Biblical Unity: Called by Christ to be ONE in Him

We are One Race, all with the same problem: hard wired for rebellion…

History of the human race leading to the gospel proved we cant solve our sin problem

Sin leading to hatred, prejudice, bigotry, discrimination, oppression is our DEFAULT

God used the nation of Israel to both prove the need and solve the problem

He did himself what we could never do: conquer sin and death

The massive injustice that has happened is not reconcilable without God

That is the only way we can be united

‘Religion’ is not the answer (Jewish, Christian or any other ‘Form’)

What religion does is try to appease God by what YOU can do

To overcome sin (so we can be united) requires what only God can do

The only way we can have true unity is through the Gospel leading to biblical salvation…

Real unity has to come from being united around and by something: Christ

We are all One Race so it’s not race that divides us…Let’s get real: It is things like:

Physical Appearance / Culture / Values / Religion / Language / lifestyle

And based on our preferences we: Discriminate, Stereotype, Generalize…Sin Attitudes

And then we justify our differences as being to deep to get over

So let’s see what we are called to concerning unity as the Scriptures teach

Biblical Unity is what we are going for…so let’s start with Jesus Christ

Jesus praying in the garden focused on the goal of our unity…but it is not a given…

John 17:20-23

I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

  • This is US!
  • Jesus desires those who believe in Him have unity that reflects the Trinity’s unity
  • Our unity proves the reality of Jesus Christ as the ‘Messiah of God’

I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

  • The Glory is the connection by God’s Spirit which enable the ‘Perfect Unity’
  • If those who believe in Christ as Lord & Savior were united, others would ‘believe’
  • Our unity can prove to everyone that God loves them
  • If His Spirit is in you you will feel the call to Biblical Unity around the Gospel

Ephesians 4:1-6

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

  • The prisoner begs you to get in the cell with him…because it is BETTER that way!
  • As a disciple of Jesus Christ we are all called a higher standard of love
  • We are called to pay forgiveness forward, called to treat others like God treats us

Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.

  • Unity takes intentionality, it will not happen without focus on it (Yielding to H.S.)
  • The bond of peace is personal surrender to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • As Born Again, Spirit Indwelled Disciples of Jesus Christ, God UNITES us!
  • In every way that matters we, IN CHRIST, are united…so live that reality out!

Can that really happen? What does it look like when it happens?

Acts 4:32-33

All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all.

  • The converts from Pentecost where living with the Jerusalem Jews (Diverse City)
  • They ALL were united emotionally and in practical ways (True Communalism)
  • The leadership declared the truth about ‘The Christ’ / ‘The Resurrected Lord’
  • Blessing flows from Unity around ‘The Gospel of Jesus Christ’

The way forward is to not deny our differences

God wants all of the different expressions of Humanity because they reflect all of HIM

St.Paul used the human body as a metaphor for the ‘Church’ (God designed both)

1 Corinthians 12:12-13

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

  • Our differences are reality (we cannot minimized past oppression / sin / disunity)
  • Only together can we display what The Godhead wanted to express in humanity
  • We are ‘Organs’ different from and complementary to each other’ ~ C.S Lewis

Unity does not come from imposed uniformity…

It comes from each of us placing our uniqueness under Christ’s sovereignty

We can be united by obedience to The Gospel & intentionally seek unity & peace

Colossians 3:12-15

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

  • We need the ‘Grace of Christ’ to understand others who are different than we are
  • ‘Clothe Yourself’ is to live out who you were meant to be (Chosen, Holy, Beloved)

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

  • There are going to be problems, let Jesus Christ be your example of forgiveness
  • Love is the glue that unifies us, Christ’s Love for US!

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

  • We started talking about what we are called to when Jesus Christ calls us
  • The surrender to that reality is how you let HIS peace rule
  • We are all called to experience that peace together as the Body of Christ in Unity

A few sermons will not change things… This is a attitude and lifestyle thing

Application Questions:

Why do you think Jesus Christ ‘prayed’ for us to be united instead of making us be?

Describe how Christ’s love has called you to the unity that is God’s will for ‘Believers’?

Why does The Gospel of Jesus Christ unite His followers?

What is your role in a united body; different from & complementary to each other?

How does you experience of forgiveness from Christ allow you to forgive others?

What a Church IS & What Church Members ARE

We want to answer the following questions from a strong Biblical standpoint:

  • What Is a Church?
  • What is a Church Member?
  • What are a Church and it’s Members like?
  • What are the purposes of the Church?

A definition of a church:

‘An assembly or fellowship of born-again and called-out followers of Jesus Christ banded together for common spiritual purposes.’

The Church (Universal) is composed of all Spirit Indwelt members of Jesus Christ’s body from all nations and languages and generations. (Eph. 5:25,29,32)

The Church (Local) is a Body of Christ followers committed to one another in Biblical love, unity, values and purposes. (Col 4:15)

Ways the Bible refers to what a Church is:

Body / Bride / Family / Flock / Temple / Kingdom

Kingdom – Authority Structure

(Matt. 16: 13-20; Matt. 8:1-5; Matt. 13:44; Rom. 14:17; 1Cor. 4:20; Heb 12:28)

Temple – Worship Lifestyle

(I Cor 3:16; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; II Cor 6:16; Eph. 2:19-22)

Flock – Shared Condition

(Luke 12:32; Acts 20:28-29; I Pet 5:2-3)

Family – Bond of Care

(Rom 8:15; I John 1:3; Rom 8:16-21; Gal 3:26-29; 1 John 5:1-2, I John 3:1-2)

Bride – Exclusive Relationship

(John 3:28-30; Rev 21:2; Eph. 5:25-33; Rev. 19:6-9)

Body – Common Union

(I Cor 12:12-27; Rom 12:3-4; Eph. 3:6; Eph. 4:11-15; Col. 3:14-15)

The Church (Universal) is composed of those who have Biblically Converted to Follow-ship of Jesus Christ, those given new birth by the Holy Spirit, and joined together in covenanted community.

Not everyone ‘In Church’ is part of the Biblical Church (Universal), some are being discipled to become part one day, some are false confessors, some are consumers, some are experimenters…

What are Local Church Members like?

Identity flows from Biblical Conversion & Discipleship

Christian (One who is a ‘Little Christ’)

Believer (One who’s faith is proven by action, a ‘By-Lifer’)

Disciple (One who is a committed learner & follower)

Saint (One made Holy)

Beloved (One of special affection & relationship)

Brother / Sister (One of the Family)

Local Church Membership, based on Scripture

#1. Local Church Membership IS Biblical: Christian Life is ‘Church Life’

#2. The Local Church IS it’s members: Nothing More, Nothing Less

#3. The Lord’s Supper is only for Members of the Church Universal practiced locally

#4. It is the Official & Intimate representation of Christ’s Sovereignty in your life

#5. Local Membership is the expression of allegiance & identity for Christ’s Disciples

#6. It enables the embodiment & experience of Biblical Christianity (bride, family…)

#7. It is how you love, serve, know and are known by Jesus Christ’s Body locally

#8. It disciples us in ‘Follow-ship’, coming under ordained authority of A Local Church Body

#9. It enables ‘Spiritual Accountability’ for leaders as to those they are responsible for

#10. It allows for ‘Restoration & Guidance’ through Church Discipline

#11. It gives Christian life it’s structure for Discipleship and Service

#12. It gives us a vehicle to display our united witness to The Gospel of Jesus Christ

#13. It binds us together in ‘Worship as Lifestyle’.

What are the Biblical Requirements & Blessings of Local Church Membership?

Acts 2:36-41 The Requirements: they received, understood, and affirmed the gospel of Christ presented to them; conviction and godly sorrow led to repentance; Spirit Indwelling; they were baptized as a public testimony of their new life in Christ and then stayed in community…

Acts 2:42-47 The Blessings: doctrine, fellowship, communion, prayer, experiencing God at work, unity, privilege of serving and loving others, gladness in God, being used by the Lord to extend salvation to others. All of these happened as part of a local body meeting regularly (with the same people!)

The Church Provides:

A Relational Workshop / A Discipleship Platform / A System of Accountability / A Unity of Mission / A Set of Shared Values / A Shared Identity / A Community for Expression of Gifts / A Way to Cooperate in the Blessing Others / A Family that Displays God’s Glory

Information from ‘Church Membership’ By Jonathan Leeman

There is only one ‘Race’: The Human Race

We are using terminology DESIGNED to divide us.

Terminology that creates a mindset that we are ‘different races’

When we say someone or something is ‘Racist’ we are perpetuating the thinking that is behind division, hate and oppression because it perpetuates the lie of different races. Many factors divide people groups, but the truth is, race is not one of them.

Throughout known history it was understood there was only 1 Race: The human one

The idea that there are different races is Anti- Biblical…

It’s not supported by science, it has no basis in reality!

It is a construct of sin and evil that was used and continues to be used, to justify oppression, subjugation, hatred, division and in short the perpetuation of sin

Our country’s history of oppression based on the lie that there are different races of people is not the only example of this: Sin is world wide

We want to join God here to address this lie & foster reconciliation of divided groups

OneRace is a movement of prayer and unity, comprised of Biblical Christians of all backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities, in the metro Atlanta area.

We start by changing the way we look at what divides us, calling it what it is, and then moving to reconcile & unify the ‘Body Of Christ’ so we can lead our communities

We are going to gather together to denounce the sin of ‘Racism’ (the labeling, discriminating, alienating, classification and oppressing of people based on the idea that there are different races)

I am here to tell you, there is only one race: THE HUMAN RACE

This is not just semantics, it’s about Biblical Truth VS A Lie from the pit of Hell

We are going to expose the lie with God’s truth and let His word direct our actions

Genesis 1:25-27

God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

  • ‘Offspring of the same kind’…This is God’s way (It’s Good)
  • Human Beings made in ‘Our’ (The Trinity) Image One Race, the Human Race
  • No Subdivisions or Different Classifications One Single Entity
  • God says all humanity expresses HIS Image

God has expressed His nature and being in the billions of humans from thousands of places & cultures. The totality of the entire human race expresses God’s image

Where there is disdain for any facet of the human race this is ultimately disdain for the image of God.

The idea that we are different races denies Biblical truth

Let’s look at the history of the term ‘Race’

Throughout history people have been classified by geography, language, ethnicity, religion and culture. The concept of “Race” as a system of classification emphasizing differing skin colors and other physical attributes was first used in the early 1700’s.

By the 1800’s so called scientific debate on Race grew beyond identifying physical differences to include the concept that “racial variation” was a result of humans having different origins. (Darwinism)

These classifications set humans in a hierarchy by race (since there were different races, some must be better than others) and formed the basis for racial supremacist thinking and justifications for slavery, segregation, the doctrine of anti-Semitism practiced in Nazi Germany, and the race based practices of Japan in WW2.

The concept of different races of people was scientifically disproven by the late 1950’s yet the concept of classification by race was embedded in many societies, especially here in the United States, and continued to be perpetuated.

On average, each human being is 99.5% similar in DNA to every other human being.

The truth about race? There is One Race, The Human Race

God sees all Humanity as One Race, if we are HIS people we should agree with Him

@ Midtown Church:

We desire to be a body that draws it’s values and culture from the Scriptures.

We desire to be a body that sees things from Jesus Christ’s point of view

Now recognizing that we are One Race, how do we move forward?

2 Corinthians 5:16-20

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

  • Ending division by ‘Race Classification’ will not happen from a secular source
  • It will take spiritual change
  • We can ‘Pay It Forward’ with Reconciliation
  • We follow Christ’s example and attitude
  • As Ambassadors for Christ we’re to be agents of unity, actively fighting division

Ephesians 2:13-16

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

  • God is in the reconciliation business
  • Jesus is where that starts for each of us
  • We can intentionally allow him to break down any hostility we have

Colossians 1:19-22

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.

  • Our un-deserved reconciliation to God by Christ is the catalyst
  • We can be free of the false accusations of the Devil which fuel division

Satan’s plan is to continually accuse us to one another so that he may divide humanity and encourage us to perpetuate sin against one another.

The lie that people are racially different is the foundation of supremacist ideologies which dehumanize both the holder of the ideology, and the victim of oppression that is justified by such thinking.

‘Racism’ denies the truth that all humans are made in God’s image. There is such a thing as ‘Racism’, it is the perpetuation of the lie that humans are of different races.

1 Corinthians 1:10

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

  • Paul’s appeal to the church at Corinth is possible
  • We can be part of a group of God’s people who practice unity
  • Not unity born of our similar culture, appearance, geography, but born of Christ
  • Think it & Live it!

Unity in all that Christ stands for is our responsibility as citizens of His kingdom.

This means dying to our preferences and comfort in order to become one in Christ.

We don’t all become the same, we submit all our differences to The Cross

Reconciliation and unity in Christ are the norm for Jesus Christ’s Disciples

How can We be part of God healing old wounds & building a greater unity?

  • Acknowledge what has divided us. SIN not DNA Differences not Race
  • Acknowledge what has been done to people based on ‘Racism’
  • Redefine ‘Racism’ as belief that there are different races rather than a catchall phrase for any kind of conflict between people who don’t look the same
  • Repent of the sin WE have (We cannot repent for anyone else’s sin)
  • Look to Christ to unify us as His body to intentionally work against division
  • We can go to The Cross Together, United in our Humanity

Basics of The Biblical Church Of Jesus Christ

Unity / John 17 / Our legacy @ Midtown Church is about being biblical (Consensus)

We need to constantly and intentionally strengthen those strands of relationship & commitment to Biblical values that form the foundation of Jesus Christ’s Church

Who / What / When / Where / How / Why (Why is to be addressed 1st)

Answers to these questions, based on scripture are the basis for The Local Church Body

Chapter 1:

Church Body VS Relationship with Jesus Christ

There is NO biblical relationship with Jesus Christ without being part of ‘A Local Church Body’

Volunteer Organization VS ‘Ongoing Presence & Authority of Christ by HIS Spirit’

Service Provider VS ‘Ongoing Presence & Authority of Christ by HIS Spirit’

The idea of ‘Imperium’ / Who’s Authority have you placed yourself under?

If Christ Jesus, have you fully placed yourself under HIS ‘Ordained Authority Structure’

Why does the Church Exist? (Finished Work of Christ on the Cross)

The Church as shaper of structure & lifestyle of the Converted & those being converted

Kingdom Embassy Metaphor: Representatives in a foreign kingdom

Every Member’s WHY (In a Biblical framework) results in Representation, Submission, Citizenship and a share of the authority.

Biblical Conversion is how Christ makes you a part of the Body: This is WHO

Truly becoming one of the WHO (Redeemed & Spirit Indwelled) creates the Biblical Why of every Christian regarding the Local Church and it informs the What, Where, When and How.

Our lives as Disciples of Jesus Christ was paid for at a high price by God Himself, but it has also cost may past & present Disciples everything including their lives.

Chapter 2:

The Marking Off = Conversion & Gathering

Set Apart: Values that define Culture

The Book of Acts: Study in Apostolic Church Culture

Ten Indisputable Themes in the New Testament about ‘The Church’

Discussion about how well we are following the Biblical Example

#1: Unity around The Biblical Gospel Message

#2: Disciples are United Locally and Globally (small world then)

#3: Identity of Disciple of Jesus Christ = Church Member

#4: Shared Identity & Unity releases Christ’s power

#5: Initial Step after Biblical Conversion is Baptism

#6: Together the Church is ‘Called Out’ of the ‘World System’

#7: Biblical Church authority & structure shape the lives of Church Members

#8: Under shepherds are responsible for specific sheep

#9: Disciples are responsible to submit to specific leaders

#10: The church excludes ‘False Professors’ from their community

Some content based on the book: ‘Church Membership’ by Jonathan Leeman

Revelation 5: ‘The Scroll & The Song’

Revelation 5

Then I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne. There was writing on the inside and the outside of the scroll, and it was sealed with seven seals.

  • The ‘Scroll’ is the ‘New Covenant’ or ‘The Gospel’ (Reality of Jesus The Christ)
  • 7 Seals: Complete & Perfect
  • Scroll & Seals represent the perfect will of God
  • It was obviously of incredible importance

And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice: “Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it.

  • Some translations read: Nothing in all creation…’
  • None could enact it or even envision it
  • Only God HIMSELF can Understand & Enact HIS perfect will

Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

  • John had a sense of how important this ‘News’ / ‘Reality’ / ‘Declaration’ was…
  • Two references to who ‘The Christ’ would be identified as from Old Testament
  • The victory he won was the redemption of our souls on the cross
  • What Jesus Christ did opened the door to the redemption only God can bring
  • The seven seals are judgements that occur before the end of the age
  • Scroll & Seals are separate things

Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the sevenfold Spirit of God that is sent out into every part of the earth.

  • The Perfect Sacrifice tie back to Old Testament ‘Redemption / Covering of Sin
  • ‘Between’ humanity and Almighty God is the Christ
  • Jesus: All God / All Man HAD / possessed & embodied all of God’s Spirit – H.S.
  • He is the ‘Vehicle’ that releases the ‘Complete’ Spirit of God to the whole world
  • Jesus of Nazareth, The Christ, God HIMSELF…

He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.

  • Who can approach ‘The Throne’…
  • ‘From the Right Hand…’
  • Community and Collaboration with in the love of the Trinity
  • Just the act of taking the scroll is cause for worship
  • Our prayers can be a part of this!

And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth.”

  • ‘A New Song’
  • It is based on the finished work of the Cross and what was won: YOUR SOUL
  • ‘People Groups’ no mention of different races because all are the same ‘Race’

Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered—to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.”

  • Thousands and millions of Angels…
  • The ‘Chorus’ of the New Song is all about The Christ
  • His Sacrifice releases all of the goodness of our Creator

And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.”

  • All Creation will eventually declare Who Christ is and the glory He is due
  • They could not share the Glory if they were not one in every essence

And the four living beings said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb.

  • The one’s who initiate the worship declare their agreement
  • And the Elders continue to worship Christ

Application Questions:

Why do you believe the Biblical message of redemption in Christ to be all you need?

What is significant about Jesus Christ being the only one who can open the Scroll?

How much of your worship is based on the reality of Christ enacting your salvation?

How well do you identify yourself as part of the ‘Kingdom of Priests’?

How would you define ‘A New Song’ and what would cause you to sing it?

A Vision of Perfect Worship: Revelation Chapter 4

It is very little that we can know of the future state, but we may be quite sure that we know as much as is good for us. We ought to be as content with that which is not revealed as with that which is. If God wills us not to know, we ought to be satisfied not to know. Depend on it, he has told us all about heaven that is necessary to bring us there; and if he had revealed more, it would have served rather for the gratification of our curiosity than for the increase of our grace.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

Revelation Chapter 4

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.

  • Opening of chapter marks a transition
  • (linear time = after ‘church age’)
  • 7 churches interpreted as ‘ages’ of Christ’s Church

At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.

  • Define ‘In The Spirit’
  • THRONE = Authority
  • God’s Throne mentioned 14 time in this chapter 41 times in the whole book
  • JASPER & RUBY Symbols of connection to the 12 tribes & Holiness / Justice

Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.

  • 12 tribes of Israel + Jesus’ 12 Disciples / Apostles
  • Represent Redeemed of all mankind
  • Dressed in White = Purified / Forgiven
  • Crowns = Reward for acted upon faith

From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.

  • Like the scene on Mt Sini when the Law was delivered to Moses
  • Seven Spirits (Totality of The Holy Spirit)
  • The Sea looked like glass…purifying barrier

In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.

  • They were similarly described in Isiah 6 and Ezekiel 1 & 10
  • Angelic Beings that were not messengers but instead devoted to praising God
  • They were there to lead the Elders in Worship

Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’

  • Eyes everywhere on them was about seeing and being seen
  • Worship only happens with total transparency
  • They declare His uniqueness, one of a kind nature

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever.

  • They react to the reality of God
  • They fall down prostrate (posture of submission and humility)

They lay their crowns before the throne and say: ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.’

  • Laying down their crowns says: ALL the glory is yours, we deserve none
  • ABSOLUTE recognition of God’s sovereignty
  • His worthiness is not dependent on our recognition of it
  • The declaring His Lordship positions us where we should be

Application Questions:

Why should we pay close attention to scenes like this in Scripture?

How might you live if you had a vision of the ‘Reality of Worship’ in Heaven?

What can we do as a church to cultivate a greater sense of AWE for God?

What allows you to ‘get real with God’ when worshiping?

How can we build a culture @t Midtown of giving God ALL glory, for everything?

How can we as Disciples of Christ practice the reality of God’s Sovereignty better?