Sunday 5th Apr 2020Lighthouse

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Being Spiritually Formed: Building People
Sunday 5th April


Romans 15

 

We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. 

 

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:1, 13 NLT)

 

The mark of someone who is strong the power of the spirit is that they able to lift others.  To take an active role in the spiritual formation of others.

 

Our strength could be measured in a our ability to strengthen others, 

 

Because you have faith doesn’t make you a better person but faith does make you strong and give you the ability to being peace to others,

 

The building of strong people comes from the in dwelling of the spirit, it is encouraging others when they are down.  

 

As we learn to trust in him he fills us with more joy and peace.  The overflow of the spirit the river flowing out from us giving life to others.

 

We are not strong in the spirit because of our self effort.  We are strong because of the way God is able to use us in building others.

 

There are times when we are strong and times when we are weak. 

 

There are times to lament and times to rejoice.  Can we reclaim the need to lament as a key part in our journey of faith.

 

Knowing what season you are in 

 

In 1 chronicles 12.32 it’s noted that there was 200 people from one of the tribes that knew the times and season they lived in and they knew what the nation should do.

 

Pray that we have these people to that they would know what we as a nation should do.

 

A word I have found myself saying often is stay strong, keep the faith. 

 

 We are often concerned do I have enough faith. There have been times this week when even the best of us struggle and have doubts 

 

But Faith like many spiritual principles is often received when we give it away.

 

Spiritual life is measure by what flows out from us.  Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  By their fruit you will know them.  Because of your love for others you will be known as my disciples.

 

We are talking about spiritual formation and what it means to help build people.

 

A wise man builds on the firm foundation, we are not the foundations we are not the rock, but we are called to be builders.

 

Society is built by people who take responsibility, tell the truth and do the right thing.

 

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. (1 Corinthians 3:10 NIV)

 

A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. (Proverbs 14:1 NLT)

 

The building of a Church is not building large stone buildings but building people.   We may not have the nicest looking building in the country according to the guardian anyway, and we can’t even use our building for services at the moment 

 

But we do have the spirit of God within us and we do have a good news that melts hearts even those supposably made of stone.

 

Our vision has to be bigger than the number of people through the door, but building people who are able to capable of transforming this world we live in.

 

People who can be representing Christ on earth.  If Christ was here he would be anointing by God bringing healing, dealing with oppression. Finding common ground and encouraging us.

 

So we have been sent to speak for Christ. It is as if God is calling to you through us. We speak for Christ when we beg you to be at peace with God.

2 Corinthians 5:20

 

We can be more concerned with all the bad news we hear than getting out and giving people good news.

 

We are building a church which has a large capacity 

 

We can only do this by building up each other.

 

We are called to be People of power and authority change things.

 

Jesus was different from the Pharisees as one who spoke in authority.

 

Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees.   The teaching of the Pharisees was strict and harsh yet they didn't follow it themselves.  They were always looking for opportunities to trick Jesus but the wisdom of the spirit gave Jesus the right words to say.

 

Jesus taught his guys and gals that their leadership style would be different.  They would serve each other, that actually happened as his disciples modelled Christ and saw many come to faith,

 

But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. “ But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. (Matthew 23:11-13 NKJV)

 

Often our words can build up and they can tear down.

 

The whole law is made complete in this one command: “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.” If you go on hurting each other and tearing each other apart, be careful, or you will completely destroy each other. (Galatians 5:13-15 NCV)

 

Jesus speaks of building his church with power and authority but not as we put people in positions to lord it over one another. The authority we have is spiritual and not to be the big boss. 

 

Jesus has given us the name above every name, in his name we can build a church that all of hell will not prevail against us.

 

We may not have the nicest looking building in the country but we have a good news that can melt hearts of stone.  Indeed we can’t even meet there for a short time.

 

There is always new life and new hope we find through Christ. 

 

In this scripture we discover the call of a disciple. Disciples are called to do is two things. 

 

They are called to build and to battle.

 

When Peter made his great confession that Christ was the Son of the living God, Jesus said to him, 

 

“On this rock I will build My church” — building — “and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” — battle. 

 

Though we may not have thought of it in those terms, this is consistent with the whole Biblical theme. 

 

If we stand back and look at the larger picture, we will find that the whole story of the Bible is the story of God in human history building and in battle. 

 

The Bible opens in a garden. Where does it end? In a city — the new Jerusalem. 

 

The Bible is the story of God’s process from the garden to the city. Only God can build His city, and all the way fighting is necessary, fighting against the forces that prevent or postpone the building of the city. 

 

In other words, the mission of Christ is often shown to be both constructive and destructive. 

 

He presented them in that order, and it is very important that we know that the building is the ultimate purpose of God, but the battle is necessary in the process. 

 

He came into the world for building, and because there are forces that come against the building He battles. 

 

The great passion of God’s heart is the building, but we often face the present necessity of the mission is the battle.

 

We may be Tired and weary but we don't give up, we are in a time of lament and struggle, and holding steady.

 

If we are a disciple of Jesus Christ, we are called to build — to have a tool in your hand, and you are called to be a soldier—to have a sword in your other hand. 

 

Equipped For Building

 

“I want disciples to first build, and then I want them to battle!” We are supposed to be building things up. This is not only God’s character, He has equipped us to do so.

 

We have been speaking about spiritual formation recently.

 

The Scriptures tell us to eagerly desire spiritual gifts. “But earnestly desire the best gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:31), and “… earnestly desire the spiritual gifts” (1 Corinthians 14:1). 

 

But why are we encouraged to be eager for spiritual gifts, to seek after them, and hunger for them? 

 

For what purpose? Is it so others will say “Look, what a cool gift they’ve got?” 

 

Are the spiritual gifts just so people will notice and think we are mature believers? 

 

No, the purpose of the spiritual gifts is to spiritual formation of the body Christ.

 

 “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel” (1 Corinthians 14:12). 

 

Often we use words in the Church that are seldom used anywhere else and therefore they have little meaning. Edification is one of these words. How many of us use this word in our daily conversations? 

 

The word translated “edification” literally means: “to construct, to build, to build up.” So what are the gifts for…to build up! 

 

This is spiritual formation.

 

We are called as disciples to zealously run after and pursue spiritual gifts, and then use them to build up the body of Christ. 

 

To be builders we must build, not just tear down. Every farmer will tell you that the ploughing is necessary. But ploughing without planting is fruitless!

 

The harvest needs gathering. In our own lives there are times of ploughing, sowing reaping etc.

 

we often concentrate on the negative, what is wrong with our lives. We look at the gardens of our hearts and we carefully pull out all the weeds, and rejoice “Lord, there’s not one weed left. I’ve been searching my heart, and pulling out everything that is not of You.” 

 

But the Lord would inquire, “What have you been planting?” God expects us to be planters. He expects us to plant things in our hearts and in the lives of others. God wants us to be planting, not just weeding.

 

One of the most powerful tools we have for building is our words.

 

Unfortunately, some of us with the tool we are really good at tearing down and destroying things, but not very good at building. 

 

God is saying “Become like me! Build, strengthen, and bless others!”

 

Your tongue is the most powerful tool you have. James speaks about this in the first ten verse of chapter three.

 

 “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check” (James 3:2). 

 

When we are able to guard the words we speak, we are being disciples of Jesus; reflecting the life of Christ to others. 

 

Continuing: 

 

the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts...

 

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be” (James 3:3–10).

 

If we pass on gossip slander and malice towards others we give those things power, to starve things of their power, we don't talk about them.

 

We are no to employ our mouth in the service of the enemy.   Before you know it we have built a stronghold with our own words.

 

when Christ was cursed he did not curse in return.  When he was beaten he didn't open his mouth.

 

He quietly took the punishment for other people wrong doing.   In taking this he did not pass it on, look for fault in others.  Play the blame game and look for issues in others.   He had the right to be angry, to feel accused for something he didn't do, yet he kept silent.  Gave up his right and declared no charge to the guilty ones.

 

Our struggle with our ability to control our tongues. 

 

When we decide in our own ability we are not going to speak anything negative, to be positive and believe and say the best, we often fail. 

 

No man can do this — only God. God alone can control our tongues. Our tongues are to be given over to Him. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can our tongues be controlled. 

 

If you ask the Holy Spirit to, He can stop your tongue when you are about to speak something, and say to your heart “Is that really what you want to say,” and give you the chance to say “no.” 

 

This doesn’t mean that you can never say anything that sounds negative. 

If we see something in your spouse that needs to be addressed, and you can share it in a spirit of love, go ahead and share it. 

 

If you are in an accountable relationship with someone and you feel you should exhort them to change something you see, great! 

 

It is not that you can never say anything that sounds negative, but we have got to begin building up and stop tearing down if we are going to advance the kingdom of God.

 

Jeremiah the prophet was used to speak to the nation of Israel, the lord said 

 

I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant’” (Jeremiah 1:9–10). 

 

Notice when a prophet tears down and destroys that the purpose is to rebuild and to plant. It is not a tearing down for tearing down’s sake. It is a tearing down for building up.

 

In Titus 1:9 says of an elder, “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” 

 

Notice that this verse first says elders should know the Scriptures to encourage others. 

 

So first is the positive, and then there is a coming against faulty doctrines and false teachings. 

 

Negative words will be spoken by elders to bring correction, but this needs to be done in a spirit of love and gentleness, not in haughtiness nor by tearing others down.

 

We called to build a people of power, build a church. To uplift people and to build people with large capacity.  To not tear down people through gossip and slander but to empower people by our words.

 

Pastors and leaders need to be able to encourage and correct in humility.

 

Not only leaders but we should all help others, we cannot leave all to the leadership but take responsibility for each other.  

 

If we see someone struggling we can help, if we see someone taking a wrong path redirect them.

 

Galatians 6

 

Brothers and sisters, if someone in your group does something wrong, you who are spiritual should go to that person and gently help make him right again. But be careful, because you might be tempted to sin, too. By helping each other with your troubles, you truly obey the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is important when he really is not, he is only fooling himself. Each person should judge his own actions and not compare himself with others. Then he can be proud for what he himself has done. Each person must be responsible for himself. 

 

Anyone who is learning the teaching of God should share all the good things he has with his teacher. Do not be fooled: You cannot cheat God. People harvest only what they plant. If they plant to satisfy their sinful selves, their sinful selves will bring them ruin. But if they plant to please the Spirit, they will receive eternal life from the Spirit. 

 

We must not become tired of doing good. We will receive our harvest of eternal life at the right time if we do not give up. 

 

When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. But we should give special attention to those who are in the family of believers. (Galatians 6:1-10 NCV)

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