The One FoundationBro. David Chancellor
6/14/2009 6:00 PM
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 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.
There’s really only one church because there’s only one foundation. It is by Jesus’ blood that we are reconciled to God, and he is the foundation.
So what has happened over the last 2000 years? There has always been this church, but not everything that has claimed to be it has been it. Sometimes it has been hard to recognize because of confusion in the minds of men, but it has always been there.
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came, and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house; and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parables of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man: The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom, but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
This gives us a picture of someone planting pure seed that was later compromised with weeds. There’s nothing prettier than a pure field of ripe wheat. A mixed field requires some sorting out.
Jesus explained the spiritual things of the parable. He sowed good seed in the world. Those that turn to and live for him are good seed and bring forth fruit. When the fruit comes on, you can tell which one you are – wheat or tare. We should bear the fruits of God’s Spirit. There are those who claim Christ who don’t bear the right fruit and it creates confusion. God will deal with this when he decides the time is right. If we get in there and start pulling things out at our discretion, we might kill some wheat. We’ll probably do more damage than good. God has a plan and he’s interested in his people. He’s determined his church will bring glory to his name. This mixture and the confusion it causes don’t bring glory to God. God doesn’t like hypocrites. He’s faithful to help us know what is right.
This parable has come to pass. There are hypocrites in the world who claim Christ but bear the wrong fruit. God has a church and there’s only one and we need to be careful in how we handle this fact.
There became a group that called itself the "one church" but used it to hold people in bondage. The Catholic church required people to submit to the hierarchy. The church is not our foundation. We could submit to a church, but we’re not on the foundation. Their foundation changed. They were building on the acceptance of "the church." This is still going on. It wasn’t long after Jesus had gone back to God before this developed. The devil wants to keep people under confusion.
And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
Paul had heard prophecies of trouble for him at Jerusalem. He warned these. He reminded them that he’d told them the truth. He wanted them to hold onto what was true and right. He knew people would come in and cause people to build on another foundation than Jesus Christ. "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified." If you will stay true to God, you don’t have to be moved from the body of Christ. God’s word is able to build and keep you no matter what comes to pass. If you don’t build on Jesus, you won’t be part of that building. The word of God is what we need to hold onto. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
2 Peter 2:1-3
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways: by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
There were false prophets among the Israelites during the time of Moses and casued some to be destroyed in the wilderness. "…even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction…" People will come in and destroy the foundation. We aren’t to follow those who would change foundations. Follow Jesus. His approval matters more than any man. Are you counting on Jesus to be your Savior, or something else?
"And many shall follow their pernicious ways: by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." Our lives and actions reflect on Jesus. They show the world what Jesus was like. If we don’t have the fruits of the Spirit and yet claim Christ, we’re bringing shame to Christ’s name. The child of God doesn’t want to bring dishonor to his name.
"And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you…" Much of religion has gone the commercial route. Are the fruits of God’s Spirit there? There may be some out there, because they’ve done business with God, but some are stuck in a place where they’re being used for their money. They need to move on to a place where they can honor Jesus, and that is concerned with people’s souls.
1 Corinthians 6:1-3
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
We should be able to solve our problems without going to court. Saints should be able to discern between right and wrong. If you can’t do that with temporal things, how can you do that with spiritual things? You need to judge the ministry and decide what’s right and wrong. You need to know what is right and stand for it. God gives his people some discernment. Our safety is to stay on the foundation. We need to know what is true and what is false. It is the responsibility of the saints to keep planted on Jesus Christ and look out for their own souls.
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. I know thy words, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
This was written to the ones at Ephesus that Paul had talked to. These were judging those that claimed to be apostles, and figured out some were liars. The true apostle is Jesus. It is our responsibility to try those that claime to be an apostle. Test it out. See if it matches up to Jesus. You must build on Jesus Christ.
There were some that stayed true to God through those times. Later some said the church is all the saved, and this is true, but the confused mess of Protestantism is not God’s plan. Every saved person is part of the one church built on Christ, but God wants his church to be more glorious than the confused mess. He wants his people to be separate from the world, lifting Jesus up and bringing glory to his name.
Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
God wants his church to be the light of the world. He doesn’t want it hidden. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." God wants you to bear the fruit of Christ in your life. He wants people to be drawn to Christ by the good they see, and that his people come together and shine more brightly.
You can only be the city on the hill God’s way. The only way to be the city on the hill is to let God’s Spirit work. His Spirit can bring his people together and root out what is false. We have to let God build his church the way he chooses. Make sure you’re built on Jesus and are directed by his Spirit. Don’t do anything to detract from his cause or destroy another soul. Let Christ be the head of his church and rule it by his Spirit.
But a certain man named Ananias, with Saphhira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
If you let the Spirit run the church, he does a good job. God knows who isn’t being honest with him. He knows who’s saved and who isn’t. The Holy spirit pronounced judgment on these. God isn’t fooling around when it comes to his church. He makes his church shine when he’s allowed to rule in men’s hearts. God can weed out the hypocrites. The Spirit is capable of dealing with souls, forcibly and plainly. He is what makes the church the city on the hill.
The seriousness of the matter was impressed on people and no one wanted to be a hypocrite. They had fewer "joiners," but lots were being added. People were doing business with God and were walking with him. We need God’s Spirit to rule in our hearts. Don’t just join up; get on the foundation. We want people to feel the Spirit of God when they come among us. We want people to find God and be added to the church. The city on the hill, the glorious church, is still what God wants. He wants to bring his people together. We want people to feel the presence of God and see what he can do in people’s lives.
We don’t want to lie to God and be a hypocrite. Be a Christian; don’t pretend. Put your faith in Jesus. Know him yourself.
God wants his church to be visible. Point souls to Jesus. Help them to realize he’s the only way to make it through. Find what’s true and what’s not. When you settle things with Jesus, he makes you part of his church and no man can take that from you. Be honest with God. Build your life on Jesus and let his Spirit reign in your heart. Stay on the foundation, Jesus Christ.