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White Oak Baptist Church

The Continuous Work of God

The Continuous Work of God

Philippians 2:12-13

 

White Oak Baptist Church’s Centennial Celebration

March 6, 1910-March 7, 2010

 

Introduction

 

*              Do you know how long 100 years is?  The total number of days between Sunday, March 6th, 1910 and Sunday, March 7th, 2010 is 36,527 days, or 876,624 hours or 52,597,440 minutes or 3,155,846,400 seconds.

 

*              Transportation in 1910 was the age of the airship and Henry Ford introduced his landmark Model T two years earlier.  In sports, Babe Ruth annual salary was $1900, whereas in 2010 baseball players make an average of $3.3 million a year.  At work in 1910, the average American family had to make $700 a year to make a living, and in 2010 they average family has to make $49,000 a year.

 

*              The world has gone through many changes in the last 100 years and WOBC is no exception by watching our video-different cars, fashion styles and hairdo’s; not to mention those pointed black rimmed glasses.

 

*              But there is one thing that hasn’t changed in 100 years, or even 1000 years or 10,000 years- and that is Jesus Christ.  The writer of Hebrews says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8).

 

*              The same Jesus who ordained this church into existence calling people like the Tuttles, the Bumpus’ and the Satterwhites is still calling people today to continue on this great work of the Lord until He comes again.

 

*              And that is what I would like to share with you this morning, about how times change and generations have come and gone but the work of the Lord remains the same. So please turn with me to Philippians 2:12-13.

 

*              There are three types of God’s work listed in these two verses and I would like to go at them in reverse order if I may.

 

I.             Service- The Continuous Work of God THROUGH the Church:  (v.13b)

 

*              The Lord has been working through the generations of the past 100 years to accomplish His will and purpose in this community both spiritually and physically.

 

*              God can accomplish His will anyway He chooses, but yet He chose to use the church to do His will and March 6, 1910 He chose to start a work through WOBC.

 

*              Times were tough and resources were limited but God called a group of people together and laid a foundation that we are still building upon today.

 

*              It’s what Paul spoke in Eph. 2:19-22, “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

 

*              The church is not finished, God is still building it and will not be a finished work until the Lord returns and it’s our responsibility today, as were the others in the past, is to continue to let God work through us to accomplish His will and purpose-whatever that might be.

 

*              It was Michelangelo who said, “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

 

*              Much like marble to Michelangelo is the church to Christ.  Christ sees the completed picture of the church whereas we see only the part of in our generation. 

 

*              It is God who continuously works through us and chips away the rough edges and smoothes the rough edges that imprison the lovely church to see it as God Himself does.

 

*              May we as a church continue to serve the Lord and allow Him to do His work through us for another 100 years or until He returns, whichever comes first.

 

*              Not only do we see service, the continuous work of God THROUGH the church, we also see how sanctification and the continuous work God does IN us.

 

II.            Sanctification- The Continuous Work of God IN Us: (v.13a)

 

*              Who works in us?  God!  Can anyone claim it was them who built the church?  God chooses to use people redeemed and sanctified by the Lord, set apart to do His will. 

 

*              There is no way any man or woman could have built the church without the Lord first building the man or woman from the inside out.  God sets us apart and works within us till we conform to His will.

*                     The writer of Hebrews stated, “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Heb. 13:20-21).

*              See my prayer for WOBC is what Paul said to the church at Ephesus, Now to him who is able to do                   immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21).

*              This is the ongoing process of sanctification within the church.  We are not a finished product; God is not through with us yet. As Paul said earlier in Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

*              John Newton, the author of the beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace” said, “I am not what I might be, I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I wish to be, I am not what I hope to be. But I thank God I am not what I once was, and I can say with the great apostle, "By the grace of God I am what I am.” (1 Cor. 15:9-10).

*              We might not be all God wants us to be, but by the grace of God we are headed in the right direction!

*              Not only has God been working through WOBC for the past 100 years, He also has been working in WOBC for the past 100 years.  But what makes it all come together is there first must be the work God did for us and that’s what we see in verse 12.

 

III.          Salvation- The Completed Work of God FOR Us: (v.12)

 

*              Before God could do a work through us or in us, He first had to do a work for us-and that is the salvation in Christ Jesus on the cross.

 

*              The very purpose of the church is to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified, it is to proclaim the whole counsel of God’s Word to a lost and dying world, it is not to be ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God. It is to lift Jesus up and He will draw all people unto Himself. 

 

*              That’s why WOBC has lasted 100 years because we stand on the truth and proclaim it as it’s written-that’s the purpose of the Church. 

 

*              Share about my trip to Israel in 2009 before we traveled the Via Delarosa (the way of suffering), we paused and I taught a devotion on the “Stone Pavement” (John 19:13).  (Have them close their eyes and describe the scene)    

 

*              The reason WOBC has lasted for 100 years- is because we believe in a hill called Mt. Calvary! Video:  “I Believe in a Hill Called Mt. Calvary”

Conclusion

 

*              God has done all He could do to empower and equip the Church to accomplish His purpose.  The question is will you believe in the work Christ has done FOR you so that He can work IN you and THROUGH you? So that the church can continue for another 100 years.

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