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For Christ and the Church

For Christ and the Church


PROPOSITION: For Christ and the church let us 1) Praise Lovingly, 2) Pray Fervently, 3) Give Willingly, 4) Serve Faithfully.


OBJECTIVE: That each considers the words to this great song and be renewed in spirit in these great actions of which the song exhorts us to do.


Aim: To enhance our understanding of this hymn and also encourage each to faithfulness in these areas.


INTRODUCTION:


1. Read: Acts 20:28 - Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.


2. About the Text:


1) Paul speaks to the Ephesian elders here.


2) He speaks of their need to tend the flock of God.


3) He speaks of the preciousness of that flock.


4) Jesus died and shed His blood for the church.


5) There is a relationship between them greater than we can imagine.


6) That relationship is described for us in Ephesians 5 as being similar to the husband and wife relationship.


7) It is, however, a much more precious and eternal relationship.


8) Let us take care to honor Christ and His Church.


DISCUSSION: For Christ and the Church let us . . .


I.   PRAISE LOVINGLY


1. For salvation.


1) Ephesians 1:3-6 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."


2) Ephesians 1:12  Paul says that we obtained the inheritance " That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."


2. For righteousness  Philippians 1:11 "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."


3. For faithfulness  1 Peter 1:17 "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"


4. In worship.


1) Hebrews 2:12 "Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee."


2) Hebrews 13:15 "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."


II.  PRAY FERVENTLY


1. For one another  James 5:16 "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."


2. For our enemies  Matthew 5:44 "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"


3. For the sick / afflicted  James 5:13a " Is any among you afflicted? let him pray."


4. For more workers in the harvest  Matthew 9:38 "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."


5. For those preaching the gospel  2 Thessalonians 3:1 "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:"


6. For love to abound  Philippians 1:9 " And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;"


7. That God will open doors  Colossians 4:3 "Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:"


III. GIVE WILLINGLY


1. Let us follow the example of the widow who cast in her last two pennies (Luke 21:1-4). Jesus said, " Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had."


2. Let us remember the words of Jesus when we give that "it is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).


3. Let us be cheerful and happy to help in the work of the Lord. "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:7).


4. To supply the needs of the saints and aid the church's reputation - "For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God" (2 Corinthians 9:12).


5. To aid all men as we have opportunity. Galatians 6:10 "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."


6. With a willing mind according to what we have. 2 Corinthians 8:12 "For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not."


7. To aid the cause of Christ Mark 9:41 "For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward."


IV.  SERVE FAITHFULLY


1. Knowing that Christ gives the inheritance  Colossians 3:24 "Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."


2. Serving God not mammon. Matthew 6:24 " No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."


3. Watching  Luke 12:37 "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: "


4. Following the Christ  John 12:26 "If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour."


5. Serving one another lovingly  Galatians 5:13 "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another."


6. With reverence and godly awe  Hebrews 12:28 "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:"


7. Until the day we die  Revelation 2:10 "be thou faithful unto death"


CONCLUSION:


1. For Christ and the Church let us . . .


1) Praise Lovingly


2) Pray Fervently


3) Give Willingly


4) Serve Faithfully


2. Invitation




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