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One of the Main Functions of the Church

One of the Main Functions of the Church

One of the Main Functions of the Church

Jesus asked the disciples in Matthew 16:13, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They said in the next verse, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” Jesus then asked them in verse fifteen, “But who do you say that I am?” At this time Simon boldly answered in verse sixteen, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” In the next verse we see that Jesus was greatly pleased with Simon’s answer and said, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” Jesus then renamed Simon Peter saying, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church.”

When Jesus renamed Simon He called him Peter which is Petros in Greek. Petros is a small stone or a rock. A brick can fall under the category of a petros. It is certainly not a foundational stone that someone would build a house on. Rather it would be the small stones, like bricks, that would rest upon the foundational stone.

After Jesus named Simon Petros, He said “upon this rock I will build my church.” The word that Jesus used for rock was a different word than the one He used for Simon Peter. Jesus used the Greek word petra as the rock that the church would be built upon. Petra is a large rock, a foundational stone that is much different than the small stone, petros, Simon was called. Clearly Peter is not the foundational stone that the church is built upon; Jesus is. Jesus is the one who gave His life so He could redeem the church. To say any other is the foundation of the church is not only biblically inaccurate, it is outright blasphemous.

Peter clearly understood what Jesus was talking about. Peter wrote in I Peter 2:4-5, “And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house.” Who is the living stone? Jesus is. He is the one that was rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God. We are the ones who come to Him also as living stones that are being built up as a spiritual house. This is the perfect portrait of the church.

The church is not a physical building, an address, or location. The church is a spiritual house. Jesus is the living stone that is the foundation. We are living stones being built up on that foundation. Just as bricks are laid atop of the foundation of the building we are laid atop of Jesus who is the foundation of the church. We are also laid atop of all of the other believers who came before us such as Peter. Peter was named Petros because he was the first to confess Jesus as the Christ. Upon our confession of Christ we are saved and therefore laid atop of the foundation of Christ as the church.

After Peter gave us this wonderful picture of the structure of God’s spiritual house he then gave us an understanding of its function. He said in I Peter 2:9, “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Jesus didn’t save us to give us a get out of hell free card. He saved us out of darkness and into light so we would have a relationship with Him and so we would proclaim to the rest of the world, which remains in darkness, of His excellencies and His marvelous light so they too would be drawn to the light and have a relationship with Him and not stand in darkness separated from God doomed to eternal condemnation. Clearly, this is one of the main functions of the church; the whole church.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2018 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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A Clear Biblical Mandate

A Clear Biblical Mandate

Clearly the church is failing in regards to evangelizing this lost world. Thom Rainer, the CEO of Lifeway, recently wrote in a blog titled, Where Have All the Baptisms Gone? “I recently reported the latest statistics for our denomination. It’s not a pretty picture. Our membership declined again, this time by 105,708. And our baptisms were down to 314,956, the lowest level since 1948. But in 1948, we only had 6 million members. Today we have 16 million members. We are reaching less people for Christ, even though we have 10 million more members than we did in 1948.”

Lifeway isn’t just a great book store, they are also an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention and collect data from all of the churches within the SBC. Therefore, the denomination he speaks of here is the Southern Baptist Convention. More recently he stated that 93-94% of what many SBC churches call church growth is from transfers and not conversions. That isn’t true church growth. That is simply taking fish out of one pond and putting them in another. He also states that only about 90% of SBC churches are intentionally evangelistic. How sad. The other sad reality is, the SBC’s statistics are better than most other denominations.

Even the most spiritually blind person among us today can see that this world is becoming morally bankrupt while it slips further from the Lord. Immorality of every sort is socially acceptable in almost every facet of society, even in many churches. Bible believing Christians are left asking the question, why. Why is this world slipping further and further away from God’s righteous standard?

We are quick to make excuses that it is a sign of the times we are living in. We say the Lord is coming back soon and we are therefore seeing the apostasy. There may be truth in these statements, but this truth should cause us to work even harder for the kingdom and not less. We are even quick to pass the blame on everyone else. We say that the government, the judicial system, the news media, and the entertainment industry for the most part are anti Christian liberals who stand against us. We say things like, “If we can get Washington right we will reclaim this nation for the Lord.” However, there is a major problem with statements such as this. It is not the government’s job nor responsibility to lead this nation to the Lord-it is the churches. It is the churches, and only the churches, responsibility to evangelize this lost world.

The clear picture that statistics such as this, and many more like it, show is that the church is not doing its job in evangelizing the lost. God has given a clear biblical mandate to all Christians to share the gospel. Just prior to His ascension Jesus gave the final instructions to His disciples to go into all of the world and proclaim the gospel. (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, Luke 24:47-49, John 20:21). Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” He said, you shall be, or you will be, My witnesses. Jesus intention for His church to share the gospel is abundantly clear. Since the gospel, and only the gospel, is the power unto salvation, only the gospel of Jesus Christ can transform society. Don’t you think it’s time we start sharing it?

We can sit around and mope over our sad state, or we can get up and do something about it. I prefer the latter. For this reason, I am starting this series of blogs titled, Missions, Ministry, and Evangelism which I will post every Monday that will focus on practical ways we can personally share the gospel along with ways we can challenge our churches to get beyond the walls and into the community to be intentional in missions, ministry, and evangelism, for the sake of reaching this lost world with the gospel.

Stay tuned and go share the gospel. Feel free to share.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2018 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Noah’s Family

Noah’s Family

“We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” I John 4:19-20

This week Ken Ham and the creation institute opened a life size exhibit of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky. I love the story of Noah and can’t wait to see this ark for myself. Most of the time when we think of the ark we think of God’s judgment on the wickedness of mankind. However, we often forget an important fact found within this biblical account. This fact is that one family, Noah’s family entered the Ark, and only one family, Noah’s family left the Ark, therefore, only one family, Noah’s family survived the worldwide flood. This means that one family, Noah’s family, repopulated the earth.

I know some believe this to be foolishness, however, I, as do many others, believe God’s Word is true. If we actually believe God’s Word is true then we are left to one conclusion; we are all direct decedents of Noah. That means, regardless of the color of our skin, we are all a part of one big family, Noah’s family-which is God’s family. If we genuinely believe God’s word to be true we should then live as though it is true?

Interestingly enough, the Geno-project that tested and compared peoples gene’s from all over the world scientifically proved this biblical fact to be true. Look it up. We don’t need science to prove that the bible is true. But the fact remains, science did prove the bible to be true. Therefore, we have the bible and science that proves we are all one big family. So, don’t you think it’s time we start putting our faith into action and live as though it is true? Moreover, remember, Romans 12:18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2016 in Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Day 27: The Gift of Recreation

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” II Corinthians 5:17 NASB

After God completed His work of creation He looked at His brand new world with its inhabitants and declared it to be very good. (Genesis 1:31). It doesn’t take long to figure out that the world today isn’t very good. It isn’t even a little good. It is filled with every sort of wickedness. As a result of that wickedness we all suffer. What changed the world from being very good to very bad? The heart of man.

The unredeemed man’s heart is full of wickedness. His wicked heart influences every aspect of who he is and what he does. Jesus told us that prior to His return wickedness would increase. Jesus also told us that as a result of the rise of wickedness peoples love would grow cold towards one another. (Matthew 24:12). This is why we live in such a cruel world today. This is also the reason why every Christian should proclaim the gospel that has the power to transform the heart of man.

Mankind doesn’t need a change of philosophical views. Mankind needs a change of heart. A new heart will automatically change mans philosophical views. The very good creation God created has been corrupted by sin. Sin is a deadly viruses that destroys every aspect of man. Sin has corrupted all of God’s creation. Because of this, man has been totally ruined by sin. Since we are totally ruined we don’t need patch work. Jesus Himself said that you don’t put a new patch on an old garment. It will shrink and both will be ruined. He also said that you don’t put new wine in an old wineskin. If you do, the wineskin will burst and all will be lost. (Luke 5:36-37).

If we are in Christ, we aren’t pieced and patched together, we are brand new creatures. Nor, has God poured His new wine, the Holy Spirit, into an old wineskin. He recreated us. We are new creatures with a new heart, a heart to love, serve, and worship God. The old heart has been done away with, therefore our old thoughts, ideas, ways, and goals have been done away with. We are new creatures in Christ.

If we are in Christ we have already been given a new heart. One day, we will also be given a new body. An incorruptible body that cannot be corrupted by sin. A resurrected body. Along with our new resurrected bodies there will also be a new heaven and a new earth. The new heaven will be the eternal home of those who are in Christ and there we shall be with the Lord forever. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 27 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share. To see all of the devotions visit rustykuhn.com

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 23, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 26: The Gift of His Might

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NASB

This is probably one of the most misused verses in all of God’s word. I’ve heard Christian football players quote this verse claiming victory in the football game. I have always thought, what if the opposing team has a Christian claiming the same verse? Obviously, this is not the original intent of this wonderful verse.

When one looks at this verse in its original context, they will see Paul saying in the previous verse, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” In other words, Paul is saying he has faced the best of life and the worst of life. Since he has faced both the best and the worst in life, he knows how to be content, for his strength is not found in his circumstances, his strength is found in Christ, regardless of his circumstances.

As Christians we will face a whole host of circumstances. Some of those circumstances may be wonderful while others may be awful. However, as Christians, we don’t allow our circumstances to lord over our lives, Jesus is Lord over our lives. Since we are in Him and He in us we find our strength in Him and Him alone. Regardless of what we face in life, we will not be dismayed, for our strength is in Christ and we can do all things through Him, Jesus, who strengthens us.

Just as Philippians 4:13 is one of the most misused verses in the bible the great Christmas Carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is one of the most misunderstood. This classic Christmas Carol was written in the 15th century when some words in the English language had a different meaning than they do today. The word merry is one of those words. In the 15th century, the word merry did not mean happy as it does today. Instead, it meant mighty. In the same way, the word rest meant keep. If this song were written today, instead of saying “God rest ye merry gentlemen let nothing you dismay. Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day,” it would say, “God keep these mighty gentlemen let nothing worry you. Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day.” It’s not as poetic, but you get the point.

As Christians we will have more than a happy Christmas, we will have a mighty Christmas, as the original meaning of merry calls for. It is happy, but also mighty. It is mighty because Jesus Christ was born. Since Jesus Christ was born we have access to God. Since we have access to God we know we are kept in Him and are therefore strengthened through Him to be mighty. For this reason, I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. In Christ, we are mighty. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 26 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share. To see all of the devotions visit rustykuhn.com

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 22, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 25: The Gift of Beautiful Feet

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“ How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” Romans 10:14-15 NASB

When the angel appeared to the shepherds that first Christmas night they said, “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10). His declaration was  that the good news of Christ’s birth was for “all the people.” Later in this same chapter Simeon declared that Jesus came for both the Jews and the Gentiles. Again, He is for all the people.

Jesus didn’t come for a select group of people. Nor did Jesus come only for the faithful who sit in the pews Sunday after Sunday. His heart is that all would come to repentance, receive His free gift of salvation, and be redeemed. For this reason, He told His children to, “Go into all of the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15). Peter tells us in I Peter 2:9 that one of the churches primary roles is, “that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Every Christian is responsible for this task.

Paul said in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power unto salvation unto those who believe.” If the gospel is powerful for transformation, the opposite is true that if the gospel is not proclaimed individuals, families, communities, and societies will be left to ruin apart from the proclamation of it. If you are saved, you are saved because you received the free gift of the gospel. Now that you are saved, God has called you to pay it forward and tell others so they will not be ruined and undone.

We have already seen so many wonderful gifts that God has given to His children. Each gift is received because we received the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are greedy and dishonorable to God if we hoard all of these gifts for ourselves. God’s heart is to save every man woman and child so they too can receive His free gifts. Paul said in Romans 10:13, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How will they know unless we tell them?

The feet that carry the Good News may become callused, bruised, and bloody; they may become dusty, dirty, and grimy; they may become tired, weary, and worn, but they are beautiful to God. For, they are bringing the Good News of Jesus to a lost world, the world of whom He loves and a world He came to save. Although proclaiming the gospel requires sacrifice on our part, it is a gift. A gift to the world in the name of Jesus. Truly, we have received the greatest gift the world has ever seen. Now, let us freely give as we have freely received.

This is part 25 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share. To see all of the devotions visit rustykuhn.com

Merry Christ-Mass

Christmas Gift

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Day 24: The Gift of God’s Temple

28 Days of Christmas Devotions: The Greatest Gift-The Gift of Christ

“ Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” I Corinthians 3:16 NASB

In the Old Testament God dealt with people in a physical way. He called Abram out of Ur to go and poses a physical land that God would eventually give to Abram’s decedents. Through Abraham, God created a physical nation that battled and worked in the physical realm. God, through Moses, called this nation to make a physical tabernacle, and later through Solomon build a physical temple where God would dwell and where they would worship. God used this physical nation to bring about the Messiah, the Son of David, God’s only begotten Son into this world. When the eight days of purification passed Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple to fulfill the law. The priest Simeon rejoiced when he saw the baby Jesus. Simeon rejoiced for he was looking for “the consolation of Israel.” (Luke 2:25).

Today, God chooses to use the church, His spiritual house, to fulfill His purposes upon this earth. The church is not a building or a location. The church is God’s assembled believers and each believer is individually a temple of the Holy Spirit of God. Today, the church, the assembled believers, battle and work in the spiritual realm. We bear spiritual fruit. Paul said in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

When the Virgin Mary conceived, through the power of God, the Angel of the Lord said of the baby she would deliver, “AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” (Matthew 1:23). After Jesus death burial and resurrection, just prior to ascending to be with the Father, Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20). Wow! What an amazing assurance. Jesus was born into this world as God with us, and left this world saying, I am with you always. We have life through Christ, and through Christ we have His presence through the Holy Spirit within us as temple’s of the Holy Spirit. We are never alone. Wherever we go, whatever task He calls us to, or whatever trial we face, God is with us. Truly, we have the greatest gift the world has ever seen.

This is part 24 of 28 devotions that will go through Christmas Eve. If you would like to subscribe to my daily devotions please PM me your email. Also, please share. To see all of the devotions visit rustykuhn.com

Merry Christ-Mass

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Posted by on December 20, 2014 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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