Building The House
Building the House
Sermon Notes – Ps. Jim White
Sunday 5th July, 2020
I’ve become used to standing here nearly every Saturday for the past three and a half months, looking into a camera. Apart from Dean doing all the technical stuff – it’s been a fairly lonely place.
I can tell you it’s incredibly good to have real live people to talk to and look at again.
But what I really want to say – is how blown away and how overwhelmed both Venese and I have felt – at how Seacoast Church – you guys – have remained steadfast – supportive – as one body – even though we’ve been scattered and isolated physically and geographically.
We may not have all found our way back here yet this morning for all kinds of reasons…
But Seacoast has actually remained strong and unified – one in spirit and heart – which has proven to me what I already knew deep down – that our devotion to Jesus Christ and our genuine love and care for one another – has triumphed over the many obstacles that this pandemic has tried to put in our path.
And even above all of that – God has again proven Himself faithful.
This is His church – we are His people – and He has established us – we are rooted and grounded in Him, it says in Colossians 2.
Not grounded in religion…. But grounded in the most amazing Person of Jesus Christ.
But I wanted to start out this morning by acknowledging and proclaiming again just how incredibly powerful and important the church is.
Paul gave young Timothy some great advice and wisdom on establishing his new church…. And he says to him:
1 Timothy 3:15 The Passion Translation (TPT)
15 But if I’m delayed in coming, you’ll already have these instructions on how to conduct the affairs of the church of the living God, his very household and the supporting pillar and firm foundation of the truth.
I’m so passionate about the church – this church particularly – because this is my tribe…. This is where I belong…. And I think it’s a good thing that the pastor is passionate about the church!
I love what Paul says here – that we are the church of the Living God! That means we are a people full of life – His life! His presence! His power! His Anointing!
And we are a household. Households are where families live and dwell together – where we belong. Like all households – things can get messy at times – the people living there don’t always see things the same way –
and family members are usually at all kinds of different stages on the journey of life – but when it’s a healthy, godly house – love and faith and wisdom and grace always seem to make a way forward.
And Paul says that the church is the pillar and firm foundation of the truth.
The Word of God is the truth! The Word of God is our firm foundation. The Christian church is like a pillar that upholds us as a household and as a family.
The church is also built by God’s wisdom.
Proverbs 24:3 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
The Passion says:
Proverbs 24:3 The Passion Translation (TPT)
3 Wise people are builders—
they build families, businesses, communities.
And through intelligence and insight
their enterprises are established and endure.
The footnote to that says:
- Proverbs 24:3 Or “A house is built by wisdom.” The house is more than a structure with roof and a floor. It becomes a metaphor for families, churches, businesses, and enterprises.
What a blessing it is to have a structure with a roof and a floor!
But that’s not the church. The church is a household full of people. Just like families are full of people.
Wisdom is here – amongst us – in the form of the Word of God – in the form of the Holy Spirit and His Anointing, which is His empowering presence full of supernatural gifts…
And when it’s real – it endures. It’s overcomes. It remains steadfast and strong – just like it has over these past few months.
So what happens now? What happens as we regather together? Everyone wants to know what the new normal is. Everyone wants to know what God is up to in this brand new season.
A few weeks ago I spoke about the coming again of the spirit and power of Elijah. The spirit of reconciliation – the turning of hearts – the generation that will stand up for truth and stand up against evil.
The Spirit of Elijah heralds in the coming of Jesus Christ.
I remember speaking about the spirit of Elijah being the strength and power to rebuild broken altars in our lives – just like Elijah the prophet rebuilt broken altars in his generation.
Broken altars happen when our devotion changes – when we start to worship other things more than Jesus.
Our pure altar or worship towards God becomes broken when our heart moves away from Him and turns towards someone or something else.
And the spirit of Elijah of course is the work and the power of the Holy Spirit!
I love it that we are of the same spirit! We have the same basic values! You might say we’re part of the Pentecostal tribe – because we believe that the Holy Spirit’s power that was released at Pentecost is for Christians and for the church today.
I’m just setting out a few of our foundations again here. This is who we are!
What God has planned for His church in this new season will be built upon solid foundations. We don’t discard the past.
We build upon what is solid and strong – we build on pillars of truth and faith – worship and the Word – Holy Spirit Anointing – relationships of love and strength that we have with one another….
But building is an ongoing experience…. People with wisdom are builders. They continue to build.
This house that we are part of is continually being built! It will continue to be built until Jesus comes back. And many others will join in the building as the Holy Spirit leads them.
We will continue to build in new people, new expressions of our faith, new programs, new connections with our community.
And we will build an even stronger and more vibrant and glorious church – because God is preparing us to become a spotless, wrinkle free bride for His Son – Jesus Christ.
But to do all of that – we need to build ourselves. Build our faith. Build on what we already have as a foundation personally. Build ourselves spiritually – but also to build strength into our soul – emotionally – renewing our mind…
Build on the expressions of love we have for God – for one another – for the lost.
Build into the generations that are coming after us.
We want to leave a legacy that is worth building upon for our children and their children and their children.
It’s realigning our hearts and spirits first and foremost.
But here’s the thing – in the end, we are not the ones building this house. Jesus is.
You don’t know how much pressure lifts off me as I declare that truth. You and I just need to make sure we are not getting in the way of what He wants to do.
He deserves all the glory and all the honour.
Hebrews 3:3-6 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 For this One (Jesus) has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. 5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
That should give us great confidence – that Christ is the Son of God building His house – whose house we are!
That’s worth rejoicing over. That’s worth placing our hope and confidence in!
And again – the Word of God draws our focus back to Jesus. He is the One to be glorified. He is the One who is the Builder of all things.
You and I are part of the house He is building – we are part of the Bride that He is bringing to life.
Ephesians 2:19-20. (Passion)
19 So, you are not foreigners or guests, but rather you are the children of the city of the holy ones, with all the rights as family members of the household of God. 20 You are rising like the perfectly fitted stones of the temple; and your lives are being built up together upon the ideal foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, and best of all, you are connected to the Head Cornerstone of the building, the Anointed One, Jesus Christ himself!
Here it all is again. We are family members of the household of God.
We are perfectly fitted stones…
It says that in 1Peter 2 as well – that we are living stones being built up into a spiritual house.
And of course that means that we all have our place. “Perfectly fitted” it says.
There is a place in the household of God where you fit perfectly. That means also that the house is made perfectly and is built up to be a beautiful and complete temple for God. For His glory.
So here is probably our biggest challenge in this whole message. Have you found where you fit? Have you found your perfect spot?
Sometimes it takes time to find where you are meant to be. But you are designed to fit perfectly somewhere in the whole spiritual building.
We need to find that place together if you aren’t already there. Otherwise you aren’t going to be fulfilled. Your gifts aren’t going to be fully released into the body of Christ. But you will also be robbing the body of something very precious.
Ephesians 2:21-22. (Passion)
21 This entire building is under construction and is continually growing under his supervision until it rises up completed as the holy temple of the Lord himself. 22 This means that God is transforming each one of you into the Holy of Holies, his dwelling place, through the power of the Holy Spirit living in you!
For those who are ready to judge the church as being deficient or lacking in some way.. Well even God says we are still under construction.
In fact, maybe we should have a permanent sign out the front saying – “Church Under Construction” so that no one gets a shock when they realise we are not yet the perfect church.
People are still finding their perfectly fitted place – and that will most likely happen until Jesus comes back.
I won’t read it all now, but 1Cor 12 is a whole chapter devoted to this.
God made us all different – with different gifts – different functions – but every one of us is needed.
One thing that this weird and strange time we’ve been going through has shown many of us, I think, is that our lives are way too busy and full. This age we are living in with all the incredible technologies and time saving devices is supposed to make life easier. But in reality – we are running on treadmills…
What a shame it would be to fill our lives with the demands of the 21st century – and leave whopping big gaps in the walls of God’s house.
So why am I spending so much time talking about God’s house?
What does that have to do with the new season we are entering into? What does it have to do with the end times ministry of Seacoast Church?
It’s because there is a powerful spiritual principal that is demonstrated in one of the stories of the Old Testament – a principal that shows us that together we can accomplish extraordinary things. We can build an extraordinary and dynamic church.
And I’m talking about what happened with the Tower of Babel.
It says the whole earth had one language – everyone was together in one accord. But the thing that was driving them and motivating them was their desire to build their own city and their own tower for themselves.
They were attempting to reach into the heavens by their own strength and abilities. They were attempting to make a name for themselves – not for God – but for their own glory.
But because they were tapping into a godly and powerful principal of unity – speaking the same language – having the same desire – with a willingness to help each other build, their plans were actually working.
Gen 11: 5-6
5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.
God had to then come down and confuse their language – so that they couldn’t understand one another. He caused them to scatter – because what they were doing was working – but it was leading them away from God and to trust and build in their own strength.
That’s certainly a warning for us – but the message here is clear.
God has established a spiritual principal of blessing and increase for those who are able to work together wth the same unity and oneness that these people were operating in.
God said – nothing that they propose – as they build together as one people – would be withheld from them.
So as we desire to build God’s house – each one of us unified in the purpose of bringing glory to Him – serving Jesus Christ as the Master Builder and the Chief Cornerstone – then nothing that we begin to do together will be withheld from us either.
And God will not be scattering us – but blessing us and strengthening us – because this is His plan.
Unity demands God’s blessing, it says in the Psalms.
It can’t be held back when it’s aligned with His heart and His purposes.
Just as it was with the people back in the time of Babel – growth comes for us too when every part does it’s share. It’s when every joint supplies it’s function – it’s gift.
Increase comes when the body edifies itself in love – God’s love.
The church has a high calling. And as we regather together, it would be a good time to reassess our place in the household – not just from a sense of duty – but as an act of devotion and worship.
Jesus is building His house. That’s us – together – a light in the city.
Ephesians 2 says that He is transforming each one of us into becoming the Holy of Holies.
Wow! That blows my mind. What a privilege. What a responsibility.
Be motivated by that. Be motivated by love and devotion.
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
This was my very first message I ever preached. It was in the Uniting Church, about 30 years ago. Walk Worthy of your calling.
I think God was speaking to me. I’m not sure if anyone else got anything out of it. But God was definitely speaking to me.
To walk worthy of your calling means to walk in humility, in gentleness, with long-suffering…. That means patience. Outworking your calling takes some patience. And the the word long suffering is there for a reason.
Bearing with one another in love. If we don’t have love as the glue that binds us together, then we have nothing.
Unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We are all called, empowered, Anointed by the same Holy Spirit. Let’s honour and exalt one another in recognition of that truth. The same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead dwells in each one of us.
That same Spirit of life – resurrection life – is what the church needs right now. It what it always needs.
That unity of Spirit is going to launch us into our future.
Walk worthy of your calling.
Your place in the household is so valuable and precious. And the word of God says that it’s those who fulfil the most mundane roles, and those whose functions seem less honourable – these are the ones that need to be shown the greatest honour and respect.
This church has all sorts of roles that need to be filled. Some of them carry a big responsibility – others seem to be less honourable – but not in God’s eyes. We can talk more personally about the various roles and opportunities that are available.
But my main focus this morning is to bring the higher vision – the higher calling – which is to activate your heart – to stir up love and good works in your spirit man.
Unless you hear God’s heart and truly believe His Word about how important you are in His household, then your response will not be from a deep desire to walk worthy of your calling.
We need to consider again God’s view of the church – that we as a household are upheld by the pillar of truth – that we are The Church of the living God.
Jesus is the Builder – but He calls us to partner with Him as wise builders ourselves.
And each one of us has a place where we fit perfectly. Together we are becoming the Holy of Holies – His dwelling place – the temple of the Holy Spirit.
That’s what I want to be part of. That’s what excites me.
The Bride will arise and she will be glorious in every way.