THE CHURCH-GOD’S NEW SOCIETY
Who is the church?
July 12, 2009
Jerry A Collins
v What is the nature of the church?
v How did Chris establish the church?
v What role does the HS play in the church?
Yesterday I purchased a new shelf for our garage. It was on sale. We have a metal mesh type shelf that is held together by corner knobs that you click the four corners of the shelves into and it is flimsy. It cannot bear the weight of the stuff we need to place on it and it sways back and forth and constantly needs to be toyed with to holds it place. So it was time for something new, more sturdy, and appropriate for the role in our garage. I pulled out the old shelf and cleaned up around it, put the new on together and put it in it’s place. Stacked all of the stuff on it and I have a whole new feeling now when I step into the garage. God has established something new not in his garage but in His program. He has replaced the old program and established a whole new one with you and me in mind. What he has established is a brand new union. He has taken Jews and Gentiles into one ‘new humanity.’ But how has he done that? And what are the consequences of this whole new program? Why is this eve important and how does it effect us?
CHRIST RADICALLY ALTERED OUR IMAGE, OUR DESTINY, AND OUR OPPORTUNITY 14-18
Jesus Christ has changed your life! There can be no more significant relationship you could ever have anywhere, anytime or any place. Your life has been radically altered.
1. Christ has radically altered our image 14
a. Everything about Jesus bleeds with peace. He is a peacemaker by day and at heart. That is His day job. The first thing he did was to tear down a wall. That is what peacemakers attempt to do. Break down walls between people and try to enhance common ground that removes hostility. The root of the problem has to be addressed. Christ has our well being in mind and tangibly manages this by removing hostility and making factions friends. He Himself is our peace by having made both factions into one essence. How did he do this? He tore down a wall that separated the factions.
b. Not a literal wall but a kind of a metaphorical one. It was a wall that set one party against the other. It was a partition that naturally created hostility from one toward the other. There was hostility between Jews and Gentiles. This was motivated by a misuse of the Law. They turned the law inside out. The law was to protect them from surrounding nations as a witness to them of who God was. But they viewed themselves as superior because they had it. They viewed Gentiles as sinners, dirty, unclean, unacceptable by them or by God. So hostility resulted. The gentiles despised them too and have and still do because they are seen as haughty and stubborn. To solve this problem, the law was made inoperative as a ruling principle in God’s program. Jews and Gentiles in Christ would not have the law in play any longer.
c. Christ nullified the law as an operating system for the believer—either a Jewish one or a gentile one. A brand new operating system is not being used and the glitches in the old one have been modified in the new one. It is a superior operating system. He did this in his flesh—his life and death on the cross was the cost involved to break down the wall and remove the basis of the hostility so there could be absolutely no reason for it once and for all. He fulfilled all of it stipulation, commandments, ordinances fully and that applies to both groups equally. The ordinances and decrees for Israel in the Law of Moses are null and void. They cannot look down on us and we do not regard them jealously any longer. We have a new image.
2. Christ has radically altered our destiny 15.
Now that the old operating system is useless, he has built a new one, sleeker, smarter, and sweeter. He has taken both groups and molded them into a brand new group—a third entity. He has taken both of them to a new destiny, a higher plane. Neither groups is superior or inferior. He has a new program in place and both Jewish and gentile believers together have peace established between them. Both groups make up a new humanity. Gentiles did not become Jews or Jews gentiles but believing Jews and gentiles are united as one. So we now have similar destinies. It is not one kind of ministry to Jews and another to Gentiles. This is the church and both need the gospel and both need discipleship. We are united into one body and we have one mission. What God has planned for national Israel in the future has no bearing on our ministry today in this new operating system either for gentiles or Jews. We do not perform the law today—unless specifically taught in the commandments of Christ, but we do apply whatever we learn about God’s thinking from it.
3. Christ has radically altered our opportunity 16-18
a. 16 In the process Christ has reconciled believers from both groups to God Himself. This new entity we are in came at an exorbitant price—the death of God’s Son. It also made reconciliation between the groups possible removing the operating system that was used to provoke it. His death put to death the enmity between us.
b. 17 The death of Christ preached something—namely, (1) there is now peace between the factions and (2) peace between them and God. Those ‘far off’ are we who are completely outside God’s covenant promises to Israel. Those ‘near’ as Jews who had those promises. Both groups accepted the peace Christ made (Acts 2 Jews, Acts 10 Gentiles) and each entered into a new image and destiny together.
c. 18 We also have a new opportunity—access to God. We both together have this access equally in one spirit to the Father. Because of Christ’s work for us God is approachable. So all 3 persons are involved: Thru Christ’s work, unite din one Spirit, believers (J &G) can approach the Father! God has done something new now. He did newness before the law and people operated by conscience and nature found God; then by promise; then by law; then by spirit; then by kingdom.
THE CHURCH IS GODS GROWING TEMPLE INHABITED BY THE HS 19-22
1. We are in a new relationship 19.
Negatively we are no longer strangers and aliens with no rights, no claims as before in OT. Positively, we are fellow citizens with the saints of Gods household. This is with all believers of all ages who give praise to God. We are a new household and one of God!
2. We are in a new establishment 20-22.
1. It has a new foundation and cornerstone 20. The foundation is consisting of the apostles and NT prophets. These historic persons first formed the universal church. Both received new revelation and were used to begin a new program.
2. It has a new cornerstone 20. It is the most important stone in the whole building because all other stones were to be in line with it—its angle, its size. So Christ is the one, which measures all else. All the apostles and prophets making up the foundation must be aligned properly with Christ.
3. It is a new building 21. It is a living and growing building always with the same blueprint but as a household is continually being added to in successive generations. New people are joining the household. This building is a place set aside for God-His holy temple—the unified growth of believers into a temple!
4. It has a new habitation 22. Believing Jews and Gentiles are constantly being pieced together into its new walls. We all have a place there. And it is growing everyday. We hear stories of new believers regularly and discipleship goes on as our responsibility. With all believers indwelt by the spirit the body they are part of is the holy temple of God where He dwells! The church!
1. Our gospel message should include the teaching that Christ’s death on the cross ended the significance of being Jewish.
2. Our gospel message should include the teaching that believers today do not become part of Israel. They become part of God’s household built on NT apostles and prophets Christ being the cornerstone not OT laws.