Your identity in Christ - really has to do with you individually personally - today we will talk about our CORPORATE IDENTITY

Key Idea - 

“I believe the church is God’s primary way to accomplish his purposes on earth.”

Key Scripture - 

Eph 4:15

15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

God is a God of deep emotions, desires, and plans:

God has so many things that He wants to see happen!  

He wants to see all the devastation of sin removed from His beautiful creation and He wants to reveal His glory through all of creation to all of creation and back to Himself.

God does nothing outside of relationship - Covenant:

When God has something He wants to do - God makes a promise He makes a Covenant - 

By that Covenant He raises up a PEOPLE  a Family a TRIBE a COMMUNITY to live in covenant partnership with Him. 

He does what He wanted to do IN and THROUGH the Family, the community that he raises up.

God refuses to do ANYTHING in the earth without human cooperation.

God had a covenant people in the OT:

One of the things God wanted to do - he PROMISED to do was to defeat the enemy 

God made a promise to Eve - “Your seed will CRUSH his head" - he didn’t just do it Himself (he totally could have)

God called a man named Abraham and out of this Father of Faith He created a PEOPLE - a Family - The Jewish People.  They are God’s chosen people - chosen to bring forth the Messiah Jesus the Son of the Living God

God has a covenant people NOW - here’s a hint - its you THE CHURCH.

Now in the new Covenant that community has stretched out to include ALL those who by grace through faith are unified with Christ

God sent His Son to create His new covenant People - that in and THROUGH US HIS desires for all mankind, and all the universe would be accomplished - Here’s how that works

It all begins when we BELIEVE

Matt 16:13-19

15He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16SimonPeter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal [this] to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

  • We ARE brought into the covenant when the Holy Spirit shows us WHO JESUS IS and we receive WHAT HE DID.

Once is begins it’s unstoppable

 18"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 

19"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." 20ThenHe warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.

  • What Jesus is going to do through his covenant community cannot be stopped by the enemy!
  • He will give us the keys - authority - that’s the church not just Peter
  • He gives his people the power to do what he has called them to do!

WE must CHOOSE to step into and cooperate WITH this

Eph 4:15

15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 

  • Grow into every respect the mature body of Him - Jesus - the physical presence of Jesus on the planet carrying all His power and His authority - we operate in the world as His active presence

16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

  • Only works as we are:
    • LOVING Him as the head (in charge) - we operate in the world as His active presence AS HE DIRECTS and more and more and deeper and deeper
    • LOVING ourselves - 
      • understanding of our role in midst of the body
      • active participation AS OURSELVES bringing our piece of the puzzle to the table our cog to the machine
        • our time
        • our energy
        • our gifting
        • our resources
    • LOVING each other - 
      • honoring the different role that each person in His body plays that we CANNOT play.  
        • looking at the men and women around you and caring as much about them as you do about yourself.
      • Receiving what they bring - honoring who they are and what they bring and thanking God for them.  

The One who Causes all this to Happen is the Holy Spirit

  • John 20:22 - Jesus Breathes on His disciples and says - RECIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT!
  • Acts 1:8 -  8but 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.”

Prayer for baptism!

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