The Marks of the Church – Romans 10:17

Today is Tuesday, April 7, 2020, and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection series # 18.

Welcome – so that you are joining me today.

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Resurrection Sunday Service – Drive in Church out at the Buffalo Ranch 564 Roberts Lane, Blanchard Idaho. Come join us. Bonner County Sheriff’s approval. All precautions will be taken to keep people safe. NO ONE will be allowed to leave their cars. If you cannot follow the rules – PLEASE don’t come.

Mask Making Contest – I want to create a contest beginning today for the creation of the most unique face covering. Design it, create it, wear it, post a picture of you wearing it at my email – I will find a prize for the most creative face covering! Presently we have two entries.

Three FREE books from Moody Press –

Today in the News:

NYC coronavirus deaths jumped by 731 on Monday – the biggest daily increase.

U.K. Boris Johnson in stable condition in ICU.

Treasury dept seeking $ 200 billion to replenish small business coronavirus program.

Apple buys Dark Sky weather app.

US Dept of Transportation orders airlines to pay refunds.

Disneyland tickets are not refundable, but still useable.

Pause for Prayer:

  • Resurrection Sunday Service
  • Anxiety in the life of people
  • God to bring about a Revival in America
  • Spirit Lake Police Dept – Kevin Ward
  • Local responses to people’s needs.
  • Divine encouragement through Scripture.
  • Healing for those who have COVID-19 in our major cities.
  • Tom Spann & Bob Ahsmuhs – cancer treatment.
  • Elderly in Spirit Lake.

    What can I pray for you today? Send us your prayer requests.

 Our WORD from the Lord today is taken from Romans 10:17

   Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

   Today I want to have a word with you about The Marks of the Church. Please remember that I am reading through a book by Mark Dever called, The Church. Hope that you are blessed as we study The Church together. 

   Yesterday we look at Four Attributes of the Church – The church is one, holy, universal, and apostolic. Today, I want us to take a look at two very clear Marks of the Church. These two marks are what makes a church a church. They are:

  • Right preaching of the Word of God.
  • Right administration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
   I. Right Preaching as a Mark of a True Church

   Right Preaching the Word of God

  • God’s people in Scripture are created by God’s Revelation of himself. His Spirit accompanies his Word and brings life.
  • Theme of Scripture – Life through the Word.

   God created life in Genesis 1 by his breath. God spoke and the world and all living beings were created. In Genesis 1:30, the living creatures are described as having the “breath of life” in them.

   Genesis 2:7 God created man and breathed in him the breath of life.

   After the Fall how did God sustain the offspring of Adam and Eve? The Word. Over 3,000 times we read in the Old Testament, “Thus saith the LORD.”

   When God chose Abram he called him by his Word – Genesis 12:1-3

   When God called Moses he called hi by his word at the burning bush – Exodus 3:4

   When God gave his people the Law he gave them 10 “words” – Exodus 20

   When God gave Ezekiel a prop hectic picture of a valley of dry bones (represented Israel), those bones came to life when the prophet preached to them – life in the word – Ezekiel 37:7-10.

   The consistent message of Scripture is that God created his people and brings them life through his word.

   New Testament

   God’s word plays a central role as the bringer of life.

   So the eternal Word of God, the Son of God, became incarnate for the salvation of God’s people – John 1:14

   Jesus preached God’s word, and he also embodied it perfectly.

   Romans 10:17 – Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

   The Framework of Right Preaching: Biblical Theology

   Deuteronomy 6:4 – “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!

   Hear God / Love God

   What is the greatest of all commandments? Matthew 22:37

   A right understanding of God provides the right framework for preaching. Everything a preacher says must be placed with and shaped by the grid of biblical theology that teaches both preacher and congregation about God and what he requires of humanity.

   The church has at its center – God, and God’s Word.

   What do we know about God? What are God’s Attributes?

  • God is holy – Luke 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7; 1 Peter 1:16).
  • God is faithful – He keeps his promises – Exodus 34:6-7; Deuteronomy 18:15-19
  • God is loving – John 3:16
  • God is sovereign – Matthew 6:10 (His rule will one day be acknowledged by all at the end).

   The God of the Bible must be the foundation and framework of all teaching and preaching in the church.

   The Center of Right Teaching: The Gospel

   The church must have a right understanding of the gospel.

   If a church’s teaching depicts people as merely spiritually sick, not spiritually dead, the gospel has been distorted. Robert Schuller theology was that man only has a bad self-image. Change his bad self-image and he is a new creation. If congregants are regarded as consumers rightly expectant of a spiritual upgrade, not as rebels before a holy judge, then the gospel has probably been forgotten.

   Right teaching about the gospel also centers the church on Christ’s work of atonement and not only on his teaching of life example.

   The Bible is more than good moral or ethical instructions.

   Right teaching about the gospel center the church not on human actions but on receiving by faith and repentance the rewards of God’s actions in Christ.

   2 Corinthians 5:21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

   James 2:17,26

   A gospel centered church teaches the need to both turn from sin and to turn to Christ.

   A cross not taken up by repentance or affirmed by faith is a cross that does not save.
   II. Right Administration of the ordinances as a Mark of a True Church

   What two ordinances did Christ leave for the church to keep? Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Some add foot washing from John 13. However, I believe Jesus was setting an example of service, and not an ordinance.

  • Baptist churches – ordinances – ordained by Christ.
  • Catholic church – sacrament – provides an element of salvation.

   Baptism: As set forth by Christ and Scripture

   Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River – Matthew 3:15-16; Luke 3:21; John 1:29-34

   The Christian church is commanded to practice baptism by immersing a person in water who both professes and evidences conversion. This baptism is performed in obedience to Christ as a confession of sin, a profession of faith in Christ, and a display of hope in the resurrection of the body. It is performed only once.  The proper mode, subjects, and significance of baptism are now considered.

  • Mode – Immersion best provides the picture of death, burial, and resurrection.
  • Subjects – Jesus himself was an adult when he was baptized – Matthew 3:15

   Baptism is exclusively for those who believe in Christ and follow him. Four reasons:

  1. Those who evangelize are commanded to baptize those who repent and believe – Matthew 28:18-20; John 4:1-2
  2. In the book of Acts only those who repented and believed were baptized – Acts 2:37-41; 8:12-13:36-38; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15,33; 18:8; 19:5
  3. Paul’s letters demonstrate the twin assumptions that those who have believed have been baptized and those who have been baptized believe – Romans 6:1-5; Galatians 3:26-27; Colossians 2:11-12
  4. Paul associated baptism with baptism with salvation not as a cause of salvation but as roughly contemporary occurrences – Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21

   Baptism doesn’t create saving faith. No baptism is the outward sign of the inward change. It testifies to the presence of such grace and faith.

   The Lord’s Supper: Do this in remembrance of Me – Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24

  • Bread – His broken body
  • Cup – Fruit of the vine – his shed blood.
  • Form – no protocols were provided.
  • Elements – bread and wine (Matthew 26:29)
  • Prayer of thanks – Matthew 26:27
  • Hymn – Matthew 26:30
  • Participants – As with baptism the participants are those who have placed their faith and belief in Jesus Christ. We are talking about Christians.

   Picture – It is the believers subject of identification with Christ saving work, represent it objectively by the elements on the table. The one who takes the bread and the cup testifies to sharing in the fruits of Christ death, including a communion with both God and fellow Christians through the Spirit.

   Paul’s warning – 1 Corinthians 11:29

   Because faith is required for those who celebrate the Lord supper, it must be reserved for those who have believed and have been baptized.

   How often? The Lords supper should be repeated regularly as a continuing symbol of participating in Christ by faith. Those who look by faith to the body and blood of Christ for salvation are called to participate in this feast and do so in remembrance of him and in expectation of that final day when, Jesus said, “I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29).

   Thought for the day: The Lord supper is a rehearsal for the marriage supper of the lamb – Revelation 19:9

   Remember, I am in touch, so you stay in touch.

   As Robert King always ended his daily radio program, “Walk with the King today, and be a blessing.”