“The Essentials of the Covenant Community of Faith”

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Sermon Outline:

“The Essentials of the Covenant Community of Faith”
1. The Glory of God
2. The Word of God
3. The Worship of God
4. The Gospel of God
5. The Family of God

Sermon Notes:

Definition of Sanctification: to be set apart from sin to holiness.

Sanctification is All of Grace Too
The Christian life is all of grace isn’t it? We are justified by grace (Roms. 5:1-2); we are being sanctified by grace (Titus 2:12); and we will be glorified by grace (Jude 24f). Even our ability to obey is all of grace. Does grace nullify our responsibility to walk faithfully in the Lord? Not at all (consider Roms. 6-7). But when we eliminate grace as the foundation and empowerment for our obedience, then we are in danger of turning sanctification into a self-effort.

In our sanctification, we are given grace to have victory. Grace never winks at sin (Romans 6:1-2); grace never leads to further ungodliness and worldly desires (Titus 2:12); and grace does not cherish sin (Psalm 66:18). Grace is our teacher and calls us to turn from our sin and to turn to God. That is what repentance is: an abrupt about-face in the face of sin. This takes grace – for none of us are strong enough to just say “stop sinning” and be done with it. “Stop it sanctification” exalts man and leaves God out. “Stop it sanctification” makes me the Lord of my own issues and world. “Stop it sanctification” is not even me cooperating with God; it makes out to be god. It breeds something for us to glory in within ourselves – which is idolatry (see Roms. 1:18ff). “Stop it sanctification” is unbiblical, ungodly, and idolatrous.

Paul communicates this idea to a young, timid Timothy when he writes, “flee youthful lust and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Tim. 2:22). Notice these three things to living in victory over sin: flee – be a fugitive from it; pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace; and do so with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. IOW, we need by grace to demonstrate: repentance, righteousness, and right relationships. And let’s not forget, that Paul preface this command to Timothy: “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,” (2 Tim. 2:1). He could not fulfill his ministry, his calling, or live to the glory of God a part from grace.

Sin strikes at God and says,
“I don’t care what You said, I’ll do what I want.” It is God’s would be murderer. Sin would un-God God if it could. Sin defiles the conscience. Sin is irrational and forfeits blessing. Sin is painful – it hurts. Sin is damning. Sin is degrading it mares the image of God and man. Like Samson, it cuts the locks of purity and leaves men morally weak. Sin poisons the springs of love and turns beauty in leprosy. Sin defeats the mind, the heart, the will, the affections and it has made a whole world of people – all of mankind – children of wrath by nature. Man and the world is a slave to sin, open rebellion and defiance to God and a slave to Satan.” (author unknown)

Sin is a subtle foe and wants us to be self-dependent rather than completely and wholly trusting and relying on God for all things in our lives. May 2011 be a year of completely putting our faith in Christ Jesus – withholding nothing

12 Essentials of Local Church Ministry:

pray fervently:
praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. -Eph. 6:18

study carefully:
Now these Bereans were nobler than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. -Acts 17:11

embrace fidelity:
when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, -1 Thess. 2:13

contend earnestly:
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. -Jude 3

live missionally:
and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, -Romans 15:20

serve sacrificially:
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. -Phil. 2:3-4

teach faithfully:
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine… -Titus 2:1-8

love genuinely:
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. -1 Cor. 13:7-8a

walk obediently:
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. -Titus 3:1-2

repent daily:
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” -Luke 17:3-4

worship continually:
Through Him [Jesus] then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. -Hebrews 13:15

and watch expectantly:
Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. -2 Tim. 4:8