Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
The single most frequent complaint I hear from professing Christians is that they feel (at least occasionally) a sense of purposelessness.
Our purpose flows from seeing ourselves literally as members of God’s Body. Many times in the New Testament, Christians are referred to as being “in Christ”, as being “in the body”, or as being “the body”. “for as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” - Romans 12:4-5. “For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.” – Eph. 5:30. “And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all”. - Eph. 1:22-23. And my personal favorite: “and He is the head of the body, the Church: who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.” - Col. 1:18.
“That sounds good preacher, but how do I do it in daily life?” By Realizing: 1) You are the recipient of the Holy Spirit Baptism. How many are? All of us - vs 13 and 27. There are no Lone Ranger Christians. Our very identity is tied up in being – In Christ’s Body. To what end? Is the goal to be “in Church”? No. We are to go into the field (the world), Evangelize (share the Good News of Christ), Disciple (train up Christians) to do what? Hang out in Church? Just Fellowship with each other? No, but rather to Go Back Into the Mission Field. “as the Father hath sent me,” What? “so I send you”. - John 20:21.
You see, we mostly have it backwards. We are to Evangelize, Disciple, and then Organize. We instead, fight over, pick apart, criticize and exhaust vast amounts of time over the organization of our particular Churches, while many of us don’t remember the last time we Evangelized or invested in someone’s life to Disciple them. (Extra Credit; for a precise excellent outline on the Saving Gospel, see Pastor Eric’s article from two weeks ago. In fact, save it.) I’m not saying #3 isn’t important, but it follows #s 1 and 2 by a long way. We will be judged on 1 and 2, but the only reason for the existence of #3 is to facilitate the first two.
Question. What are you concerned with? 2) The reality of the Holy Ghost Baptism.
Nugget: Nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to be baptized into the Spirit. Why? Cause it is Not a second blessing, it is an Accomplished Reality. 3) The Function of the Holy Spirit Baptism. This, according to our text, is four fold and includes: a) Unity - vs 12-13. This is however, not to be able to get along with or tolerate each other in Church, but is for the purpose of (here I go again) Reaping a Harvest. Jesus came to: “to seek and to save that which was lost” - Luke 19:10.
Nugget: The celebration always followed The Harvest; yet we want to have a celebration in our Churches and only vaguely anticipate a harvest. b) Diversity – vs 14, 27 and 29? c) Sovereignty – vs 15-18. “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him”. And d) Harmony - vs 25-26. Ever notice that those who have a lot of time to rock the boat aren’t rowing? A Heart Labor is never a Hard Labor.