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Mar 24, 2019

Barriers To Building

Barriers To Building

Speaker: Dr. Clem Ferris

Series: Other

Category: Sunday Morning

Dr. Clem Ferris compares today's end-time church to a Joseph type church, showing us the characteristics to reach for and the barriers to guard against today.

Dr. Clem Ferris

Ephesians 4:1-7  Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us, grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Paul goes on in Ephesians 4 to talk about being one body, the gifts and the grace given for the equipping of the saints. These gift ministries are to release into the church and into the community. These five-fold gifts of the Spirit are for that. 

The Prophetic Ministry of prophets and apostles helps build the church; it builds and shapes lives. When building, we need to first set a good foundation, which should look the same from church to church. Then what we build on top of the foundation is different and unique. 

Phil 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul is not waltzing into the future but is like an athlete in a race that pushes to the finish line.  Jesus is taking us to the finish. It’s where Jesus is taking the church.

Everyone has an upward call - an updraft - a spiritual updraft. We have access to the God of the future. He does not make it up as He goes.  He knows the future. So when we come to church, we come to hear what’s next. We seek the mind of God and look in the Book. Ask God, “What’s ahead?”

The Prophecy of Jacob - Genesis 49

v1 Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you in days to come.” 

Jacob and his sons are a prototype to the church today. In Genesis 49, Jacob comes to and prophecies over his sons. v26 The Tribe of Joseph was set apart. The church is set apart too – called out of darkness. We have a blessing and a mission, so we can see ourselves as a Joseph church.

Characteristics of an end time church, a Joseph church:

  • Fruitful and Missional - v22-23 Be a fruitful bough. We need to be watered regularly to be a fruitful bough, so we need to be found by the well. Then your vines will run over the wall. So get ready to go – to be missional.
  • A Target of Attack – v23 When we are fruitful and healthy and missional then we get attacked. Be aware that the enemy will take shots. We serve on a battleship not on a cruise line. We are training for war.
  • A Warrior People - v24 Yet his bow remained unmoved; his arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob. God is fighting our battles. Joseph warred and God was with him every step of the way. God’s hands are on us. Pray and go to war! A Joseph church is a warring church.
  • Conditioned for Blessing - v25-26 Blessings of heaven above - spiritual blessings, divine power, wisdom, and more. Blessings of the deep – earthy materials and things we need so that we can be a resource to others. Blessings of the womb - family. The blessings are here and for us. The blessings coming from the Father and beyond the blessings of the parents. God ordained the anointing of the head. Psalm 133. And it then flows down to the house.

Joseph had obstacles and barriers to overcome in his life. 

Barriers to building a Joseph type church:

  • Letting the hurts and offenses of the past become a barrier to the future. These were internal things. Psalm 105 contains insight into Joseph. He was betrayed but God set it up. God had a plan. God set up the economic crisis. Joseph carried out God’s plan. He was lied about, sold, put in prison; his soul was put in iron. God wanted to strengthen him by limiting him to enlarge him. A prophetic word comes to us to try, to test, to fortify, to work in us, so that we come out ready for what God has planned. There is meaning in the naming of his child, Manassah – forgetfulness.
  • Not stretching your faith. We need to release blessings to change our emotions. Bless those who curse you. If we only forgive, it stops the action that hurt you, but it doesn’t make the pain go away. So we need to stretch our faith, take action, turn hurt into blessing those in the future. Our highest calling, like Jesus on the cross, forgiveness!
  • Not guarding against spiritual apathy. There is so much clamoring for our attention. We are in a battle for who gets the first portion (busyness). Joseph’s second son was named Ephriam, meaning fruitfulness! Our calling is to increase God’s family.

 As we look at the church today, look at what God wants! God wants the future to be double fruitful for the church and for Freedom Fellowship Church. God wants to bless us. God wants us to have a double harvest.

Get ready for fruitfulness and harvest at Freedom Fellowship Church. We celebrate today and this season of adding Pastor James and his wife, Kelly, to serve at Freedom Fellowship. We are increasing the foundation so that we can expand the church here at Freedom Fellowship.

What are some characteristics of a Joseph type church? Apply this to Freedom Fellowship.

What are some barriers to building a Joseph type church? 

What are some ways that we can individually guard against the barriers? 

How do you seek God for what's ahead?