Introduction… The purpose of this lesson is to motivate the saints to action. In Ephesians 5:25, Paul tells us that Christ loved the church and gave Himself to it. We too must love the church and give ourselves to it. I want to share a twofold message:
a) The character and makeup of a victorious church
b) The character and makeup of the men and women within the church
The church’s first priority is worship… Giving ourselves time to praise the Lord. It is in praise that we begin to sense the presence of God. We come to a corporate gathering from a hectic society. Here in the time of worship, the Lord ministers to each individual as hearts open up to Him. Jesus moves among us and transforms lives. He is the power and life of the gathering. Paul exhorts us in Colossians 2:19 to “hold [to] the Head.” It is from Him that the entire body is nourished, ministered to, and knit together.
The church’s second priority is to be ministry-minded… i.e., to make the purposes of Christ known to the world. These purposes are seen in the Great Commission: to teach, to preach, to witness, to shepherd, and to disciple. If we think small, we will only get in God’s way because He has a worldwide program.
The character and makeup of the victorious church can be seen in Exodus 35…
a) V. 1… The church is victorious because Christ set up leadership and congregation. The leader is part of the congregation too. He is the shepherd but also a sheep.
b) Vv. 4-19… The church is victorious because it moves by the word of God. Note vv. 1,4: “This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying . . .” (v. 4, KJV). Verses 5-19 was the word for that particular season. God wanted a tabernacle built with the finances and materials to be supplied by the people.
c) Vv. 21-22… The church is victorious when the people respond. “Every one whose heart stirred him up” (v. 21, KJV). God holds us responsible for what we have heard, for what we know, and for what we have learned. People whose heart is stirred get the job done. Our faith is seen by what we do. God wants the character of the church to come forth in power. Note v. 21… “Every one whom his spirit made willing.” A willing spirit deals with attitude. A willing spirit is made in us by the Holy Spirit. A willing spirit is servanthood at its best. Note v. 22, “willing hearted”; this has to do with our affection toward the things of the Lord. This is people in love with the Lord.
d) Vv. 20-35… The church is victorious because the people were givers. Verse 22… “they brought.” Verse 22… “they offered.” Verse 23… “they found.” Note also in 36:6 that the people had to be restrained because too much was given. The church was victorious because of wise-hearted men and wise-hearted women (vv. 25, 35-36). “Wise-hearted” refers to skills, abilities, talents, and gifts. These took their skills and applied them to the building up of the tabernacle. James 1:5 (KJV) says, “If any of you lack wisdom” (i.e., skill, knowledge, and abilities), let him ask of God. The same spirit that increases our spiritual skills can increase our natural skills. Being close to the Lord and in His word will sharpen our skills. Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands (Aaron represented the spiritual and Hur represented the practical). In Acts 24:14-16, Paul says, “And herein do I exercise myself” (v. 16). “Exercise” is the same word as skill and wisdom. “I take my skills and use them to keep void of offense.” Note Exodus 35:29, “for all manner of work.” The wise-hearted were sensitive to all manner of work, not just the work of preaching and teaching. We are members one of another. God wants us excited about His work.
e) V. 27… The church is victorious because of rulers, i.e., elders and deacons. God set them there. Note 1 Corinthians 12:28 also. This is more than just a church staff. Leaders are people who are “up front” leading, exhorting, serving, and much more.
f) And finally, Exodus 36:13… The church is victorious because “it became one tabernacle” (KJV). The people saw only one tabernacle. Colossians 1:18-29… The church is to be presented holy and without blame or reproof in the Lord’s sight (v. 22).
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved