I Am a Great Work

Build yourself up so that might build up others. You love your neighbors as you love yourself. This is the key to edification. We know who we are in Christ and then we tell others who they are. Acts 20:20-32

Speaker(s): Pastor Steven Scibelli, Pastor Barry Quirk
Sermon # 11262
6:30 PM on 5/14/2017

 

P. Barry Quirk

Last time I had this mike I was a little more surprised. P. Schaller just put it in my hand and started asking me questions in the audience. He said do you know what I’m talking about to the audience and 50% of you said yeah. You can let me know later. Did I miss something? Did you ever notice Christianity is not a spectator sport? I think a good percentage of Christianity thinks it is. Sit on the sidelines and be armchair quarterbacks. I’ll probably use about ten more sports illustrations. We tend to be critics about what is happening. I’m speaking about myself so if it applies to you, know it’s accidental. When C. starts to become a spectator sport, I become a critic in my heart. They should have done this or that or if they only listened to me, this would be fixed. Our flesh gains confidence and our spirit is less receptive to what God wants to do. We read the Word and listen to what God has for us. There is manna in the Body of Christ. Manna from the pulpit, from our fellowship, from rap sessions, from individuals we come in contact with in the Body. By definition, love imparts and gives freely. Ever thought your portion in the Body wasn’t important? Ever had that suspicion? I’m here but it is not important. I’m here and have an ear open like this morning’s message. Then God speaks to us and uses us. I wonder at what point do we start to understand the Body doesn’t happen without love, which is giving, and if the Body doesn’t have many members then every joint can’t supply.

1 Peter 4 I was thinking about this. The preamble to 1 Peter 4 it says have no more to do with sin. Why? Because he says the end is near. Today we can say with more confidence or authority than any other age the end is near. We are to cultivate self-restraint, prayerfulness, charity, hospitality, scriptural speech, ministering to one another according to all the gifts and rejoicing with patience while during suffering. Does that sound like a spectator sport? Not much passive there but active love.

1 Pet 4:1 arm yourself likewise with the same mind, the mind of Christ. He that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin. No longer should live the rest of his time in…but will of God. Lust has many forms and fashions but lust in general is unfulfilled desire, longing for something I don’t have. The longing is so sincere and what you end up with is so empty and fake. The driving force is rooted in the mystery of iniquity. There is something driving us to wanting to be fulfilled in an area that brings no lasting satisfaction. In Christ we taste and are satisfied and it’s enduring and we can live in it. What motivates our hearts? If it comes from longing and unsatisfied desire, we will have a lot of people who are spectators in their hearts. It’s so easy to withdraw in my portion. Love is what makes it all work.

I was reading about ecosystems and there are producers and consumers and decomposers and it all works together. They all have different portions. Living organisms find their niche in the ecosystem and contribute to the fact it works. The producers have to have sun, water, or can’t produce….try taking God out of the picture.

Try taking the Word, the H.S. out of the picture. What we have is a broken system. They speak loudly. The world is filled with armchair quarter backing and how the things of God should go forward. I know I’m called into his Body by his love for his purpose. That I would be knit together with my fellow Body members, joined by love, initiating in love, having a gift given by the H.S. for his purpose. To withhold that gift from the Body would be to rob the ecosystem from the thing it needs to produce the life it needs. It’s the reason we have these videos from the uttermost parts of the earth.

Think of P. Aedan, P. Kende, P. Schaller, P. Jomi (naming where they are from). Team of men from all over the world and going to a place and having a seminar and ministering life to them. People in the past who had no hope but were drawn by the H.S. to a place where they can hear. United in one purpose by the love of God.

Imagine if someone walks away with hope and vision and a desire to follow God. One of our Bible college students, we won’t mention where he comes from, but some Bible college students many years ago had a desire to go there and didn’t have the money. They only had enough money to go to Los Angeles and kept saying do you have tickets. Kept going to the ticket office. Who purchased the tickets for you? It would be our father. They got kicked out of the airport after three days. They were ministering on the streets and came across someone who worked at a Christian bookstore. She invited them over and had a Bible study with them. She was moved by their story and the Lord spoke to her to give. She bought the tickets. They went for a short season and came back. And then went there and moved there, this person was giving a testimony, his father saved, many believers saved. I went to Bible school with these guys and watching fruit give this testimony some 30 something years later. Don’t tell me this doesn’t work. This is not men decided to take on themselves the desires of their flesh. I’m sure being homeless in Los Angeles wasn’t high on their list…

1 Pet 4:6, we know the times are short. Men are judged by whether they accept the gift of God. We have been called to hear the message, study the message, and live the message. If we walk in faith, it’s amazing what will happen from our lips. People who are blind are able to see. The natural man goes away and the spiritual man takes upon himself a brand new heart. One that is not stone but fleshly.

vs. 8. In studying this, it says toward yourself charity intense. Think about the Body of Christ. Who is in the Body of Christ? My brothers and sisters in Christ. Judging righteous judgment in my relationships. Thinking with God in how things are happening in the Body of Christ. Not being an arm chair quarterback. Lord, I agree with you but don’t know how. I don’t know where but I agree with you.

That charity, that hospitality in vs. 9.-10. We have received it for a reason, not to be consumed on our flesh. We withhold it and we lack charity. If we say I’m not good or qualified, God says I gave it to you. Give it by faith. Be a Body member in particular by faith. Every part finds its niche. Whole system works cause every joint supplies. The last time I spoke about the offering, I spoke about how love is proven when we give. If I am convinced God is in this thing called life, and I’m convinced I’m following God by faith, then the fruit of that will be my life gives by faith.


P. Scibelli

Acts 20:28-32, this is an amazing portion of Scripture. These are Paul’s last words to Ephesians elders.

He met the leaders of Ephesus in Miletus in Acts 20 and will speak to them for the last time. Traveling with ten men who represent about 6 different areas. He is speaking to them to watch out. Grievous wolves will come into the church from the outside. Can you imagine if you were sitting there and he says from your own selves men will arise speaking perverse things? He talks about how he warned them day and night for three years. I commend you to God, I’m giving you over to God. That’s what we do with children, with people in the church, in our families. I deliver you over to God and the Word of his grace….among them set apart. What are they set apart to? They are set apart to be built up.

Edify, – I don’t think in all my years of education I heard people using the word. Is it common language in the business world, education world, or on the streets? It’s such an important doctrine. We must believe God is a God that builds us up. He is not looking to every tear us down. God wants to use his Word, his Spirit which is able to build us up. God is a God who builds people up.

Second thing is I must build myself up. Ever edify yourself? There are reasons people can’t edify others because we don’t built ourselves up. We have such an insecure thought pattern about ourselves.

Neh 6:3, in Hebrew language, not English. Nehemiah is building a wall. He’s being attacked from inside and out. They are making an onslaught. He has people on inside…they are overdoing it by making people pay massive amounts of interest on loans. He is there to build a wall for security and protection and safety.

Neh 6:3 he says I’m doing a great work. The Hebrew says I’m a great work. Are you with me? I’m a work of God.

Jude 20 says we should build ourselves up on our most holy faith. You build each other up. You build yourself up. When you have this poor self-imagine, insecurity, self-analysis evaluated by the world. You walk around bent over like never lift you head up. Satan wants to tear us down. To bring us down. The world does the same thing. The world only compliments you when you do something to help the world. They say something nice about you at work because you’re helping them in the business, most of the time. Why are they building people? To get something out of them. God doesn’t build us to get something out of us. He builds us because that is who he is.

We one time had an evangelistic outreach. I had a bad day. It can happen. I decided I wasn’t going to do it. I sat in the back row by myself in this chapel beating myself up for not going. After you don’t do something you beat yourself up for not doing it. Then you have sin upon sin instead of confessing and going on with God. I see Pastor Stevens walk through the door. I thought he knows I’m supposed to lead this outreach. If you remember what your teachers did to you. Mr. Taylor’s father kicked me down a flight of stairs in six grade. He walks back and he’s very intense. He says to me, P. Scibelli. Yeah? I pretended I was praying and meditating! That’s a great excuse not to evangelize! He says to me I’m so thankful you are in Baltimore. You add so much initiative and motivation for evangelism. He’s building me up on evangelism and here I am disobedient. I realized it was God. God is not in the condemnation business. He is in the edification business.

I build myself up. I would come on Grace Hour and say no greater youth pastor than me. I’m talking to you, P. Love. You build yourself up. You don’t say I hope I can make it today. I hope I have the right words to say today. I am what I am by the grace of God.

We build ourselves up. This is key. Building yourself on your most holy faith.

Jude 20-22. Don’t beat yourself up. Build yourself up. Means to help us to make progress. To establish us on a foundation.

2 Pet 2:9 righteous lot. Hello? Is that what it says? He had grandchildren by his own children.

Rom 4:16 he calls things that are not as though they are. This is God. You say that’s not honesty. Honesty in the world system has nothing to do with God. Paul had to continually build himself up. Can you imagine what it would be like if you constantly remembered you persecuted Christians?

He breathed out in Acts 8 threatens and slaughters against the church. It was as easy for him to kill people as it was to breathe. Can you imagine if he lived in that? No, he edified himself. Called to be an apostle, separate unto God. He edified himself.

Sometimes you can have great and incredible time with God and someone comes with a dumb statement. You have to try to not take it and send it back. Because they didn’t edify me, I’ll say something nasty to them. No. We build people up. Young people need edification in who they are in Christ. The world is always beating them up. You’ll never be anything. You’ll make nothing of yourself.

Someone said to me you’ll always be a criminal. Yeah, a spiritual one. In Africa in 1986 major thing we taught was edification. People are poor with very little education and God said your objective is to build people, not churches. You build people and they become churches. Making progress, advancing. This is how God ministers to us. I had a girl once her mother said she needs to go to C. school. I have to interview her. She won’t sit with an interview with you. I met her and she had a cigarette in her mouth and switchblade in her pocket and every other word was F. I said you should move into my house. She did and became a missionary in Africa for years. We take somebody who nobody gives hope to and we edify them.

Eph 2:22 we are building a habitation by the Spirit. The H.S. is a Spirit that builds people up. Know the difference between conviction and condemnation. I need conviction. When the Spirit convicts us it is to help us to grow. The Comforter convicts us. The encourager does the conviction. We build ourselves up. I say nobody can preach a better message than me Sunday night. You got to. The onslaught against your mind. You can say I’m not going, I don’t feel well. I am what I am by the grace of God and I’m going to edify myself. Why does God give gifts to the church?

Eph 4:1-11. I have a gift to edify not to put someone in bondage or Lord it over them. Not only watch what you say but how you say it. You can say that was awesome or (changed his tone). There is no building up. The gifts God gives us in the church, regardless what it is, wherever I am I am there to be built up by God and built up other people. That’s what the Gospel is about, not to critically analyze every sitauotn. God allows mistakes and failures to happen to see if we have a spirit of edification. Will we edify them when they blow it? He allows it to happen to test the spirit of the believer.

vs. 16 Love edifies. If I love someone I will edify them. To Jim Bekier I will say the greatest Christian golfer in the history of the universe. He calls those things that are not as though they were. Your wife cooks something and you say that was the greatest piece of toast I’ve ever had, even though it was burnt on one side. Edification. You have children and grandchildren and sometimes they want to cook something for you. Don’t hurt the kid’s spirit. That was better than any restaurant. That’s lying? No, that edifying. That was the greatest hot dog I ever had. Edification. Songs. Someone sings a song you don’t sit there and say they are so off tune. Edify. That was a melody to my heart. I’m calling those things that are not as though they are. Joe Lavoy is a perfectionist. He did some work at my house. I’ve never seen anyone like him. He’s awesome. He’s an awesome soul winner, preacher, man of God, father and worker. It’s amazing. I told him he did such a great job in my bathroom I should sleep in it. Edification. Love edifies.

Eph 4:29, grace edifies. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouthie! My mother took care of my mouth with soap. I would blow bubbles for two days. She would run it on my teeth. It would come out bubbles. Everything you ate was soapy. She fixed me good. How about not one word. You say I can’t do that. God can. Has God ever made a corrupt communication? Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth. That which edifies to minister grace to the hearer. You fall off the bike don’t talk about the fall but how amazing you rode to that point. People make mistakes. Why did you let that happen? What’s wrong with you? All the training you had? That’s great. It really helps me to grow. Creativity and edification. Don’t give me constructive criticism. Usually they do it with the wrong spirit. Edification.

1 Tim 1:4 he is speaking to the Ephesians again. Godly edifying in faith. Building people up. Not calling John Mark’s failure to going with Paul or running from Jesus at the cross but he’s going to be an awesome missionary. Livingstone came to Robert Moffat and said edifying words. Bruised reed…sends forth judgment unto victory. I don’t want to put someone’s flame out. That’s awesome. You have a desire to reach China, Asia, with the Gospel. I know those three guys. They said if you have any word for us? Go. We have no tickets. Go anyway. God will do something. A few fail in that area, we can ask God to help us to grow and be restored in that area. We can call those things that are not as though they were. I said to someone you have a gift to pastor. They said get away from me. You don’t see it. P. Stevens told me in 1983 I believe God has called you to pastor. I said to him, I used to trust your discernment. I don’t any more. He laughed and walked away. When he laid hands on me in 1984 on the stage and said Hi, you’re here. I wouldn’t get ordained unless he did it.

I remember Ps 16:8-10 and Gal 1:15, 16, 24. You could say one edifying word to turn someone around who has gone in the wrong way. You learn the importance of edification. Calling those things not as though were we realize God wants to build us.

Mt 16:18 I will build my church. The gates of hell can’t prevail against a church God is building. Building yourself up and building other people. This is the kind of church we have. Establishing people, training people, sending people out, seeing people in the community. God helps us that we might learn to be edifying people all the time. You can’t love another person unless you love yourself. You don’t like yourself no wonder you don’t like the person sitting next to. We love ourselves and build ourselves up. We don’t look at the world that says they are not doing a good job. They are doing the best they can in God. Jesus said about the woman anointing his body. She’d done what she could.

She’s been an awesome friend (Kathy Ryan) to GG, P. Stevens and myself. I said Kathy Ryan is amazing. Edification.

We edify people. We build people up. God doesn’t criticize us or condemn us or evaluate us. Help us God to grow in this. To be people who are constantly desiring to build us up. It’s one little step. Praise the Lord you took one little step. “You should have done a lot more than that.”

Let’s be people who are edified by God and built ourselves and other people.


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