Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sermon: Micah 4:1-5

Here is my sermon outline from last Sunday. If you want to listen to it you can find it here. (As you can see I have not yet figured out how to indent.)

Christ Church of Morgantown
4th Sunday of Easter
April 25th, 2010
Sermon: The Kingdom of Christ
Micah 4:1-5

What is the Kingdom of Christ? If I was to ask you to describe it, what would say it looks like? What characterizes the Kingdom of Christ? Can we even bring the Kingdom of Christ into the present age?
All of the Christian life and the life of the Church can be grouped into three different phases: definitive, progressive and final. Here are some examples.

Personal Salvation

Corporate Salvation
Definitive-Church was saved at the Cross
Progressive-Church is being saved throughout the ages
Final-Church will be saved when Christ returns

The Kingdom of Christ
Definitive-The Kingdom came with Christ (Matthew 10:7, 12:28)
Progressive-The Kingdom comes in history (Matthew 6:10)
Final: The Kingdom will come when Christ returns (Matthew 25:31-34)

Therefore we must not push what we read here in Micah 4-5 into some future heavenly state. Yes it will be perfectly realized in the new heavens and new earth. But we are to drag the future into the present. We are to make the Kingdom incarnate among the nations of the world. This will never be perfect on earth, just as our sanctification will never be complete on earth. But we are still to pursue our sanctification. So too, we are still to pursue the building of the Kingdom of Christ here on earth.
So Micah gives us some characteristics of the kingdom here at the beginning of chapter 4. We are to take these characteristics and weave them into the life of our church and in our homes.

1. The Kingdom of Christ is glorious (vs. 1)
a. A great reversal from 3:12 to 4:1. In 3:12 the Kingdom is plowed under and destroyed. Here is 4:1 it is lifted up above all mountains. The kingdom has been raised from the dead.
b. Do we value the Church as we ought? Do we despise the glorious kingdom which God has set up?
c. Are we grateful for our inclusion in this glorious kingdom? Do we realize that our adoption in Christ has brought us into the greatest kingdom? Do we take this for granted or feel as if we deserve it?

2. The Kingdom of Christ is centered on God’s Word (vs. 2)
a. The picture here is of a people who hunger and thirst for God’s Word. This is not a people who see God’s Word as a duty or chore. God’s Word is their delight.
b. They are not going to learn God’s Word so they might have more information. They are going to learn God’s Word so they might “walk in his paths.” The goal is obedience.
c. Do we long for God’s Word? Is this what we hunger for? Do we simply know about the Bible? Or do we obey it?

3. The Kingdom of Christ is community (vs. 2, 5)
a. Note the language in this section. It is not “I” am going up to God’s house. It is “let us go to the mountain of the Lord.” And then in verse 5 “we will walk in the name of the Lord our God.”
b. We need to see ourselves not as individuals going to worship God. Or as individuals trudging through the Christian life. We need to see ourselves as belonging to the throng of God’s people who ascend to Mt. Zion. Even when we are alone, we are still united to our brothers and sisters in Christ by the Spirit. Our first identity is not “I,” but we.
c. Illustration: One of the few failings of Pilgrims Progress, is that the picture given of the Christian life is that of an individual pushing his way through the Christian. The Biblical picture is normally that of a group/community

4. The Kingdom of Christ is Peace (vss. 3-5)
a. Because Christ reigns (vs. 3a)
b. Because all members work for the welfare of the other members(vs. 3b)
c. Because God provides for His people (vs. 4)
i. cross-reference Philippians 4:6-7
d. Because our hearts are undivided (vs. 5)
i. Verse 5 gives a picture of a people who are fully devoted to God and refuse to be pushed off the path of righteousness.

Final Application
Do those who see us see an accurate picture of the Kingdom of Christ? It will never be perfect on earth. Are our homes and churches filled with the peace of Christ? Do we live in community? Are we developing community? Is the Word of God our life, our bread? Finally, do we realize that we belong to the most glorious Kingdom that has ever existed?

1 comment:

Satyanandam said...

Good sermon for a contemporary situation and relevant to make Christian responsibility a corporate effort.
Rev. Satyanandam Paul

Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8