This morning, I want to preach on the subject God's heart for the team. The Bible talks a lot about various teams, and people working together, and what we read in Ecclesiastes 4 talked about how two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow, but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat but how can one be warm alone? If one prevail against him, two shall with withstand him and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
What the Bible is teaching us is that we’re better off in a team than by ourselves. Now, if you think about it, even God himself is a team. Even though there’s only one God, the Bible says in 1 John 5:7, for there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one. In a sense, that’s a team. The Bible says right here in Genesis 1.26, and God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle in over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that crepeth upon the earth. Notice, he said, “Let us make man in our image.”
Look over to Genesis 2:18, and the Bible reads in verse 18, the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him an help meet for him.” Again, the emphasis on the team. God didn’t want man to be all by himself but that there would be a husband and wife team there. If you think about it, the family is a team, the church is a team, even God is a team. Now, go to Psalm 133. Psalm 133. While you’re turning there, let me read you some scriptures about how you can accomplish more as a team than when you’re by yourself.
For example, the Bible says in Leviticus 26:8, five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousands to flight, and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. Deuteronomy 32:30 says, how should one chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them and the Lord had shut them up? In that example, God saying we’re ten times as effective when there’s two of us as when there’s just one of us. The previous example by going from five to a hundred, you’re five times more effective per person. When we’re part of a team, we can accomplish more for God than when we’re just trying to do everything by ourselves and alone.
Look at Psalm 133:1, the Bible reads, behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. It is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard that went down to the skirts of his garments as the dew of Hermon and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing even life forever. What I take from that song is that people dwelling together, working together, having unity together is a beautiful thing in the side of the Lord. He looks at that and He sees that as a very beautiful thing. Not only is it effective but it’s also a very beautiful thing.
Now, think about the great team players in the Bible. First of all, look at Jesus himself, what did He do? He assembled a team he called 12 Disciples that were a team. He was the team captain as it were. Not only that but if you would flip over to Luke 10. Luke 10, after Jesus had the team of 12 Disciples, the Bible says that later, he ordained 70 other also. He expanded the team. He added 70 more people to the team. It says in Luke 10:1, after these things, the Lord appointed other 70 also and sent them two and two before His face to every city and place, whither He Himself would come. He talks about how they’re to preach and so forth. This is where we get our pattern today from this verse about sending people up two by two to go preach the Gospel to every creature when we go soul winning. We do it in groups of two. We’re doing it in teams, right? Instead of just sending everybody out by themselves, there’s a team that goes out of two people working together.
Flip over to Acts 2, the early church was a great team. Not only was Jesus a great team player, the 12 Disciples, the 70 apostles, they all worked as a team. Look at Acts 2, and we’ll see that the early church was a great team. The Bible says in verse number 1, when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. You see the unity there, the fact that they’re all on the same page, they’re all doing the same thing, they have the same vision. Look at verse 46, and they continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.
Look at chapter 5, verse 12, Acts 5:12. The Bible reads that by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people, and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. We can see basically the team spirit of that early church are working together at unity, not just every man for himself and people doing their own thing.
The apostle Paul, of course, is a great team player. I’m not going to turn to all the scriptures but think about how almost all of his epistles, he opens up talking about the people that he’s working with because they all start with the word “Paul,” but often it will be, Paul and Sosthenes our brother, or Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus. We can think of the teams that Paul was in. In the Book of Acts, Paul and Barnabas, Paul and Silas, Paul and Timothy, Paul and Titus.
Not only that, when we look at his letters, someone can take virtually a whole chapter like Roman 16, for example, where he is just greeting all, this is my fellow laborer, this my fellow worker, this person that I worked together with, and he’s praising the team, he’s encouraging them, he’s saluting them, he’s recognizing their contribution, and he’s not just a one-man show just traveling around, one guy, one-man-show. No, no, he’s always working with other people in a team accomplishing more for God than if he would have just been by himself all the time.
Now, let’s think about some great team players of the Old Testament. Go back, if you would, at 1 Samuel 30. One person in the Old Testament that stands out as a great team player was King David. The Bible reads in 1 Samuel 30, and just to give you the context of where we’re at with this, this is when David has just had a major setback in his life because he went out with the Philistines but the Philistines didn’t want him to fight with them. Then, when he gets back to Ziklag where he dwelled, they’ve been raided by the Amalekites, and they’d taken their families captive, and they’ve taken all their stuff. Then, David, he leads his troops to go recover their families and to recover all their possessions, recover all their stuff that had been stolen.
The Bible says in verse 21 of 1 Samuel 30, and David came to the 200 men which were so faint that they could not follow David whom they have made also do abide at the brook Besor, and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people that were with him, and when David came near to the people, he saluted them. David, when he goes to fight with the Amalekites and take the gear back that had been stolen, and to also recover the people that had been kidnapped, there were 200 men that just couldn’t physically do it. It’s not that they were lazy or that they didn’t want to do it. They’d already been marching and traveling, and these guys were so faint that they just couldn’t continue so they had to stay behind and watch the camp while the rest of the men went and fought the battle. They get back and these 200 men come out to meet them.
Look at verse 22, then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial. Even in David’s group, there were some people like that. The Bible tells us that even in our churches today, there are going to be false prophets and Judas Iscariots that creep in, sheep amongst the wolves, or wolves amongst the sheep, tears amongst the wheat. David had some guys in his group that the Bible says were sons of Belial, sons of the devil. That’s what Belial means. Sons of wickedness and the Bible says that here’s what those wicked, unGodly, sons of the devil said, because they went not with us, we will not give them ought of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children that they may lead them away and depart.
Here’s what they’re saying, the people who couldn’t go, just give them their family back but all of the possessions, all of the money, we’re going to keep it, and we’re going to just send these guys away. We don’t need these guys in our group anymore. Why don’t just kick them out? This is greed talking because they just wanted to get their hands on their money and their stuff. They wanted more spoil for themselves. They didn’t want to share it with these 200 people.
Look at what David says in verse 23. Then said David, “You shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the Lord hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand, for who will hearken unto you in this matter? But as his part is that go with them to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff, they shall part alike.” It was so from that day forward that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel on to this day.
What is he saying? Every part of the team is important. There are certain people that are better at certain things and some people, they have the strength to do all that marching, and then go straight into the battle. Other people were physically too feeble to do that, and so they fulfilled a function of tarrying by the stuff. Think about it, why did the stuff stolen in the first place? Because nobody was staying and watching the stuff. These 200 people staying behind that are too faint to go on this major campaign offensive, they can at least defend themselves. They’re still fulfilling a vital function, a vital role.
See, David was a team player. He was one where he says, “You know what? We’re all working together here. We’re all going to split the spoils. We’re not going to take it away from people just because today, they had a bad day and couldn’t do it because you know what? Another day, it could have been other people that were too faint to go do that battle. He said, no, the people who stayed by this stuff part alike with those that also went to the battle.
This is the attitude that we should have in the local church. This kind of camaraderie and team spirit, not an everyman for himself type of a mentality. When we go out soul winning, we go out two by two. That’s a team and we should never disdain the one who is a silent partner because they fulfill a valuable function by being a silent partner. Why? Because without the silent partner, you’d have half as many people out. You see, for example, when we go out soul winning, let’s say everybody is a person who is comfortable talking, everybody is good at doing the talking part of it. Then, we would have to pair up talker with talker, right? Then, basically, we’d have half as many teams as if we took all those talkers and paired them each up with a silent partner that comes along. You can double your soul winning for us.
I remember, Brother Jimenez and I, when we were really young, I was about 20 and he was about 16, and we started doing some extra soul winning just during the week, and we would get together and do four hours of soul winning because there were other church times that we would go to but we would do our own soul winning also just extracurricular. We would go out soul winning. Then, we ended up winning some people to Lord, and then adding them as silent partners. Then, we doubled our effectiveness there because instead of there being two of us at our soul winning time, now there’s four.
You say, “But they’re not doing anything. They’re just being silent,” but they are doing something. They’re part of the team. Number one, they’re providing fellowship because it’s a lot more fun to go soul winning with someone than to go by yourself. Sometimes, it could even feel awkward to go to the door, and knock on somebody’s door by yourself, and preach the Gospel but it gives you confidence when you have somebody with you. It reminds me of the story of Gideon where Gideon was supposed to go down and do some reconnaissance in the camp of the enemy, and God said, “If you’re fearful, take Purah, thy servant,” and he takes the servant, showing that he was a little bit fearful. He felt more confident, he felt better having somebody with him. God said, “Look, you can go alone and you’ll be safe but if it makes you feel better, bring your servant,” and that’s what he did, he brought his servant. He brought somebody with him to give him confidence.
It’s a lot easier to go soul winning when you have somebody with you. What does the Bible say? Two are better than one. It says in Ecclesiastes 4, where we started, it said, if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. If something goes wrong, it’s like when you go swimming or something and they always tell you, “Hey, never go swimming alone.” The buddy system, always have somebody with you. It’s just safer to have somebody with you. When you go out soul winning, you’re getting encouragement from the silent partner. You’re getting fellowship, camaraderie, somebody to talk to. It’s also a good safety thing. Something goes wrong, somebody passes out in the Arizona heat, the other person can go run and get the Gatorade or whatever to revive them.
The Bible over and over again is teaching is this principle of the team and working together but we should never have this attitude where we look down on certain parts of the team because they’re not as glamorous, or not as upfront and center. They don’t seem as important. They are, everybody is important. That’s why I try to emphasize, even just little things like when we go out soul winning and when we come back and regroup, I don’t like to hear like, “This person got this many people.” Say, “Even this person got this many.” I like to hear the team, what did the team do. Like, “Okay, these two people, how many did you two people get?” “I was doing the talking or I talked for this many.” It doesn’t matter. You two went out as a team. Let me tell you something, when you go out as a silent partner on soul winning and people get saved, you have a part in that.
You’re part of that. It’s not just, “I was just a third wheel that was just dragged along for this and I just watched somebody do this.” No, no, no. You were part of that work and part of that team. Look, if David is being recorded in Scripture as equally rewarding those who went out to battle and those who tarried by the stuff, and this is listed as a good thing in the Bible. You can tell that God is pleased with this. It shows that that’s how God thinks too, that every part of the team is going to be rewarded for the work that the team accomplishes in a sense.
When we go out soul winning, that’s why I like to think of it as whenever I go soul winning with somebody, I’d like to think of it as, “Hey, we got three people saved,” not, “I got two and you got one.” No, it’s we got three. Then, once we group up with the team again, then we like to get a group total. Then, it’s just like, “Hey, the group got these many people saved.” It doesn’t really matter that much who exactly was the one who actually won the soul because you know what? Anytime you’re knocking on somebody’s door offering to give them the Gospel, you’re doing something for God. Even if they don’t receive. If you preach the Gospel to somebody and they don’t get saved, you still obeyed the Lord. You still warned them. You still did something.
We should get a team attitude that says, “Hey, you know what? We went out and we got a bunch of people saved.” Let me tell you, if I go out soul winning on one of these, for example, small town soul winning marathons, and we spent eight hours out knocking doors, and I don’t get anybody saved in that eight hours, but the team got 20 some people saved, I consider it a great success and great rejoicing. I don’t feel like, “Wow, I wasted my time. Why was I even here?” because without me, it wouldn’t have went down that way. Because of the fact that the street that I was on where nobody wanted to hear it, somebody else would have been on that street.
By me absorbing me all the junk doors, I absorbed all the junk, then everybody else was able to talk to the people that really wanted to hear the Gospel. It’s true though. Somebody’s got to absorb those junk doors and junk street. Somebody’s got to knock on those doors where nobody is home or nobody is interested because you don’t know where the people are, you got to go knock every door. You got to talk to everybody. You know what? Some people end up on the street that’s receptive, some people end up on the street that’s not receptive but you know what? We’re all working together. We’re all part of the team. We all should rejoice together in the work that we accomplished as a group.
See, to develop that kind of a camaraderie and team spirit, there has to be some work that’s being done. There are a lot of churches today where no work is being done for the Lord, where the church is more like a social club, like a social gathering. It’s almost like a performance that you go to. It’s not really a team. To be a team, you got to play a game or to be a team, you have to perform work or do something. You wouldn’t really call it a, “Yeah, I’m on a team and we get together a talk,” or “We get together and have lunch as a team.” No, that’s not a team.
Now, if I said, “Hey, we’re going out and doing electrical work,” we’re a team that comes in and does this work or, “Hey, we’re a team that plays basketball or something,” then that would be work that’s being expanded, activity that’s going on, sweat that’s being produced, and working together builds a camaraderie and a team spirit more than just getting together and doing nothing. Your average church today is a performance that you go and attend. You basically show up, and you sit down, and you listen to people sing. A lot of times you don’t even do the singing. You’re not even part of the team.
If you would, on that subject, go to 2 Chronicles 5. You don’t even do the singing, you sit back and listen to the really good singers up there performing. They dim the lights, and you sit back, and you enjoy the show. Then, somebody gets up and gives you a little sermonette, a little devotional for 20 minutes. You say, “Oh man, I feel so good right now. I feel so close to God.” Then, basically, you leave and you don’t come back for another week. Look, you can go to churches like that and not know people for years, and years, and years, and it’s like you never meet anyone.
I remember, I went to this big church one time. It was called First Baptist Church of Elk Grove, and it was a liberal NIV. Actually, it was like they would switch up the Bible version in mid-sermon, they’d be switching just verse from this. That’s to go up on the big screen because they could switching Bible so fast. It’s like New American Standard, NIV, living the Bible, just whatever fits the pastor’s point. He’s not going to the Bible to see what it says, he decides what he wants to say, and then he’ll look at all the verses until he finds something to say it.
Anyway, we went to big church and there were about 2000 people on a Sunday morning, which there’s nothing wrong with a church with 2000 people, but there’s no work to do. There’s no soul winning. We’re not going out knocking on doors or anything like that. It’s just to show up for the show on Sunday mornings. I went there for years and I didn’t have any friends. I had one person that I knew, that I knew from a previous church, that I already knew going on. That was my one friend. I would always hope that she was going to be there and say hi to her, whatever, but I never met anybody for two years at that church, no friends. Why? Because you develop friendships, and camaraderie, and team spirit sitting and watching.
How many times do you walk out of the movie theater with a bunch of new friends? Just, “Hey, these are all my new friends. We sat and watched a movie.” Don’t even walk out of a movie theater anyway because the movies are garbage but the point is though, when have you seen people just forming friendships and lasting friendships at a concert or a movie where you just sit and watch something happen. No, but when you go and participate at something, you make friends. If I’ll take my kids down to the park, and they start playing football with some other kids or playing basketball with some other kids, then they get on a team where they’re doing something, and now they have friends. Now, they’re accomplishing something.
You say, “Pastor Anderson, I’ve been coming to Faithful Word for a while, and I am not really making a lot of friends.” “Okay, how many times have you been out soul winning? Because you know what? Everybody who goes soul winning has friends, lots of friends, because you go out. I try to mix up the groups too when we go soul winning. I try to make sure that people get to go with different, so it’s not just always the same two people going together. Mix up the groups with different people. If you go soul winning, you’re making a new friend every time you go soul winning because you’re spending an hour or so, two hours, three hours, whatever how long you go, walking, talking, sharing experiences together, working together, that develops camaraderie. That develops friendship.
It’s work that is being done. That’s what a lot of the modern church are lacking today, the team spirit. There is no team because there’s no work but he shows up and watches other people work for an hour, they watch them sing, watch them preach, they don’t really participate in anything together. If you want to be in the inner circle of the church or if you want to get in and be a part of the team, going soul winning is a way to get on the team.
Now, look at the Bible there, 2 Chronicles 5, because remember, God loves the team. He has a heart for the team. All throughout the Bible, this philosophy is promoted. It’s not good for the man to be alone. Even He Himself operates as a team of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The church is a team. The family is a team. Everything has been set up this way. God talked about how people working together in unity and fellowship is a beautiful thing, it’s an effective thing. Look at what the Bible says in 2 Chronicles 5:12. By the way, these are David’s musicians. Remember, David was a great team player. Here are his musicians.
Verse 12, also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brother, and being arrayed in white linen having cymbals, and psalteries, and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them – watch this – are 120 priests sounding with trumpets. Now, 120 trumpets, talk about that this was the big band era right here. This is a big band, 120 trumpets.
Now, it says in verse 13, it came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets, and cymbals, and instruments of music, and praised the Lord saying, “For he is good, for his mercy endures forever,” that then the house was filled with a cloud. Even the house of the Lord. The priests could not stand the minister by the reason of the cloud for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.
Let me ask this, when did the glory of the Lord filled the house of God? It was when you had the singers, and the musical instruments, 120 trumpets, and all the other instruments that are mentioned, it says that they all played and sang together as one to make one noise. Meaning that they we replaying together, like the piano and the organ playing together, in time with the singing. This is what the Bible is talking about. To God, this was a glorious thing, this is a beautiful thing. In fact, he even took the time to write about this in the Bible. He liked it so much the way that they sang and played, and the unity of it. He liked it so much that He chose to spend a few verses talking about it and He chose that moment to be when the glory of the Lord would enter the temple. This shows how God loves the unity. God loves the team. God loves people working together.
Flip over, if you would, at 1 Corinthians 12. Of course, we could talk about lots of other great team players of the Bible. For example, Moses and Aaron were a team that God used, and the people that were greatly used in the Bibles were usually a team player person, a person who didn’t just want to take all the glory for themselves, and all the pride of themselves, and do everything themselves but rather, people who wanted to work with other people, and get other people working, and worked together, and then share the glory. Then, ultimately give all the glory to God instead of just taking it for themselves saying, “Hey, look, here’s what we, as a team, were able to accomplish, and it was really all through the power of God,” and not just, “I went out by myself, and I did all this stuff by myself.”
Look, you can go out and do a lot by yourself but you can do a lot more as a team. The team that I want to focus on just because we’re in church is the team of the local church but even aside from the team of the local church, the husband and wife unit, that marriage is a team. By the way, we need to remember that in our marriage, we’re working as a team and not have this adversarial attitude with our spouse where there’s a struggle going on and a battle between husband and wife.
Ideally, we should be working together as a team. Now, the husband is the team captain. In order for that team to function harmoniously, obviously the wife has to obey the husband because the Bible says that the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. The Bible teach the wives to be obedient on to their own husbands. In order for that team to work well together, there has to often be a leader. You can’t just have a team where everybody is doing that which is right in their own eyes. You look at Jesus’ team of the disciples, He’s the leader, He is the pastor, He is the team captain as it were.
When we see the early church in one accord but there were still people that were leading. There were leaders in that church. There were the apostles in a leadership role. In the marriage, the husband’s at a leadership role but that doesn’t mean that the wife has chopped liver because they are both working as a team. It doesn’t mean that the wife is less important because the wife is every bit as important as the husband in that team. That team produces children together and raises those children. That team serves the Lord together.
There’s a different function just like when you go out soul winning, you got the talker and the silent partner. Guess what? That’s how in a marriage, the wife might sometimes be more the silent partner in a sense because she might not be as front and center or as glamorous of a position in the team because she is not going out and maybe achieving things in the workforce but you know what? She is tarrying by the stuff at home. She’s holding down the fort, she’s cooking the meals, she’s raising the children, she’s taking care of all the day-to-day things that frees up her husband to go out, and work, and accomplish things, and build things, and do whatever it is he does whether it’s pastoring, or whether it’s construction work, or whatever the job but there is a team there. It’s a team raising the children. It’s the husband and the wife working together as a team.
Think of your spouse as someone who’s on the same team, not as this enemy that you have to make sure that you keep at bay all the time but rather, try to have a positive working together attitude of a team. Obviously, the family itself is a team. The Bible says that it’s beautiful and pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity. Yeah, that’s the brethren, as in Christian, but it’s also just brothers and sisters working together a team, having unity. Obviously, a lot of times, brothers and sisters fight like cats and dogs when they’re growing up. I know that I would often fight with my sister. Then, as adults, we get along now and are friends but when you’re a kid, you’re foolish because the Bible says foolishness is bound in the heart of a child but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.
We need to have a team attitude today in the church, and that’s the emphasis of the sermon. We need to see it as a team. Now, a lot of people today are not even going to church anymore. Even people who are devout Christians, even people who love the Bible, read the Bible, and they’ll even download and listen to preaching from myself or preaching from someone else from the internet but they don’t physically attend church. Listen, that person is not a team player. They’re trying to be this commando, all by themselves, do it all by themselves but you know what? That’s not what God has called us to do in the New Testament. He calls us to work at a team.
Why did Jesus work in a team? Why did the disciples work in a team? Why did the apostles work in a team? Why was the apostle Paul constantly part of a team? Why did they established churches all over the place where people could assemble? Why did he say, “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one, and so much the more as you as the day approaching”?
See, there are people out there that are not team players, and it’s because of pride. They don’t want to be a cog in the machine. They don’t want to just be a part of the team. They don’t want to play defense. They don’t want to be a silent partner. They either have to be front and center and the limelight running the show or else, they just don’t want to play second fiddle for anyone. You know what? This is not the kind of person that God is going to use greatly because God uses the team player, because God uses the humble man.
A person who can’t serve under someone else, a person who can’t take orders from the coach and orders from the team captain, a person who’s not willing to pass the ball but they just want to go in and take the shot every time, and they’re going to shoot the ball every time, and they’re never going to pass to anyone else, that person is not going to be greatly use by God, because God uses humble people.
They don’t care if they’re the one who makes the basket. They don’t care if they’re the one who wins this all. They just want the team to succeed. They just want the team to win because they’re humble enough to realize it’s not about them. It’s not about personal glory. It’s not about the stats that are on the back of your spiritual baseball card. You know what it’s about? It’s about getting people saved for God’s glory, whatever gets the most people saved, whatever further is the kingdom of God. He must increase, we must decrease. This type of person that has a humble attitude that’s willing to lift other people up, and help other people succeed, and that wants other people to do great things for God and not just me, me, me, this is the type of person that can be used by God. All the great leaders in the Bible were first a great follower that was a part of a team and that was a junior member of that team.
We just heard a sermon in the preaching class about Joshua being a great leader but here’s the thing about that, Joshua is a great follower before he was a great leader because he was the one who was Moses’s minister. He was Moses’s servant. Then, you think of Elijah the great powerful man of God, preaching, performing miracles, chapter after chapter in the Bible telling us about his great works but first, he poured water on the hands of Elijah. That’s not a real glamorous job, is it? Being a servant, pouring water on someone’s hands so they can wash their hand, but you know what? He was a team player. That’s why he was able to lead all these other prophets that gathered to him, the young prophets that came and gathered with
, and learned from him, but before he was a great leader, he was a great follower.
Even Jesus Christ himself, the Great Leader of the 12 Disciples, and the Great Leader of all the multitudes that followed Him, He said, “I do always those things which please the Father.” Jesus Christ said to the Father, “Not my will be done,” but he said, not as I will Thy willed, right? Because even in a team, and a lot of people, they like to bicker, and fuzz, and have all this weird semantic games about the Trinity, about the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost, and honestly, we need to just get our doctrine on this directly from the Bible. We should go with statements in the Bible what we believe about this.
A lot of times man’s wording has come in, and man’s logic has come in, and clouded this issue of the Trinity when I don’t think it’s really as complicated as people make it. I think people just they complicate it, and they come in with these doctrinal statements, and they talk about “Is God in three persons or is God in three?” They used these terms that aren’t really biblical terms. I don’t really use the term God in three persons just because that’s not the way the Bible words it. It’s somewhat dangerous, it’s just a brand. I’m not against anybody who uses that wording because I know what they mean but it’s just, why we don’t use the word as the Holy Ghost teach it?
Our understanding of the Trinity should be that the Trinity is, found a 1 John 5:7 where it says, there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. These three are one. Then, we can get further understanding where the Bible says in Hebrews 1:8, for example, but under the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. We know that Jesus is God. Just as much as God the Father us God, Jesus is God the Son. Then, there are plenty of scriptures that show us that the Holy Spirit is God but the Bible also teaches that there’s only God. There’s a three in one. There’s one God but He is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.
I think the best illustration of it is we, as human beings, are a three-part being, body, soul, and spirit but it’s one person. Nobody would say, “You’re talking about three different people. You’re making it into three people.” No, no, it’s one person, body, soul, spirit. These parts can be independent of one another because when the body dies, then the body is without the spirit, because the spirit departs the body, they give up the ghost. There’s the body which is a full functioning mind. The body includes your brain also. Everything that is flesh is the body but then there’s also the soul and spirit.
You could liken our spirit onto the Holy Spirit. You can lark on our body onto Jesus, and you could liken the soul onto the Father, however you want liken it. That’s a great illustration but a lot of times, people will use the term, “Their God had,” in their fancy doctrinal statements “is made up of three co-equal persons.” Now, here’s the thing about that. That could be right depending on how you look at that. Whenever you start using man’s wording, you got to be careful because coequal in what sense. Jesus is just as much God as the Father is, right?
For example, if I said, “Husband and wife are equal,” that would be true in the sense that they both have the same value, the same worth, they’re both human beings but hold on a second. There is an authority structure in the Godhead because the son obeys the father. That’s what the Bible says. Some people will freak out when you say that but you know what? I don’t care what you’re stupid doctrinal statement says. What does the Bible say?
Go to 1 Corinthians 15 because you’re in chapter 12, right? Just go a few pages to the right. Look at 1 Corinthians 15, and see what the Bible actually says. First of all, we know that while Jesus was on this earth, He said “Not as I will, but as Thy will.” He said, “I do always those things which please Him” Who was the boss there? God the father. This doesn’t take away from the deity of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t take away from His value of who He is. It doesn’t take away from the fact that He has the preeminence and that in Him, all the fullness of the Godhead dwelled bodily, and the fact that that He is the creator of all things, and that all things were made by him, and without him, there wasn’t anything made that was made but look, He’s still was obedient to the father.
Look at 1 Corinthians 15 because this is actually in the future. Beyond His earthly existence because you say, “He just obeyed the Father because He was on this earth,” but actually, later on the Bible says, “He will also submit Himself onto the Father even after the millennium.” I didn’t have this in my notes. Somebody help me out with this scripture I was looking for. I’m drawing a blank here. I know I’m on 1 Corinthians 15.
Pastor Anderson: There it is, yeah exactly. Here we go. It says in verse 22, for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, but every man in his own order, Christ the firstfruits, afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then, cometh the end, when he shall delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority, and power for He must reign – Jesus must reign it’s saying – till he hath put all enemies his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed death. We know that that reign lasts a thousand years from Revelation.
For he hath put all things under his feet, watch this verse 27, but when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he excepted, which did all put all things under him and when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
What’s that saying? That even Jesus Christ on this earth obeyed the Father but even after the millennial reign of Christ, after Jesus rules and reigns on this earth for a thousand years, he will then deliver at up King to the Father. The Father will reign and Jesus will even submit Himself onto the Father at that time also. Bless are we. No, this is what the Bible says. This is biblical doctrine. You can’t just ignore the Bible. That’s what it says. This doesn’t take away from who Jesus is.
If you think it takes away from who Jesus is, that shows that you don’t understand the team. Then, you’re the same type of person. If you think this takes away from Christ’s greatness, then you’re the same type of person who thinks, “The wife has to obey her husband, that means she’s not as good as him,” right?
Male: It’s good.
Pastor Anderson: Is Jesus as good as the Father?
Pastor Anderson: Absolutely. The wife is as good as her husband but that doesn’t change the fact that there’s an authority structure. You know what? Jesus is the ultimate team player. He’s on this earth. He could run a team of 12 disciples. He could run a team of 70 apostles but you know what? He also knew how to be subject onto the Father and he also, the Bible says, humbled Himself, and became obedient onto death, even the death of the cross. To be a great team player, you have to be a humble person. Who is one of the greatest leaders in the Bible? Moses, the Bible also says he was the meekest man upon the face of the earth.
First, before we pastor our church, we go to church, and we have a pastor, and we obey, and we work hard and we’re a blessing to him, and we learn from him. Then, we go out and lead ourselves. Before we’re a parent, what do we do? We have parents, and we obey mom and dad, and we spend our lives obeying mom and dad. Then, we grow up, and have our own family. Then, our kids obey us. That’s the way life works. It doesn’t mean that one person is better than another. It means that people work together as a team. Everybody can’t be the chief and then, there’s no Indians. That’s not a team.
You can’t just get a bunch of people out on a basketball court or a football field, and it’s just every man for himself. Then, another team is all working together, submitting one to another, passing the ball, obeying the coach, obeying the team leader, obeying the quarterback, or however it works, I don’t play football but the point is we need to get a team and God loves the team. God says the team is a beautiful thing.
The glory of the Lord shows up when the team is working together. When they’re all in one court in one place, that’s where the Holy Ghost came upon them in Acts 2. In the Old Testament, they’re all playing together in unity, and praising the Lord, and singing, and playing the trumpets. That’s when the glory of the Lord showed up, but yet so many people today, part of it is just our American Culture. It’s a loner, rebel, do my own thing kind of a culture. Nobody wants to get on the team. Everybody just wants to be the boss. Everybody wants to just do their own thing.
Then, people just, “There’s a no good church,” but really that’s just a code word for, “I don’t want to go to church, sit down, and shut up, and be a blessing.” You know what I mean? They want to go out and tell everybody how it is, but before honor comes humility the Bible says. Before honor comes humility. It’s important that we learn to function as a team.
Look at 1 Corinthians 12:14. It says, for the body is not one member but many. If the foot shall say, “Because I’m not the hand, I’m not the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the ears shall say, “Because I’m not the eye, I’m not of the body.” Is it therefore not of the body? If the whole were an eye, where are the hearing? If the whole body were hearing, where are the smelling? Now that God set the members, everyone one of them in the body as it have pleased Him.
Again, God is well pleased with the team. God is well pleased when things are functioning together in unity. Aren’t our body is an amazing thing because He’s likening the church onto a physical body. Is it amazing how our body works together? The Bibles says “If one member suffers, the whole body suffers.” I think you just take a part of your body that seems insignificant, your pinky of your left hand. This is isn’t super important. Bring it up here and let’s hit it with a hummer. Your whole body is going to ride just from that one little part.
You say, “I don’t need this.” “Okay, let’s cut it off. Let’s cut off your left pinky.” Here’s the thing, you think it’s not that important until you don’t have it. Then all of a sudden, you’re going to start realizing, “Wow, I actually used that thing,” especially if we cut off Brother Matt’s pinky for example. The first time he sat down and played the piano, he realized that it was gone. The thing is, we need to understand that just as our body is all working together, that’s how the church is supposed to function.
Think about how many systems. I remember when I was a kid in science learning about the eight systems of our body, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the immune system, the skeletal system, the muscular system, the digestive system. You turn the page, and it will show you. First, it just shows your skeleton. It just shows you all the muscles. It shows you the digestive. Even just the digestion, there’s so many things that are working together, the tongue, the mouth, that you need the saliva, you got the bile, you got the stomach acid, and then you got the large intestine, the small intestine. You’ve got all this different things.
Then, there are certain parts of the body that we don’t really think of a lot as being, “Wow, that’s critical.” We all now the heart is critical. We know that the lungs are critical. What about the pancreas? Is it really that important? The gallbladder, the appendix. They used to think that the appendix had no function. Just take it out at the drop of that.
In fact, there were even doctors who wanted to just standardly just remove tonsils and appendix even when there was no problem. Just get rid of them, they’re worthless but then, as time went on, scientists who used to say that there were like a hundred and some parts of the body, there were just this vestigial organs that we don’t need anymore, they’re just left over remnants of evolution, it turns out we needed every single one of them as science advanced. There is a detriment in not having an appendix. There is a detriment in not having tonsils. There is detriment in not having a gallbladder or anything else that’s removed because it’s all there for a reason. It’s all working together.
The ears, the nose, the eyes, the mouth, the stomach, the throat, the muscles, the bones, the ligaments and sometimes, even just the tiniest part of your body can just cause havoc to the whole body, destroy the whole system, one little tiny thing. This little tiny plantar fascia in the bottom of your feet, just this very small part, but it can send you riving in pain if you have plantar fasciitis where you’re just in screaming sharp pain in the bottom of your foot.
What about just a little thing? One thing that I have is I have a finger that slips out of joint like all day every day about 50 times a day. It’s like click, click, click but all the time, I’m constantly realizing that I’m limited because of that middle finger on my right hand that does that. Another physical thing I have is I have my throat will close up sometimes, and just shut my esophagus. I’ll get food stuck in my throat, and be choking for hour. I can be choking for hour, totally unable to work, totally unable to do anything just because of something as simple as the muscle around my esophagus is going like that. Just some dumb little, but it can just shut down the whole body, the littlest thing.
Just one little tiny thing whether it’d would be your liver, whether it’d be your kidneys, whether it’d be your heart, your lungs, there are so many things where if we just destroyed them and we just destroyed the entire body. Destroy the liver, you’re dead. Destroy the kidneys, you die. No heart, you die, lungs die, all these things that keep you functioning that keep you alive.
Look, let’s carry that over to the church now, and realize that the church is a team, and we all need to work together. The more parts of the body that we have that are in good spiritual health, and doing their job, and functioning, and kicking in, the greater the health of the church. Then, we’re going to accomplish great things. We got it instead of just being this sickly, decrypt. If we could look at some churches that’s spiritualized, it would just be like an invalid.
Think about the deformity. There’s no soul winning in a lot of churches. Right away, there’d be no feet because that’s the feed. The feet represent how beautiful are the feet of men that preach the Gospel. Basically, 99% of churches will be crippled right away, no feet. That’s a major handicap right there to have no feet. That’s just right out of the gate.
Then, they’re allowing all these false doctrine to come in. Apparently there’s no nos. Now, you say, “Okay,” but you know what? Think about how you’d look when your nose is gone. It looks scary, right? They’re not listening to what God is saying, no ears. They’re not opening their mouth boldly to preach the Gospel, no mouth. Think about this, I don’t know, the arm of the Lord is hot shorten that He would save. If they’re not saving people, then it’s like no arms. Think about how sick. Then, all the sin, all the sin and junk, and toxicity, their skin would be all yellowish or green like a jaundice just from all the toxicity in their body because they’re not cleaning out the junk.
That was another one of the systems, the excretory. Is that how you pronounce it? The excretory system. Get rid of all the junk, get rid of all the waste. That’s what preaching does sometimes when you preach hard against sin, and you preach against all the junk at the world, you’re flashing the toilet on all that garbage, and getting it out of the body. Think about it. What if somebody just couldn’t go to the bathroom for days or weeks? That that would literally destroy the whole body.
Let’s say you had the feet intact. Let’s say you have the nose intact, the ears are intact, the mouth is intact, the arms, legs, all are in perfect health only one problem though, I never use the restroom, never. How long do you think you’re going to last like that? That’s how some churches are, they need a bathroom. Some churches, they have no excretory system.
Think about Joel Holsteins Osteen’s church. It’s all positive. Using the bathroom is too negative. Why? Because he never wants to clean out all the waste. He’s taking in a lot of food, coming in money, money, money coming in, but then he never wants to relieve the church of all the junk and the dang. Why? Because he doesn’t want to offend people by the preaching. You know what? That’s just that toxicity. That would be the problem with not going to the bathroom is that your body would get so toxic. It would just absorb all this toxicity from the waste, and it would kill you. It would kill you. You would be dead. You will die from that. Guess what? The church will die from it too.
The point is that we need to have all systems functioning in order to be a healthy church. We need to have the singing, we need to have the Bible reading at home by yourself, we need to have the prayer, we need to have strong families, we need to have soul winning, we need to be preaching on sins so that we don’t get infected. Look, there’s going to be an infection. We all have an infection somewhere in our body from time to time. Some gets a little affected. You get a sore throat. You get a pain here, pain there. Maybe you get a cut, and it gets a little infected but you know what? You got to have that immune system of the preaching, cleaning things out and fixing things.
Also, other people in the church acting as like a spiritual white blood cell coming along, and helping people, and being a part of the team, and getting rid of the virus and the contagion, and neutralizing it. All systems have to be a go in order to be healthy. Different people in the church have different gifts, different abilities, and we all need to pitch in and be a part of the team in order for the body to be healthy. That’s what the Bible is teaching us here is that if we’re going to have a healthy body, it needs to all be working together as a team, as a system, everything working together.
It says in the Bible here in verse number 21, and the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of thee,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you,” nay much more those members of the body which seemed to be more feeble are necessary. Some people that we might look at and say, “This person is not an important person in the church,” maybe like a silent partner or whatever, somebody who is doing the cleaning or something but it’s real necessary. He says, some of the parts which seemed to be more feeble are necessary, and those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, upon this, we bestow more abundant honor and our uncomely parts have more abundant than comely is.
What’s God saying? God is pleased by the people who do the dirty jobs and the people who do the jobs that are not in the limelight. Everybody sees the pastor preaching, everybody sees the piano player playing, everybody sees the song leader leading, but there are a lot of other people who are working behind the scenes, and God says that those people, He bestows abundant honor upon them. People who are just cleaning the building or just being a silent partner out soul winning, people that are just helping in any way that they can.
The Bible says in verse number 24, for our comely parts have no need but God hath tempered the body together having given more abundant honor to that part which lack, that there should be no schism in the body – schism is like a split – but that the members should have the same care one for another, and whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it or one member be honored, all the members rejoice for it.
Verse number 27, now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. God has said in the church first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that, miracles, then gifts of healings, health, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts the healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gift and yet show unto you a more excellent way.
Go to one more place, Philippians 2. There are people who work with foreign languages, there are people who are working with healing, people who are working with preaching, teaching, all these different ministries of helping people in the church caring for one another, teaching and admonishing one another, caring for the sick, preaching the Word of God, all these things have a function. Then, it just said helps. Just people who help with whatever, any help. Also, the musicians as well.
The Bible says in Philippians 2:1, if there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship if he Spirit, if any bowels in mercies, fulfill ye my joy that you’d be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory. What’s vainglory? When you exalt yourself and glorify yourself. He says, but in lowliness of mind, which is the opposite, let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
What’s he saying? Don’t do you own thing, don’t just be your own solo act, your own commando, team of one. No, get on the team. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others, esteem other better than yourself, humble yourself, get on board with the program of the church. Serve, be a part of the team, get involved with the work, help other people in the church. Don’t just come and just see how you can get more glory or you can blessed but seek how you can be a blessing and be a team player.
Look, don’t ever be one of these people who quits on church. I am not saying you can’t switch churches but I am saying, don’t just quit on church and become the lone ranger. That’s not God’s will and I’ve seen people who were greatly used by God, make that mistake and just do way less for God through the rest of their life. Why? Because they’re not on the team and you can do more in the church.
Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much, Lord, for the teachings of your Word. Lord, we know that You have a heart for the team and that You’re a team, and that when You’re on this earth, You had a team, and that all through the Bible, great men of God were great team players that can work well with other people. Lord, help us to be able to work well with other people so that we can accomplish more of You. In Jesus’s name, we pray.