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Making Things Work

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A master copy of the indented outline in both MS Word and PDF formats can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Making Things Work

I. The church is building project.
1. Saints are told to be "building up yourselves on your most holy faith" (Jud 1:20).
2. Building up ourselves is contrasted with those who "separate themselves" (Jud 1:19).
3. The church is the body of Christ to which God has given a pastor to edify it (Eph 4:11-12).
A. Edify v. - 1. trans. To build; to construct (a dwelling, edifice) of the usual building materials. 3. trans. In religious use: To build up (the church, the soul) in faith and holiness; to benefit spiritually; to strengthen, support.
B. The end of this edifying is for us all to come in the unity of the faith unto a perfect man like Christ (Eph 4:13).
i. Unity n. - II. 3. The quality or condition of being one in mind, feeling, opinion, purpose, or action; harmonious combination together of the various parties or sections (of the Church, a state, etc.) into one body; concord or harmony amongst several persons or between two or more.
ii. Purpose n. - 1. a. That which one sets before oneself as a thing to be done or attained; the object which one has in view.
iii. Concord n. - 1. Agreement between persons; concurrence in feeling and opinion; harmony, accord.
iv. Harmony n. - 1. Combination or adaptation of parts, elements, or related things, so as to form a consistent and orderly whole; agreement, accord, congruity.
v. We are exhorted many times in the scripture to be unified (1Co 1:10; 2Co 13:11; Rom 12:16; Rom 15:5-6; Phi 1:27; Phi 2:2; Act 4:32).
vi. Paul exhorted two brethren by name to be of the same mind in the Lord (Phi 4:2).
C. The goal is to build the church into a body which is compactly joined together so that it will be able to increase and edify itself in love (Eph 4:16).
i. Compacted ppl. adj. - Firmly and closely joined or pressed together; knit together, compactly made up or composed; condensed, consolidated, compact.
ii. The church body is likened to the human body in which every member or part is necessary and works together (1Co 12:12-27).
iii. God puts the members into a church as it pleases Him (1Co 12:18).
iv. Every member of a church is necessary and beneficial to the rest of the church (1Co 12:14-17,19-23).
v. Every person is a member of the church for a reason.
vi. God tempers a church body together (1Co 12:24).
vii. God puts a church together in such a way that there should be no schism in the body (1Co 12:25).
a. Schism n. - 2. Eccl. a. A breach of the unity of the visible Church; the division, either of the whole Church or of some portion of it, into separate and mutually hostile organizations; the condition of being so divided, or an instance of this.
b. Can you imagine a human body that was divided against itself?
c. Can you imagine a man walking around with his hands covering his eyes because his hands had a beef against his eyes?
viii. Because the church is all one body in Christ, when one member suffers, the other members should suffer with him (1Co 12:26).
a. We should bear each other's burdens (Gal 6:2).
b. We should feel as if we were going through whatever our brethren are going through because we in the same body as them (Heb 13:3).
ix. We should prefer one another before ourselves (Rom 12:10).
a. Prefer v. - III. 7. a. To set or hold (one thing) before others in favour or esteem; to favour or esteem more; to choose or approve rather; to like better.
b. We should esteem others better than ourselves (Phi 2:3).
1) Nothing should be done through strife or vainglory.
2) Strife n. - 1. a. The action of striving together or contending in opposition; a condition of antagonism, enmity, or discord; contention, dispute.
3) Vainglory n. - 1. Glory that is vain, empty, or worthless; inordinate or unwarranted pride in one's accomplishments or qualities; disposition or tendency to exalt oneself unduly; idle boasting or vaunting.
c. We should be more concerned about others than ourselves (Phi 2:4).
d. Ask yourself before making any decision or action whether you are doing it for your own interests or for the best interest of the church.
e. We should seek each other's wealth and not our own (1Co 10:24).
f. We should follow Abraham's example (Gen 13:8-9).

II. Every building project will have its difficulties and obstacles to overcome.
1. If God is not the center of the building program, it's a waste of time (Psa 127:1).
A. Ministers have to build up the church with God (1Co 3:6-9).
B. They have to make sure that we are building on the proper foundation of Jesus Christ (1Co 3:10-11; Eph 2:20-22).
2. The church will be able to accomplish more working together than individually (Ecc 4:9-12).
3. When God opens doors for evangelism, there are always adversaries who will try to prevent it (1Co 16:9).
A. We need to pray that the word of the Lord will have free course and be glorified (2Th 3:1).
B. And also that we will be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men (2Th 3:2).
4. When Israel was entering the land of Canaan to inhabit the promised land, there were obstacles to overcome.
A. They ran out of water (Exo 17:1).
i. The people murmured and complained (Exo 17:2-3).
ii. Don't do that (Phi 2:14).
iii. God was able to overcome the obstacle (Exo 17:4-6).
B. They had a limited variety of food (Exo 16:14-15).
i. The people murmured and complained (Num 11:1-6).
ii. Don't do that (Jud 1:16).
C. When they got to the land they found it to be inhabited by giants and they felt inferior (Num 13:26-33).
i. The people murmured and complained (Num 14:1-4).
ii. At this point, God was ready to totally destroy Israel (Num 14:11-12).
iii. But because of Moses' plea, God spared them (Num 14:15-20).
iv. Though He didn't kill them, God still judged them by not allowing that generation to enter the promised land (Num 14:21-24).
v. Let's learn from their mistakes (1Co 10:1-11).
D. They had enemies that would not let them pass through peaceably so they had to find another way (Num 20:14-21).
E. As they say, "Where there's a will, there's a way."
5. When Israel returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity to rebuild the temple and the city, there were obstacles to overcome.
A. Enemies tried to hinder their building efforts.
i. Enemies laughed and scorned them (Neh 2:9-10,19).
ii. Enemies withstood them (Neh 4:7-8; Neh 6:1-2).
iii. Enemies tried to infiltrate them and pretended to desire to help them in the building effort (Ezr 4:1-2).
iv. The fathers of Israel didn't fall for it (Ezr 4:3).
v. They then got some lawyers and used legal tactics (Ezr 4:4-6, 11-16).
vi. God, the king, and the law were on their side though (Ezr 6:1-12).
B. Israel was able to overcome them because they banded together and worked toward a common purpose.
i. The prophets spurred and encouraged the people to continue the work (Ezr 5:1-2 c/w Hag 1:1-5).
ii. The children of Israel were united as one man (Ezr 3:1).
iii. The people had a mind to work and they overcame the roadblocks (Neh 4:6).
iv. They prayed to God and trusted Him, but also took the initiative to do the work and defend themselves (Neh 4:9,17-18).
6. If a church is going to grow and be built up, it has to work together and overcome the obstacles the devil throws its way.

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