Today’s message summary of February 23, 2020 from Pastor Gus Brown:
One of the realities of today’s culture is the blending of theological thoughts, and that is a problem. We need to have distinct thoughts that prevent misunderstanding. For example, going to church does not mean that a person is saved. There is a big difference between the two, but for some, the assumption is that if a person is saved that there is no need to show any fruits or evidence of living a saved life in Jesus Christ.
God really knows you. Is it possible that what you say with your mouth will not follow where your heart is?
There is a difference between going to church and salvation in Jesus Christ. We have blended these two elements together as though they are one in the same.
Church and salvation are real in themselves. They are independent of one another and also interdependent.
Neither entity performs well without the other.
Something to remember: Saved people can have a bundle of problems. It is only by the blood of Christ that they are saved. They are attending church for the purpose of teaching.
A person may honestly say that there is salvation without attending church. This is true, but this is also a believer who is operating on his own standard and outside of God’s will. The church is where a believer learns to grow and mature in Christ in the fellowship of other believers.
The Christian who isolates himself from the church does not understand that God’s work is done as a body within the body of Christ.
Different churches may have different functionality, but all of them are present and unified to do the glory of God.
The definition of “church” is to be called out. It is also referred to as an assembly or as a congregation. You are called out of the world to be placed within the body of Christ, where you would function in the church to the glory of God.
Salvation means to for one to be snatched from serious peril. It is about the saving of a life from death, from the penalty and power of sin.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You really don’t learn about God unless you have a relationship with Him. What God calls all of us into is a relationship.
God is always chasing after you. He is in love with you. I wish that I would go after Him the way He pursues me.
Now, let’s look at Biblical history to see the similarity, and yet to understand the difference between the following three entities used. Each of these are similar in nature but they are all independent of each other:
1. The Tabernacle
2. The Temple
3. The Church
Each of these are stepping stones in the process of teaching the people and God’s desire to be with them.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.
Here is God down on earth walking in the garden. He desires for an intimate relationship with us. God always comes to us–and we can’t go to where He is.
From this, we can make assumptions that God regularly walked on earth and communicated with Adam. God wanted Adam to know more about Him and provided instruction.
God is still doing the same for us today, as well. God wants to be with us and teach us–He comes after us. He gives us the desire to learn from Him, learn about His will for your life, and to distinguish His voice from any other voice that you hear.
The Tabernacle was the first place of meeting with God’s people. From Adam to Moses, there was no designated place to meet. The tents were called the Tabernacle because God desired to be with His people; His earthly dwelling would be a tent. He referred to it as a sanctuary. (We refer to churches today as a sanctuary.)
His desire was to meet His people.
And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.
And all the craftsmen among the workmen made the tabernacle with ten curtains. They were made of fine twined linen and blue and purple and scarlet yarns, with cherubim skillfully worked.
People would recognize God’s presence as He moved as a pillar of cloud.
When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.
Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”
When you come into church and hear God’s Word, you are challenged to distinguish the words spoken as those from a man or the words that are brought forth by God. The words spoken must be rooted in His Word.
Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.
What does it mean when God says that He will order your steps? It means that He will give you direction in your life if you are patient and willing to wait on Him. Let God give you direction through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Translate all of this to today in Christ Jesus. His Holy Spirit dwells within our body–our tent. He desires to dwell within us in our salvation.
The purpose of the dwelling is that He might teach us.
The Temple came about once the people had established their own land. (The tabernacle existed from the time of Moses to the time of David.) The temple came into existence because of a desire to have a permanent place.
2 Samuel 6:17
And they brought in the ark of the Lord and set in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.
Can we, as a people, do better as to what we give to God?
2 Samuel 7:1-17
Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”
But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’” In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.
God came and spoke to David. Are you listening to what God is saying to you?
God is all about you. It’s not just about the building. He is all about fellowship with His people.
2 Samuel 7:29
“Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”
“Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we are all witnesses.
The temple was built in order that God would be with His people. They know longer needed to roam.
God walked with Adam.
God gave Moses instruction to construct the tabernacle.
God called Solomon, David’s son, to build the temple.
All of these things were done in order that God would meet with His people.
The Church is God’s doing. It is His church.
The Church: A place for God to meet with His people collectively and teach and minister to them. The foundation of Jesus Christ is God’s institution of the church, where the people would be met.
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
God calls His people today in order to meet with Him. The church is hardly a perfect place. It is occupied by sinners who manage to hurt each other, but it is still home–the place where we gather to laugh, console each other, and grow in the presence and knowledge of a relationship with Jesus Christ.
And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.
…so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
God’s knowledge is for us. It is being made known for all who are willing to listen and act on His wisdom.