Kingdom of Christ

November 3, 2019


Listen to this Sermon on YouTube

    

A New Covenant 2019

Kingdom

Let’s begin with a quote… “When Jesus came to this earth, he changed the way humans do religion.” -- Tim Stidham. Over the last two weeks, we have seen how this is true.

--Jesus introduced us to… God our father. We explored the family concept of the New Covenant. 

--Jesus, also, demonstrated we are to be servants. We observed how to view the New Covenant as Servants. 

This morning, I want to argue Jesus initiated something else when he came to this earth.

Jesus invaded our planet. Jesus brought the kingdom of God to this earth. This morning, we are going to follow the concept of Kingdom in the New Covenant. 

Let’s begin with the invasion… 

=======

Mark 1:14-15Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."

Jesus, in his ministry on earth, began an assault upon the stronghold of Satan. Satan, evil, sin, disease, misery, depression, hatred, prejudice, brutality and death are the enemies of humanity. Jesus, in his ministry on earth, attacked them all. 

--Remember Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days… Jesus and Satan went mono-e-mono. Jesus stepped out of the encounter, the victor. Jesus came to defeat Satan.

--All the demons, Jesus came into contact with, were cast out.

--Sickness, disease, leprosy, the crippled, the blind all those with disabilities were healed.

--Even the dead were raised, like Lazarus.

In the three-year ministry of Jesus, an assault began against the kingdom of Satan. Jesus attacked all that stood opposed to Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus began to answer his own prayer to the Father… “Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven!” Jesus brought the kingdom of heaven to earth. Jesus began a long-term war with the kingdom of darkness.

Matthew 10:34"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Let’s follow some of the details of how this war will be won.

=======

God could have snapped his fingers and eradicated Satan, evil, sickness and death in an instant. But, for whatever reason, God does not, usually, operate like that. Through our disobedience we allowed Satan and his cohorts to take control of our world. Consequently, we are going to be involved in the retaking the world. That seems to be a God MO; modus operandi.  God wants us to be involved in the fight for his kingdom! 

But we could not fight this war on our own. We need a commander. We need one of us to pioneer the way to victory. We need someone to lead us.  We need a Messiah; a conqueror! We need a King of Kings. Jesus became one of us to lead us to victory. Jesus demonstrated the way to restore the world. Jesus is our Messiah! 

1 John 3:8Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Jesus came to destroy the works of Satan! We sign up to join the army of the Kingdom. We join Jesus to destroy the works of the devil. 

Let’s follow a major battle between Jesus and Satan.

=======

Jesus advanced the kingdom throughout his ministry, but it was the battle over his death that guaranteed the victory.

The death and resurrection of Jesus destroys the kingdom of darkness in three ways:

1) The power of sacrificial love is the power of the kingdom

The weapon of the kingdom of heaven is sacrificial love. We are able to win the hearts of those under the power of Satan. Jesus demonstrated that willingness to sacrifice for others is the unstoppable power of the kingdom. 

1 Corinthians 1:23-24but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

If we are to view the New Covenant as Kingdom, we commit to sacrificial love.

2) The fear of death no longer has power over us because we too will be resurrected.

Imagine an army whose soldiers can be brought back to life. They would be fearless.

Hebrews 2:14-15Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, Jesus, himself, likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

Jesus ransomed us from slavery, from the darkness, to be fearless, because death has no power over us! We know that we will be like our commander. We will be raised to eternal life. We are fearless soldiers. I wish I could really believe this. I would live a braver life if I, 100% believed I would live again on the restored earth! 

The army of the kingdom will be resurrected!

3) The blood of Jesus opens citizenship in the kingdom 

Colossians 1:13-14He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 

The blood of Jesus cut a New Covenant. That has been the point of this year’s study. The blood of Jesus opens the kingdom of God. We are delivered from the darkness. We are transferred into the kingdom of his Son. Within that kingdom, as citizens of the New Kingdom we have redemption. We have been taken from Satan and turned back against him. Our commander doesn’t kill the other guy’s army. He redeems them to be in his army. Their past is forgotten, erased… Bam, they are new recruits in his army, with accident forgiveness! 

You could never beat an army…

--whose weapon is sacrificial love!

--whose soldiers fear death!

--that redeems the enemy’s soldiers to fight in his army! 

All that happened in the major battle of the cross! It’s all over but the crying for Satan.

But that’s not all… follow this…

=======

Jesus is ruling, now!

At his trial before the high priest, Jesus promised he would rule!

Mark 14:60-62And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, "Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?" But he remained silent and made no answer. Again, the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" And Jesus said, "I am, (ego eimi) and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven."

Jesus promised the High Priest he would be vindicated. He would be victorious. He would sit at the right hand of Power! This is one of the major points made in Scripture. Along with the Gospels, most of the writers of the New Testament point to the victorious Jesus on the right hand of God! 

(Luke) Acts 5:29-31But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

(Paul) Ephesians 1:20-22that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet.

(The writer) Hebrews 12:2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

(Peter) 1 Peter 3:21-22through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

Jesus ascended to the right hand of God until all enemies are defeated.

1 Corinthians 15:24-26Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Hebrews 10:12-13But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.

Jesus rules now. We fight in his army to defeat all his enemies!

Here is what this means for us. 

=======

Our purpose in the New Covenant is to advance the Kingdom! 

--In his ministry, Jesus demonstrated the importance of fighting… Satan, evil, sin, sickness. We resist evil. We offer redemption to those enslaved to sin. We advance medicine and science to find cures. We feed the hungry. We pray. We fight as Jesus did in his ministry.

--In his death, Jesus taught us how to fight… sacrificial love. All we do is done from love. Our power, our methods, our victories are advanced with sacrificial love! We fight as Jesus did.

--In his resurrection, we know death has no power, for we will live again. We are fearless. We don’t worry about legacy. We don’t care about accomplishments. We fight with the courage of our commander!

--In his ascension… we must continue the fight until all his enemies are defeated. I don’t know, but I suspect, the reason Jesus hasn’t returned yet, is we need to fight together to defeat all his enemies. 

--In his return, death will be destroyed, the last enemy! 

We are involved in the continuing advancement of the Kingdom! We are the Lord’s army! 

We view the New Covenant as the New Kingdom of God! 

Let’s take the kingdom test. Remember your family score and your servant score. Add to that this Kingdom score. If you missed the previous tests, they are on our website… losalamoschurchofchrist.com. (Take a look…)

(Take Test) 

Romans 8:34-37Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died- more than that, who was raised- who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us!

Tim Stidham

November 3, 2019

Los Alamos Church of Christ 

  

Kingdom Test

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being… NOT ME and 10 being… EXACTLY ME…

1) When I pray, I imagine Jesus ruling at the right hand of God.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

2) When I pray, I pray for the advancement of the kingdom.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

3) When I have a choice to make, I think about how it helps the kingdom.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

4) When I see others, who are Christians, I see soldiers.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

5) I view suffering as an opportunity to be a conqueror. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

6) Wrong is being a coward. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

7) I view medical and scientific discoveries as advancing the kingdom.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

8) I think telling others about Jesus is all that matters.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

9) I view my service as conquering the enemies of Christ. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

10) This sermon has been meaningful to me.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

Total __________

  ����

The Body of Christ

November 17, 2019


Listen to this Sermon on YouTube

   

  

A New Covenant 2019

Body

This morning we are going to learn a new word. This is a word we learned in my Bible class several weeks ago. I want to share it with all of you. The word is paraphier.

A paraphier is the connection between a metaphor and what is being explained. Metaphors help us understand by comparing things we know to things we don’t. The paraphier is the part of the metaphor that helps us understand. 

For example, Jesus said…

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” 

Our role in the world is explained as a light; a bright city. The paraphier is the connection. We should allow others to see the Gospel in the way we live. The paraphier is we are never hidden.

Here is another…

"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”

We are sheep, serpents and doves.  This means we are as dumb as sheep; as sneaky as snakes and as tasty as doves. No. Those are the wrong paraphiers. We are innocent, but wise. 

Here is a non-biblical one…

“He fell for her hook, line, and sinker.”

This is a fishing metaphor, as well as a tripping metaphor. The paraphier is “he” really likes “her”.

One more… a little closer to home.

“Even in his last years, Grandpa had a steel trap mind, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.”

The paraphier is that Grandpa is still amazingly sharp. 

The paraphier is the point of the metaphor that helps us understand the reality of something else. Now, we all know our new favorite word… we can do the sermon.

=======

This morning, we are going to focus on the Body metaphor of the New Covenant. This is a powerful way to look at who we are in the New Covenant. We are the body of Christ. Think of a living human body with Jesus as the head and we are a pieces-parts of that living body! Wow! Jesus considers us his body! 

Ephesians 1:17-23 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

We are the fullness of Jesus who fills everything! I’m not sure all this means. But it sounds impressive. We are his body. We complete Jesus. We fill up everything for Jesus. We are the full Jesus in the world! Bam! 

This has to mean something like… We are the extended hands of Christ serving the world. We are the feet of Christ going into the world. We are the ears of Christ, listening to the hurting. We are the heart of Christ, loving each other. We are the mouth of Christ speaking His words! We are the fullness of Christ… We are his body! 

Now, let’s use our new word. Let’s explore the paraphiers of the Body of Christ metaphor! You understand that sentence! Let’s explore how the body of Christ metaphor makes a difference in our who we are!  

This is fascinating… I think there are four Body of Christ paraphiers. “No way.” Way. Later in the letter to the Ephesians in one paragraph Paul uses 4 paraphiers of the body metaphor! 

Listen for the four paraphiers…

Ephesians 4:15-16 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up (ONE) in every way intohim who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together (TWO) by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly,(THREE) makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.(FOUR)

4 paraphiers of the body metaphor.

Let’s do each one.

=======

Paraphier One: The Body grows up into the Head. 

ESV Ephesians 4:15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

YLT Ephesians 4:15 and, being true in love, we may increase to Him in all things, who is the head -- the Christ;

But truth in love growing in all in the head; Christ. Literal Greek.

Picture a human body; perhaps a baby. The neurons from the baby’s brain are sending messages to all the parts of the body… “Let’s do some growing parts… heart pump out some blood… lungs we need some oxygen… mouth do some eating… bottom fill up that diaper… all pieces-parts do some growing… cells start splitting… everyone do your thing…”

Babies grow. Human bodies which are connected to the head, grow. Here is the paraphier part… We, as the body of Christ, grow when we stay connected to our Head. We grow in love. We grow when our love is true, because Jesus is the head. Jesus grows us in love as we stay connected to the Head; him. 

That leads us to our next paraphier. Perhaps we have progressive paraphiers. “Seriously?” Progressive paraphiers.

========

Paraphier Two: The Body holds together. 

ESV Ephesians 4:16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped,

NJB Ephesians 4:16 by whom the whole Body is fitted and joined together, every joint adding its own strength,

We grow as we are connected to the head. We grow in our power of love as, as, as… every pieces-part adds its own strength to the whole. The head is sending the neurons to the members of the body to grow in love… but these messages are not isolated. We do not grow individually. We grow together with the rest of the body. You can’t take out a kidney from the body and send it a message to grow. It has to have blood from the heart. It requires oxygen from the lungs. It needs the lymphatic system to do whatever the lymphatic system does. 

We grow in love. We grow in love together. It is difficult to be a pieces-part of the body separate from the body. The body is crucial to your growth in Christ. “Say that again, Tim. I’m not sure everyone heard you.” This body is crucial to your development as a loving part of Christ.

That is the second paraphier. Being together is essential to your growth. 

--“Yah, but Tim, I don’t like very many of you.” Doesn’t matter. Growing in love requires you to be with people you don’t like. That’s how you grow.

--“Surely, Tim, you don’t have to be around all those noisy kids.” Patience/love comes from loving on noisy snot-nosed kids.

--“Tim, I’d rather do church in the woods.” I get that. But you won’t learn to love me while you are all by yourself in the woods.

--“I don’t like the singing. I don’t care for you sermons. I don’t like Bible classes. The elders are clueless. “Second Sunday Not Dogs” isn’t. Kids run around like chickens. I get tired of all the complaining.” Doesn’t matter. You are not here because it’s all peaches and cream. You are here to grow up into the one who died for you. You are here to learn to love me. We grow when we are involved in each other’s lives! And don’t offend Tanya’s chickens. 

The second paraphier is that we are held together just like a human body. We grow as we are stuck together. 

Which leads to the next progressive paraphier.

=======

Paraphier Three: The Body works properly.

ESV Ephesians 4:16…when each part is working properly,

YLT Ephesians 4:16…according to the working in the measure of each single part,

According to the power of each part doing its job. We grow in love while connected to the head and learning to love each other as, as, as, we all do our jobs; our roles; our functions; our biology. Head sending messages… body adding support… each part functioning… We are the body of Christ! Three spectacular paraphiers!

Sneak over to 1 Corinthians 12. Paul elaborates on this paraphier of the body metaphor. 

1 Corinthians 12:15-21 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."

Picture a 180-pound eyeball. 

--The 180-pound eyeball could not play quarterback on any football team; even the Browns. 

--The 180-pound eyeball could not write the simplest poem. “Rose are red. Violets are blue...” the 180-pound eyeball does not come through. 

--The 180-pound eyeball would make a lousy marriage-counselor. It could not listen, nor give advice.

But, if you take the 180-pound eyeball and shrink it down to about one ounce, put it in an eye-socket connect the optical nerve to the brain of a working human body that eye can do amazing things…

--The one-ounce eyeball can differentiate between 10 million colors.

--The one-ounce eyeball can detect a single photon of light. I read it on the internet.

--Add a second eyeball, they allow the brain to determine the depth and distance to an object, with stereovision, and gives the sense of three-dimensionality everything they see!

The eye is just one part of an amazing conglomeration of pieces-parts we call the human body. Here is the paraphier. The body of Christ is no less amazing. When a body, we call a church, has all of its pieces-parts working as God has arranged them, we can accomplish amazing things!

A fully functional body of Christ can change the world. It can change hearts.  It spreads the love of Christ to a hurting world! A fully functional body of Christ can change eternity! 

Which brings us full-circle back to our fourth paraphier. 

=======

Paraphier Four: The Body builds itself up in love.

ESV Ephesians 4:16 …makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

NLT Ephesians 4:16 …so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

1 Corinthians 12:24-27 But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

We grow full of love…

--If I stump my toe, my hands don’t laugh. My hands reach out to minister to my hurt toe. My whole body feels the hurt. My whole body does all it can to heal the toe. 

--If I am eating a Green Chile Cheeseburger, my ears are not jealous of my mouth. We all enjoy it. 

--If I get a hug from a granddaughter, my entire body is honored. 

We experience joy and grief, together.

We share pride and embarrassment, together.

We hurt and we heal, together. 

The body of Christ builds itself up in love. Wow, I want to be; I want to remain; I want incorporated into such a body! Amen?

Let’s take the Body Test. 

Romans 12:4-10 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them… Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.


Tim Stidham

November 17, 2019

Los Alamos Church of Christ 

  

Body Test

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being… NOT ME and 10 being… EXACTLY ME…

1) When I pray, I speak for the whole congregation. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

2) I often pray for the love of each other. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

3) When I have a choice to make, I think about you.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

4) When I see others, who are Christians, I wonder what their congregation is like.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

5) I view suffering as a group thing. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

6) Wrong is ignoring each other. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

7) I view my time with the congregation as precious.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

8) I think connecting to people, I don’t know well in the congregation, is important. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

9) I view my service as supporting the body. 

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

10) This sermon has been meaningful to me.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 - 10

Total __________