Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Foundations of the Local Church - Part 1


This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on April 23rd, 2023  by Colin.  For the audio & video please click here. To listen to the worship please click here.


Why do we exist as a church? What is the reason for our existence?

Many people come to faith and have an incomplete view of the plan of God for the church.


Otherwise, we will be like the 3 men who were working on a construction site

I am carrying bricks

I am  placing the cement on the bricks

I am constructing a hospital that will save thousands of lives

We need to have a vision for the church and a biblical basis for why we exist and what is it we are called to be and do.


Or we can be like a family who came to church …

How was it today?

The music was too loud

The preaching was too long

Youngest – I don’t know what you are complaining about – for the Rs. 10 we put in the offering we got cold drinks and chips for all of us!


With an incomplete or faulty view of the plan of God, we can become consumer Christians all the time asking the question – “What can I get out of it”. “How does it suit me”.


Every church has a foundation. Eph 2:20 Eph 2:20 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

This foundation needs to be laid in every church in every generation.

This is what the church is going to be built upon.

Paul laid a clear foundation - knew what it was and knew when he laid it.

1 Cor 3:10 10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Acts 14:22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.

What is that foundation?

The narrative of God's plan throughout scripture.  The overall plan of God is revealed in Scripture. And determines a biblical worldview.

The promises found in the Old Testament are fulfilled in Christ and now worked out by those in Christ believers both Jews and Gentiles

you cannot understand the New Testament fully without understanding the Old Testament.

 It was God's plan to renew the world to head up everything under Christ

 We all have a worldview. What is a worldview? Every culture has a worldview. How the culture looks on the whole world. At the deepest level of culture often when we talk about culture we talk about external manifestations - what people wear, what they eat.

The deepest level of culture which you don't know you have is how you look at the world. Worldview is essentially a story. World view determines our beliefs and our behaviour

ill.  food habits

some people don't eat pork

some people don't eat any meat - only vegetables

some people don't even eat garlic potato and onion


We all have a worldview shaped by our family, school, religion, country

but it is not just food habits - all of life is shaped by our worldview


What is the truth?

or rather - Who is the truth?

 Jn 14:6 I am the way and the truth and the life ...

Jesus claims to be the ultimate truth

 In the biblical worldview, we know the new story of what God wants to do in the whole earth - biblical worldview

 A worldview is like wearing coloured glasses

wear blue glasses- see everything as blue

The narrative style of preaching generally used by Jesus

he used parables and stories all the time our worldview helps us interpret events

 e.g. Luke 24:13 - The first Easter Sunday when Jesus was raised from the dead


Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets he explained to them all that was said in the Scriptures concerning himself.

OT Scriptures

Jesus taught them the big story

Luke 24 Emmaus road

Jesus opened up from the Old Testament  

Luke 24:77 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.


Going thru Genesis thru Revelation

Our task as church planters are to first get a biblical worldview and then pass this on to the people we are reaching.

 Another way to understand worldview is to understand the Grand Story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth created man and woman in his image the plan was to fill the earth - with his glory

Gen 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, be fruitful and increase in number. fill the earth and subdue it.

The Garden of Eden - the first temple where God met with men and women

That is what a temple is - where God meets with people - not a building

The idea was to spread that throughout the earth

However, sin came into the world and instead of it being filled with the glory of the Lord Gen 6:5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time

the whole earth was filled with wickedness

But God started making promises as soon as sin came into the world

God is a wonderful redemptive God who loves to save

the first promise - promise Gen 3::15 And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman, and between your offspring] and hers;
he will crush[
b] your head, and you will strike his heel.”

 Notice the redemptive character of God – Adam and Eve sinned and God made a plan to rescue them.

 The example of Noah. even when wickedness comes there will be a way to escape

Noah found grace/favour in the eyes of God

8 But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord.


Not that he was not a godly man - but he found favour/grace with God

After Noah came out of the ark the same command was given - it was  a missionary command Gen9:1

Adam and Eve had a missionary command to fill the earth

Noah and his sons had a missionary command to scatter throughout the earth

Gen 9:1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. so they started to do that then they ran into a problem

Babel - was resistant to the plan of God to scatter people

Gen 11:4  Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

Babel is the first manifestation of what keeps coming again and again and is opposed to the advance of the gospel and the coming of the kingdom of God which is the Empire spirit. Right thru the bible is where it is found.

So dominant  that they insisted that everyone speak the same language - which is what empires do

Daniel - spiritual conflict between human empire and human domination and the working out of the kingdom of God.


God brings judgment on the empire of Babel

He then makes another promise brings promise to Abraham

Gen 12:3 and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.

The people of god go to Egypt and become slaves

the next promise like a dramatic demonstration of what was going to come

A promise is not always words - can be a drama :

rescued from slavery by the sacrifice of a lamb and an act of great power

the lamb was sacrificed and the people of Israel were saved and went through the red sea and enacted promise - a lamb and an act of great power going thru the OT talking about the things concerning Jesus' passover and acts of great power

and then the establishment of sacrifice the glory of God coming down in the Tabernacle we get the book of Leviticus which is  all about sacrifice

get to Leviticus stumble through what do you do with the fat around the kidneys

in the way the bible is developing it is very important

it is saying sacrifice must be perfect God is holy cant have access to his presence taking sin with you

Heb 9:22 Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin

it is very important and is referred to in the NT

establishment of the Tabernacle and then the temple

what that was doing was referring back to the original temple garden of Eden


Certain symbols within that Tabernacle

Curtain - only high priest could enter once a year

to remind them of the Garden of Eden - cherubim to stop them from coming in.

In Exodus 25:18-22, God gives instructions to Moses regarding the construction of the Ark of the Covenant, which was to be placed in the innermost part of the Tabernacle. On top of the Ark, there were to be two cherubim made of gold, facing each other with their wings spread out. The cherubim were to be made as part of the cover of the Ark, which was known as the "mercy seat." God said that He would meet with Moses there, between the two cherubim, to speak with him about His commands for the Israelites.

In Exodus 26:1, God instructs Moses to make the Tabernacle, which was to be the place where God would dwell among His people. The Tabernacle was to be covered with curtains, and on the curtains were to be woven images of cherubim.


 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side[e] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the Tree of Life.

Read the details about the tabernacle - cherubim on the curtains

Cherubin in the Garden of Eden guarding the way to the Tree of Life

you can't come in

that is established the worship of God

 Then the promise to David

a specific promise

from your seed, a king will come who will rule the whole world forever

psalms came. They have a prophetic nature

Psalm  87: 3

Glorious things are said of you,

    City of God:[a]

We need to ask ourselves how we fit in with God's plan rather than ask God what is your plan for us.

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.  

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