Jan 27, 2008

“Commitment Among Corruption” (Matthew 13.31-32, 44-45)

In our previous journey to First Baptist Church of Chassahowitzka I preached from the following message outline.  It is not a manuscript, as I am not in the practice of using a manuscript.  It is then outline developed during my studies.  While I know there are much better outlines and content out there, I have no objections to this being used for study or to preach without being given credit.  I expect anyone who takes an outline to use makes it their own through further study anyway- especially with the bare-bones outline I offer.

He put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches."

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.   (Matthew 13.31-32, 44-46 ESV)

The world looks at the church and seed corruption and a mixed message. Is the world really seeing the church? People around us may claim to be Christians, but how many despise the Gospel of Christ?

Context (13.31a)
• Parables refer to Kingdom, seeds, sower and corrupted seeds
• Consistent ideas: Kingdom, few faithful, wicked among the believers
• Pictures used: seed, sower, enemy/bird, tree, nest, leaven

Commencement (13.31b-32a)
• Small beginning
*whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice (Zech. 4.10 ESV)
• Seeds yield mixed fruit: tainted by the enemy

Corruption (13.32b)
• Mustard seeds: grow bushes, not trees (perverted growth)
• Misused Gospel: perverted, overshadows true Church
• Misnamed “faithful”: unbelievers considered Christian
*Rome example (although I do accept that there are Christians within Roman churches)
-33% (2.1 billion) of world “Christian”
-1.1 Roman “catholic”- not a Gospel church
-world sees RCC as the face of Christianity
-false gospel: works not grace/tradition equal to Scripture
-pope is vicar (substitute or replacement) of Christ
• Birds: earlier Jesus defined at “the evil one”
• Nests: entrenched, dwelling among God’s people
• God’s people remain as a remnant (as in parable of the sower- good soil)

Commitment (13.44-46)
• Find valuable item (the Kingdom- uncorrupted)
• Sell everything (commit total life to it)
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. (Psalm 91.7 ESV)

Conclusion: One day God will separate true believers from nominal Christians. He is not fooled and expects us to commit to Him no matter what we see going on around us.

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