Central Baptist Church
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Morning Worship Sermon

Colossians 1:18
Colossians 1:18 "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
          The greatest need in our time is for the Church to be a first-century Church in a twenty-first century world!
          The greatest need of our generation is for "The Church to be the Church!"
          Ill. -   D.L. Moody heard a man say - "The world has yet to see what God can do through one man whose life is totally committed to Him."
               -   Moody went to his room that night and on his knees in prayer he cried out, "Lord I will be that man!"
               -   God used Moody to shake two continents for His glory!
          Folks, this same truth can be applied to a Church - a body of believers that do not ask, "can we do it?,"
"what will it cost?," or "have we ever done it before?, " rather they simply ask, "God what do you want us to do?"
          Then by faith they launch out, trust God, and attempt to do what God desires.
          And they do it with the confidence that God will supply the resources for all He desires done.
          Today I want to challenge Central Baptist Church to be that Church!
          Functioning as the body of Christ the Church has three priorities :
               Exalt the Savior
               Equip the Saints
               Evangelize the Sinners
          The primary function of Central Baptist Church in McNeill, Pearl River County, Mississippi, America, and the world is to Exalt the Savior!
          Jesus is Lord!
          He founded, He directs, and He sustains Central Baptist Church.
          Folks Uncle John and Aunt Lucy did not found or start this Church, Jesus started it!
          The Pastor and Deacons do not direct or run this Church, Jesus does through His infinite wisdom.
          The Church is sustained through the omnipotent power of the Lord Jesus Christ!
          He controls the future of the Church, and as head He is to be lifted up!
John 12:32 -  "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
          How will people be drawn to Jesus?
          Do our Churches exalt personalities or programs over Jesus?
          In what ways do our Churches lift up Jesus?
1.  Jesus Has Been Lifted Up
A.  On the Cross
     He was smitten of God and afflicted.
     He was bruised for our iniquities.
     He was the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.
     He was made to be sin.
     He was to bore the iniquity of us all.
          Yet on the Cross, God worked a mighty miracle!
          From the Cross God reached through history to every individual, you, me, the world, and He took our sin and concentrated its guilt into the body of His Dear Son.
          On the Cross Jesus paid the full penalty for our sin.
          My sin and your sin killed Him.
          "It is finished!"  was not a cry of defeat or dejection rather it was the shout of triumph!  God's plan for human redemption was completed.  The sin dept of the entire world has been paid in full!
          Than God!  He has been lifted up on the Cross that we might be forgiven and freed from the penalty of sin.  He'll forgive you today if you will come to Him in faith!
          He has been lifted up :
B.  From the grave
          They placed Him in the grave.
          They rolled the stone over the mouth of the tomb.
          They placed the seal of Rome on it.
          They even set guards on either side of the tomb.
          He was dead, and they would keep Him dead!
          All the forces and demons of hell were set on keeping Him dead, but on the third day by the mighty power of God, Jesus came forth from the dead and He walked triumphantly out of the grave!
          In do so He guaranteed resurrection power for victorious living to every person who would receive Him.
          He has been lifted up on the Cross and from the grave, and He has been lifted up :
C.  To the right hand of God
Acts 1:9 "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight."
Colossians 3:1 "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."
          He took His place in authority at the right hand of the Father.
Hebrews 7:25 "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."
          Glory to God, He ever lives to make intercession for all who will come to Him!
Hebrews 4:14-16 "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
          We have access to the very throne room of God because He has been lifted up!
          We can approach the Father today through Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who has been lifted up!
2.  Jesus Will Be Lifted Up!
          Jesus is coming again!
          He will descend from Heaven with a shout, the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God.
          The dead in Christ will be raised, and we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with Him in the clouds!
I Thessalonians 4:13-18 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
          Then every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father!
          Today it remains for us to lift Jesus up on this earth.
          How are we to win souls?
          "Lift up Jesus!"
          How are people's lives to be changed?
          "Lift up Jesus!"
          Do we want to see Central Baptist Church grow?
          "Lift up Jesus!"
          Do we want to see people drawn to Jesus?
          "Lift up Jesus!"
          Do we want to see lives strengthened?
          "Lift up Jesus!"
          The primary responsibility of Central Baptist Church is to Exalt the Savior!
Ephesians 4:11-16"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
          Every member of Central Baptist Church is a minister and has a ministry.  For the local Church to truly function as a body of Christ, it must give itself to the equipping of its members for the work of the  ministry.
          God has given us a pattern for this equipping.
          First let us look at the world's way.
          The world and many Church members consider "Church" as simply another activity on an already busy calendar.
          Folks, Church is people!
1.  People who have received their life from Jesus!
2.  People who are sharing that life in fellowship with one another!
3.  People who are reaching out to extend that life to others!
          The world's way of operating a Church has a professional clergy doing the "spiritual" work, the pastor has the ministry, and the people pay the bills, this is the "worlds way."
          Now let's see "God's pattern" or the scriptural pattern and strategy for ministry.
          Every member is a minister.
          The pastor equips the members, so they become effective in the ministry.  Together the pastor and the people cooperate and complement one another in fulfilling the ministry of the Church.
          While the pastor equips the saints, he is also, directly involved in witnessing for Christ.  He cannot do all the witnessing, but he must witness.
          Three reasons the pastor must witness :
1.  Witnessing is a natural expression of his own life
2.  Lost people need to be saved
3.  He is an example to the flock of God
          It is a happy and healthy Church that is involved in the Scriptural operation of the Church life.
          Equipping the people maximizes fruitfulness!
Psalm 1:3 "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
          As Central Baptist Church must exalt the Savior and equip the Saints, she must also :
          Evangelism is the natural result of a Christ-filled and alive body simply existing and functioning within the community.
          Evangelism is not an event, a meeting, or an activity, it may include all of these, but evangelism is more.
          "Evangelism is the outflow of the overflow of the inflow of the Christ-life within a Church body."
          The Church needs today to get back to the strategy of Jesus.  We need to re-adapt His plan.
          When the Church steps out in faithfulness, she will penetrate her community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
          No barrier will stop the movement of the Gospel!
          The gates of hell shall not prevail against it!
          "Let the Church be the Church!"
          Let her :    Exalt the Savior
                               Equip the Saints
                               Evangelize the Sinners