Go

Cornerstone Community Church

A Few Good Men for the City

Intro: “Reveal” study & “build it and they will come” mentality miss meaningful ministry.

Big Idea:  Jesus works thru godly people to create a city that worships Him.

Context:  Nehemiah came to comfort God’s people by honoring Him.  First he rebuilt the wall, but his work is far from done.  The city is barren & dangerous.  Recognize potential problems.

I. Follow faithful leaders for the well-being of the city.

-         Problem #1: Jerusalem was largely empty, the people lived in the “suburbs.”

-         God put it in Nehemiah’s heart to repopulate Jerusalem- needed to provide security.

-         Gatekeepers- control traffic in & out of the city.  Ill. Bouncers, immigration

-         Closed the gates in the heat of the day while the citizens slept.  Kept the wolves out!

-         Hanani- “faithful & feared God”.  Not a ‘yes man’ for Nehemiah.  Not nepotism.

-         Trustworthy- he did the right thing, not caving in to pressure from either Neh. or Tobiah.

-         Problem #2:  Many nobles allied w/Tobiah to undermine Nehemiah.  Ill. E-mails & calls

-         People had to choose between bloodlines & “proven track record of godliness.”

-         Nehemiah wanted the people to follow them back into the city.  Ill. Census list

-         Faithful leaders create an environment where the gospel can be heard.  Ill. M&HW

-         Jesus works in people to develop character => works thru them as leaders (Titus 1).

-         Gospel=> faithful leaders => faithful congregations => faithful city

Transition:  God’s plan for the city includes an environment for meaningful ministry.

II. Worship Jesus to create a worship-filled city.

-         A ‘safe’ environment is a means to an end- meaningful ministry must take place.

-         He appointed musicians God had graciously provided (148) to return to work.

-         Biblical worship is gospel-centered: exalts God for what He has done/does to save us.

-         God provided 4,000 priests & $11.9 million to facilitate worship.  Worship matters! 

-         Gospel facilitates!  It humbles us (sinners), glorified Jesus (Savior), encourages us.

-         As High Priest, Jesus leads us in worship & purifies our worship.  Ill. distractions

-         Biblical worship edifies believers; stirs us to greater love & commitment to Jesus.

-         Jesus works in all who believe so they want to worship Him.  Do you want to?

-         Biblical worship is evangelical; calls unbelievers to trust, love & worship Jesus.

-         Jesus works thru those who believe to invite others to worship Him.  Inviting?

-         We are to plan, practice & prepare for worship that exalts, edifies & evangelizes.

Transition: God’s plan for the city is to create a community committed to worshipping Jesus.

III. Faithfully teach the gospel to create a holy city.

-         The Levites assisted the priests with the temple & took a role in teaching.  Ill. Reveal

-         People forgot who God was, had done & promised to do.  Ill. Entropy & Honeysett

-         Gospel teaching focuses on what Jesus has done for us- basis of renewal & mission.

-         Gospel teaching digs into the Scripture & people’s lives.  It’s messy!  We’re tired!

-         Renewal- Jesus works in us to transform our passions & character.  Pride arises!

-         Gospel teaching prepares us to engage in mission.  It’s messy too!  We’re tired!

-         Mission- Jesus works thru us to transform our communities thru the gospel.

-         Meaningful ministry relies on the gospel for conversion, growth & mission.

Conclusion:  America is filled with empty churches, irrelevant churches and ineffective churches.  This dishonors God because many churches have lost sight of the gospel to produce the godly leaders & meaningful ministry necessary to change a city.  Will we? 


 

"At some point in the life of most local churches a critical point is reached when the core fellowship of those committed to gospel vision are outnumbered by a fringe who are there for quite different reasons, be it spiritual comfort, kids activities, personal support, or whatever. Regardless of the particular type of church government, all fellowships struggle to maintain focus around core vision when the fringe, be they believers or not, outnumber the gospel-oriented core. It is very hard to maintain focus, or alter any aspect of church life to reflect the gospel needs of a fresh generation, when the majority are committed to maintaining their comfort. When this happens "Christians" have been replaced with "churchgoers" who assume they are Christians."   Marcus Honeysett

Read More