Being Apostles for Christ

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Sermon Notes

Larry_Achen_smlGood evening first time, I got it right. The today our church thinks upon the theme the topic of the apostles apostle the city of our church the nature of our apostolate in what sense are we in the tradition of an apostolate church if you are listening carefully I’m sure you a line in our Nicene Creed in the last paragraph we say I’ve we believe in one holy Catholic Catholic there is lowercase Catholic apostolate church what does that mean apostolate church that is the question for today and with the gospel passage that we have before us that it comes from Matthew’s gospel chapter 16 verse 13 to 20 I have limited to 13 to 19 and I would like to focus on verse 19 the title of the sermon is at the bottom we had seen my keys to understand that by the end I hope when we read this passage what are we supposed and learn about our Martha, church in its nature as an apostolate church what can we learn what we notice first of all about what it means to be apostolate fires a couple of things that I have written down one is apostles follow the teachings of Jesus and so when we say that we apostolate church we are saying that we are also in that same line in that same tradition following the teachings of Christ we follow the leadership of the disciples and the apostles because they themselves were following that’s one understanding of what it means to be apostolate church another thing that I can think of is that we are called apostolate church because each and every one of us is called to be an apostle the apostolate church describes the nature of each of its members as being apostolate we are called to be apostles serving and learning and walking behind Jesus even Paul would go one step beyond that when he starts his letters to different churches he says to this is to the same thing corner the to the same thing Ephesus we could say that yes we are things for Links that may sound a bit odd because they have a different definition of what it means to be a thing but if we take just this simple biblical word Saints holy ones a hug use in Greek it just means those who follow after cracks those other things those would diligently following after Christ so when we say that we are apostolate church we are saying that we are called to be apostles others another thing about our church that I love and many other churches all do say the same thing but I love that we had it written down within our Constitution itself and that is that we believe in the royal priesthood of all believers each and every person sitting here is a royal priests not only are we apostles but we are priests at the huge concept and him and him to teach that concept may need a series in and of itself but I bring that up because there’s two dimensions to that priestly nature that we all have and just as there are two dimensions to an apostolate nature of our church and the first one we know very simply is that first Peter chapter 2 verse nine but you are a chosen race a royal priesthood holy nation God’s own people a call we have set apart we are and apostolate church we trace our origins back to St. Thomas not that we get any pride or arrogance out of that fact should but we say that we do take it seriously we follow in that pattern in that tradition and a tradition simply is this we follow Christ so now reading this passage reading this verse what do we Lanvin what new thing can we learn about what it means to the the apostolate church and having in order to get this little the better we have to deliver the background study on this a Rabbi a Rabbi is like the teacher the day they were the the go to guys affiliating someone needs to lead a Bible study: the Rabbi the Rabbi is the person who takes the Torah the first five books of the Bible the law he takes the Torah he’s studies it can meditate on it he discusses it with others he prays over it and his sole concern is to understand it and explain it better so that people can live it up for example will need examples Sabbath Sabbath is a commandment that comes in the Torah it says keep the Sabbath holy and not work on that date we all know that now with the Rabbi would do is he would create a list of things that you are allowed to do on the Sabbath and him all those things things that are permitted these are things that you can do you can walk got this much and that okay and then there’s another list that he’ll write up in these are lists of things that are not permitted so they specifically if on this list it says he can walk 50 m if you want anything past 50 m it is forbidden it is considered work and so we put it on the forbidden list some beings of rabbis came up with a list of do’s and don’ts in order that they could that to live the Torah it’s not that they had some sick obsession with legalism they you really I just wanted to of pain God’s word to the letter and so they made this list you have a list of things that are permitted in the have a list of things that are not permitted and this collection of interpretations is called a rabbis all the rabbis you and if you follow certain Rabbi you carry that rabbis you do we know will of the Rabbi who said my you is easy and my burden is light Matthew chapter 11 verse 30 that’s what you means we have probably heard more than and agricultural sense but that’s not what the truest meaning is we have a Rabbi who comes up with a set of interpretations for how to live the Torah life and that is called his you so Christ has a set of interpretations for the law he has a way of looking at it a way of explaining it and Jesus tells to us if you do this if you carry my you it is easy not like the other guys who bear you down who put burdens laughter burden on top of you my understanding of how Christian life should be much simpler it’s much easier now ever rabbis with the students is is talking with this class and he asked him some questions and him a student is and interpretation of something that’s way off the phrase used by the Rabbi would be off give abolished the Torah is abolished the Torah and if the student happens to say and interpretation that is in line with the meaning of the Scripture the Rabbi would say of you fulfill the Torah you fulfill the Torah now we know that person and all links together Jesus who in his first public appearance comes out onto the scene in Matthew’s Gospel and what is he say I have not come to abolish the law but I have come to fulfill it the very clearly he’s saying I have not come to give you a wrong understanding on what it means to look like a child of God that comes show you very clearly very very clearly in my actions through my life what is the way in which you can live what is the way that would mean that you are fulfilling the law so that when Jesus came to do he came to show us what it looks like to follow God’s law a the a it’s very rare that you get a a Rabbi who comes onto the scene and has this new interpretation of things but when you do find the Rabbi like that Rabbi like that often would say things like this you have heard it said before but I say to you again that comes from the sermon on the Mount you heard it said before with a word the keys very sharply saying that you a previous understanding itself listen to what I’m saying because this is how you need to live now this endless process of forbidding and permitting this process is called binding and loosing that is the Hebrew kind of terminology they use now are starting to see the link to this verse two Jesus is giving to us away a system of binding and loosing binding means things that we forbid loosing means things that are permitted and when a Rabbi believes that his student has come to a level of maturity he does some very says something very interesting he says I present to you the keys to the kingdom so here in this passage Jesus asks his disciples who do these people say I am they gave their answers and he looks them square in the face he says who do you say I Simon. Has the courage the grace this. Enough to say you are the Messiah son of the living God it’s true that statement of yours shows me that you are mature enough to carry the keys so he gives the keys to the kingdom meaning meaning he is giving Peter the asked for to start reading to reading the Scripture and to car with what it means on his own now this sounds maybe borderline article something that they make it as they put it in Islam an example see sometimes we think that this Scripture contains every answer to all of my questions in life and I’ll be very honest with you it’s not there is no verse in here that says I should Mary Roche is no verse in here that says that a you should leave the and engineering England ministry there’s no verse in here for a lot of my questions life but what I do have is a understanding I had the Holy Spirit and I have the community within which I can understand what this Bible with the word of God is telling me to gain so I take the Scripture was some people thing is a simpler some people think is archaic in olden out of use I take that Scripture with this understanding that Christ has given me the and for me to read and understand and apply what is written here so that I can live like God wants me to live remember these rabbis didn’t come up with ideas just for the sake of they would not legalistic kind of people robots they wanted to know how can I apply this Scripture to my life that I can live what does it mean to be in apostolate church it does not mean simply learning the Bible it does not mean simply coming to church and taking communion what it does mean to the in apostolate church is that I take this God given privilege and responsibility within the framework of the community within the framework of the church to read this Bible and took sides my daily life so that I can live this verse whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven whatever you loose on earth will be loosed have how do we understand that doesn’t mean that whatever I do here is been a be approved uninhabited this is said to someone with maturity someone who is able to understand who Jesus was to that person the person who is taken the yoke of Christ to the person who has followed kind him closely diligently to the one who is given up everything else and set I will follow to that person he says that the way you live life will reflect what goes on in heaven we think heaven should look something radically different than what it looks like now we need to make this place looked like have is what our job is he on a job is not to make it doing get my so that then we can go and be happy our job is to follow the example of Christ which was bringing heaven to earth you all know the song heaven came down and Gloria filled my soul when you think that heaven is referring to Christ Christ came down and when he did he brought all of heaven with not not saying that there’s no such thing as heaven waiting for us after we die but still there but what I am saying is and apostolate church makes that heaven a reality here on and apostolate church study the Bible in the community and the why is it within the society it’s not enough it’s not enough to come every Sunday that’s as much as I love taking Bibles that is less as much as I love going to Bible studies even that is not enough to be an apostle means to be sent the Greek root of that word apostolate is a pole apostolate you to send it I just read the rest of that first Peter chapter 2 verse nine Bible verse number of read the first half when you are chosen people raise some royal priesthood a holy nation God’s own people in order that in order that you may proclaim his mighty acts and his mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light and apostolate church is is huge this is a definition of who we are as a people we are a people who have followed Christ we are people who have taken on that you and show us to his disciples he says I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven be is don’t misuse it don’t misuse it like the Pharisees did Matthew chapter 23 verse 13 wrote to you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven does our life invite people into a relationship with Christ or does our life lock people out of it examine our own hearts before God who knows what it is be honest before him this is not a spectator sport Jesus called us to apply the word apply it through the help of the Holy Spirit within the framework of the church so that the world will know what heaven looks like before they get on