STUDIES FROM BRETHREN IN CHRIST

SERMON MENU SELECTIONS

5/5/2013 ~ Toilets, Kitchens, and Steeples


What practices are acceptable to God?
To begin, if we are to worship in spirit and truth we must acknowledge
the truth of what God Himself has delivered for us all to know.


"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
~ John 4:24


HEART MIND
\   |   /
–  GOD  –
/   |   \
SOUL SPIRIT

"Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; ..."
~ Isaiah 46:9-10


God asks that we pay attention to His council.

We should cleave to the larger picture enlightened
by the common sense of all the occurrences given.


Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is liberty. ~ 2nd Corinthians 3:17


He has created a universe of freedom and allows us to freely choose.

... do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but
through love serve one another. ~ Galatians 5:13


God asks us most personally to serve rather than to be served.
He serves us.


'... with all My heart and with all My soul.' ~ Jeremiah 32:41

God has hert and soul.

... The LORD tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one
who loves violence His soul hates. ~ Psalms 11:4-5


... My soul shall not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God,
and you shall be My people. ~ Leviticus 26:11-12


The closest thing we have to the mind of God is the mind of Christ.

For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?"
But we have the mind of Christ. ~ 1st Corinthians 2:16


"... My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!
I will put My Spirit upon Him, ... " ~ Matthew 12:18


We are blessed to have the Spirit of God with us.
~
Let us not depersonalize God by placing self over Him.


HEART MIND
\   |   /
–  SELF  –
/   |   \
SOUL SPIRIT

Do we choose to serve self or God?
We need God to find and to show us the way.


There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
~ Proverbs 16:25


For one to believe in this discourse, there must be agreement
that all of the Bible is in fact the inspired word of God Almighty.


All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction, ... ~ 2nd Timothy 3:16-17


Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing
this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. ~ 1st Timothy 4:16


So then, the words of truth have been given to us to know truth.

Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ
does not have God. ... ~ 2nd John 1:9


... if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you
have received, let him be accursed. ~ Galatians 1:6-9


                                      Following later. <─┐
He commands us to receive His word, not that of subsequent creations.
~ To hear what He tells us in order that we offer what is acceptable.
↘   ↙

... "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts
as in the rebellion." ~ Hebrews 3:15


The word is declared complete and sufficient for our salvation.

For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
~ Acts 20:27


... acknowledge that the things which I write to you are
the commandments of the Lord. ~ 1st Corinthians 14:37

↙   ↘
God commissioned Paul to deliver the Almighty’s own ways for us.
Some choose to disregard Paul’s writings as not God’s instructions for us.

... you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word
of God, which also effectively works in you ... ~ 1st Thessalonians 2:13


Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ
and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), ... ~ Galatians 1:1


This would be the choice all face, to believe or not to believe.
Faith
is based on actions of commitment.
If one’s intent is to please the Lord, for conscience sake,
His word must be obeyed and pursued to the best of ones ability.
Discarding parts of the Bible voids the goals completion.


"If you love Me, keep My commandments." ~ John 14:15

... not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ,
doing the will of God from the heart, ... ~ Ephesians 6:6-7


And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, ...
~ Colossians 3:23


Extremes and contentions exist amid churches over details of conduct.
~ It is for this reason that this treatise has been constructed.


                  ┌─> We are commanded to assemble together.
... not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together ... ~ Hebrews 10:24-25

Expediency is a term used to make understood those things done to
enact a convenience assisting the ability to worship easily while not
adding to or taking away from those things written in the Bible.


... in the upper room where they were gathered together. ~ Acts 20:7-8

All should agree, buildings were used for the faithful to gather.
Buildings used to further the pursuit of worship should be agreeable.


... Solomon built Him a house. However, the Most High
does not dwell in temples made with hands, ... ~ Acts 7:44-50


For every house is built by someone, but
He who built all things is God. ~ Hebrews 3:4


In times past steeples were built housing bells to announce a gathering.
Their visual purpose was more expedient in those pre-digital days.
Today they have become more a traditional edifice from days of old.
A building however is not necessary for worshipping God.


"For where two or three are gathered together in My name,
I am there in the midst of them." ~ Matthew 18:20


~ He simply asks that we gather in Him.

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. ..." ~ Matthew 11:28-29


It is His call to hearts that takes precedence over all else.

But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands
and knows Me, That I am the LORD, ... ~ Jeremiah 9:24


One’s glory should be in the Lord and not any specific building.

... "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD." ~ 1st Corinthians 1:31

If one comes to glory in a man made building,
this would be an improper attitude for worship.


"... let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses,
and one for Elijah" ... ~ Mark 9:4-9


Christ did not ask for an elaborate temple to be built in His honor.
Great edifices are made for the amazement of man and not for God.


"God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven
and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands." ~ Acts 17:24


OF NEED
Place of Worship
 
OF DESIRE
Ornate Buildings

It is in the amenities a church holds that there is current controversy.
Toilets are not spoken of in the Bible but we know it as a human function.

... where there was a cave; and Saul went in to attend to his needs.
~ 1st Samuel 24:3


I do not believe that people look forward to coming to church
to use the restroom facilities, and in actuality, to the contrary.
Need over desire.


"... attending to his needs in the cool chamber." ~ Judges 3:24

A toilet should be considered as expedient helping those in need to
remain at services and not as an interference altering the word of God.


"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled." ~ Matthew 5:6


The question arises as to eating when one assembles to worship God.
Does the serving of donuts and such violate what God calls out for?
~ It is Jesus Himself who enlightens us.


                           ┌─> He fed a multitude of 5000.
... when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is truly
the Prophet who is to come into the world." ~ John 6:10-14

└─> Wanted to make Him king.                             

                                             ┌─> A larger crowd sought Him out.
... "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs,
but because you ate of the loaves and were filled." ~ John 6:23-26

                            └─> Jesus does not want us to seek Him through our bellies.

"Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures
to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, ..." ~ John 6:27-29


... "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger,
and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." ~ John 6:35


"Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life,
and I will raise him up at the last day." ~ John 6:54

    Gift of His Life
        \   |   /

Jesus died for us to have
 
spiritual

sustenance.
His life in the Light. <─┘        

From that time many of His disciples went back
and walked with Him no more. ~ John 6:66

                                └─> The crowds dwindled without food to satisfy their flesh.

When Jesus offered Himself and did not feed the crowd, they left.
In Jesus’ service, He serves us all.


... those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to
the flesh, but according to the Spirit. ... ~ Romans 8:1-2


The Bible teaches us to pursue the spirit over the flesh.

... For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of
the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of Spirit.
~ Romans 8:5-8


For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit
you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. ~ Romans 8:13


Indulging the flesh does not regard reverence for the Lord.

SPIRIT
Christ
 
FLESH
Self

The worship of God is a purging of fleshly desires drawing upon
a true spiritual relationship leaving those things of the earth behind.


... Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
~ Colossians 3:1-2


God asks observance of Him over any self desire that we may have.
Churches that cater to the flesh do not hold the true intent of worship.


... puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from
whom all the body, nourished and knit together ... ~ Colossians 2:18-19


Those that lead by their self interests disavow our Lord’s instructions.
~ Ask, do we choose the mouth of man over the mouth of God?
It is simpler to satisfy the flesh than to challenge the mind’s spirit.


... do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by
smooth words and flattering speech deceive ... ~ Romans 16:17-18


... whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame --
who set their mind on earthly things. ~ Philippians 3:19


... headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, ...
~ 2nd Timothy 3:4


God wants our undivided attention.

... that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among
you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind ...
~ 1st Corinthians 1:10


... when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions
among you, and in part I believe it. ~ 1st Corinthians 11:17-18


You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.
~ 2nd Corinthians 6:12


An example has been given not to eat upon gathering to worship.

... Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church
of God and shame those who have nothing? ... ~ 1st Corinthians 11:20-22


But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest
you come together for judgment. ... ~ 1st Corinthians 11:34


He asks we leave fleshly desires behind when we approach His Holiness.

Adherence to His word is found in all the subtleties written of.
Faithful must ask, do I attend church for the social aspect or for God?
Glory to God is found in all of which He gives us through His word.


Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from
your desires for pleasure that war in your members? ~ James 4:1


Christianity is more often at war with itself because people pursue
their own interests and pleasures over what the Bible instructs.


OF NEED
Toilets
 
OF DESIRE
Food

... I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may
teach others also, than ten thousand words ... ~ 1st Corinthians 14:19-20


Understanding the given word is more important than lengthy
argumentations justifying various actions blurring obvious truth.
Truth is simple in its' highest evaluation.


For God is not the author of confusion but of peace,
as in all the churches of the saints. ~ 1st Corinthians 14:33

└─> Instructions for all the churches of the saints.       

Let your women keep silent in the churches, for
they are not permitted to speak; ... ~ 1st Corinthians 14:34


God declares that woman remain quiet during formal worship.
Those that would practice otherwise violate the plain word of God.
Cultural traditions skewing from God’s word have no excuse.


... "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your
tradition? ...' their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' " ~ Matthew 15:3-9


Assemblies choose to do things that the Bible instructs us not to do.
Gatherings practice other various things not written about in His word.


... who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and
served the creature rather than the Creator, ... ~ Romans 1:25


Are we a called for worshipping body or a Rotary Club extravaganza?
Fear of God demands that we not take our worship of Him casually.
As God calls His children to His Light, social extras distort His plan.
└─> In worship of Him.                


... outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full
of hypocrisy and lawlessness." ~ Matthew 23:23-28


OF NEED
Inward
 
OF DESIRE
Outward

For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, ... a Jew who is one inwardly;
and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter;
whose praise is not from men but from God. ~ Romans 2:28-29


... For we walk by faith, not by sight ... ~ 2nd Corinthians 1:1-10

How much do you give yourself to: self or God?
If we sacrifice the inward man for outward pleasures, the soul dies.
ALL STRUGGLE AS WE SEARCH FOR LIFE.

Some principles instructed in the Bible are clear and
not open for interpretation as many would claim.

Baptism is clearly a requirement and as few as three scriptures
are more than sufficient in supporting this belief.


"He who believes and is baptized will be saved; ... ~ Mark 16:16

Jesus spoke it.


... "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name
of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; ..." ~ Acts 2:38


Peter proclaimed it.


... baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer
of a good conscience toward God), ... ~ 1st Peter 3:21


Paul declared it ...
explained it.    

... Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised
with Him through faith in the working of God, ... ~ Colossians 2:11-12

                                            └─> The workings by God's own design.

... down into the water and baptized him. ~ Acts 8:38
↘   ↙                     
In previous times rivers were used, but it is a common practice
today for a baptistery to be installed in many church buildings.
This is done for expediency and assists in the fulfillment of His will.
Clearly, sprinkling babies for remission of sins is not taught in His word.
Do we heartfully pursue God's will or do we reduce to our own whims?


... "All too well you reject the commandment of God,
that you may keep your tradition." ~ Mark 7:9


OF NEED
Baptistery
 
OF DESIRE
Human Tradition

                                                                        ┌─> The faith.
"... when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"
~ Luke 18:8


Can we become the children of light God calls us out to be?
No one else can answer for you when God judges us by His word.


THE WORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.
~ ARE WE TRANSFORMED BY IT OR  
DO WE TRANSFORM IT TO FIT OUR DESIRES?




 

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