Posted by: whereintheworldismike | February 26, 2013

We are the Lucky Ones

This is the title to a powerful song that I really resonate with and pray the Church would take to heart. Yesterday I had the opportunity to preach at a church that has partnered with us from the start. It grieves me that they are struggling right now but I pray for them and trust God will help them and all who humbly seek Him to morph into a relevant and fruitful church in this millenium.

Here’s an outline of the sermon the Lord had me preach:

Dangerous Church

Matthew 16:13-19, 21-23

Intro: To who or what is the Church dangerous?

“Gates of Hell”

What is dangerous to the Church?

Unsanctified US!


1. Modernist thinking: belief in spiritual phenomena is superstitious

2. Bible worship: leads to an overemphasis on rules/law and Phariseeism. The Bible faithfully points us to the Triune God and how to have a good and lasting relationship with Him–That’s why it’s wonderful but should never be myopically worshiped.

3. Being lulled to sleep: The “gates of hell” and its minions are working overtime to distract people from The Way, The Truth, and The Life (John 14:6). We need to stand in the gap for them through prayer and live lives filled with the Spirit so we can model and recommend a life that is better and more satisfying than any alternative.

I.  READ Matt 16:13-17 — What is the basis of the Church ?

A.  Who Peter among all others testified that Christ is the Messiah, the Savior of the               World  (Matt 16:13-16)

B.  Peter testified correctly about Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit (Matt 16:17)

II.  Who builds the Church? (Matt 16:18)

A.  Jesus alone can build the Church (Matt 16:18)

When we focus on numbers, it’s just wrong because it’s not our responsibility!

B.  READ Matt 16:17-18  Jesus builds the Church on the testimony of those  to whom               the  Spirit  reveals the Truth to . This is why we need to live as God                                         Cooperators   (1Cor 3:9) (briefly visit John 14 and 15 and draw connection of joyful         obedience out of love to cooperation with God (Experiencing God – Blackaby and King)

C.  VISIT Matt 11:12 NIV “Kingdom of God forcefully advancing ” and “forceful men forcefully laying hold of it”. NOTE: Vine’s lexicon defines “forceful” in this context in this tense and voice as “intentional, enthusiastic action that is not deterred by resistance it encounters.”

Application of this is Christians who go to work or about their day filled with the Spirit daily being transformed little by little by the Spirit’s work in them. This gives them much “seed” for “seed testimonies” which they can “scatter” as they joyfully share brief testimony of the blessings of knowing a Living Savior who walks with us through every situation of life.

D.  Jesus delegates authority to extend the reign of Christ on earth (Matt 16:19)

READ Matt 16:21-23 Sadly, like the great Peter, when believers are operating “out of their own stuff” instead of in submission to the Spirit of Christ, WE CAN BECOME INSTRUMENTS OF SATAN! That’s why we need to be in the process of being transformed into increasing holiness for life!

Christ’s mission is the same as it was when he was living a human existence on earth: (READ Luke 4:18-19):

– preach good news to the poor

– proclaim freedom for the prisoners

– recovery of sight to the blind

– release to the oppressed, (EXPLAIN: Unforgiveness –> wide open door to oppresion (Matt 6:14-15; Matt 18:33-35 “torturers” ASK: Do you think these are human entities?)

– proclaim the Lord’s favor

III. Hindrances to us playing our part:

A. Fear: What will God od or make me do if I really surrender to Him?

B. Self-sufficiency: Trying to live for God in our own strength with our own “wisdom”: Farrar and Wilkinson and Clinton all say 70-80% do not finish well. The ones who do experience recurring   times of spiritual renewal. This requires a lifestyle characterized by humble repentance on a daily basis!

C. Discontentment: materialism or the favorite American idols: convenience and comfort. Without transformation it is VERY HARD to overcome these stumbling blocks.

God has given us tools and methods to access his grace for transformation of even deeply embedded sin or unconscious sin. I have been exposed and blessed by two but there are many others and, believe me, we would each profit from healing/increased freedom.



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