permanently.
The Lord has shown an oath and will not take it back: “Forever, You are a priest like Mechizedek.”
It is the work of God that has to take place in a man’s heart.
1 Peter 2:4-5
As you come to him, a living stone—rejected by people but chosen and honored by God—you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
God had chosen the Levites to serve as priests before Him and the Israelites. Those who were born as Levites were not yet able to serve until they turned age 25. Until that time, they had to undergo training within the temple. They had to learn about service before they could serve.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
We are challenged to represent God with holy hearts and a holy mind. He expects us to live in such a manner as we serve Him. Your work for Him is your sacrifice unto Him.
I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
When the priesthood is healthy, the church is healthy. The healthy priesthood has one agenda, and that is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Oh, Lord God,” Joshua said, “why did you ever bring these people across the Jordan to hand us over to the Amorites for our destruction? If only we had been content to remain on the other side of the Jordan! What can I say, Lord, now that Israel has turned its back and run from its enemies?
Joshua was praying about the sins of the nation of Israel. Keep in mind that there will be sin within the midst of the body of Christ, and He will challenge the church to pray. The sin revealed hurts others and is a distraction to God’s agenda. He calls for His believers to seek Him in all things and pray about those situations that hinder the work of Christ.
The churches are not all the same, but all believers have different gifts that they are endowed with, and they have their role; for example, in the book of Acts, Dorcas and Lydia lived out their own roles that they fulfilled in their own ministries.
As a priest of God, you have direct access to Him.
Each priest is in charge of his own temple. He or she is responsible for how to take care of one’s own body.
Today’s priest does not need to offer sacrifices as they did in the Old Testament. He chose you to serve for Him.
For you are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be his own possession out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.
You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
God honors and glorifies His own name. Believers need to stand up and represent Him with the appropriate service. Our actions will glorify Him and reflect His goodness as a testimony to others.