The Church ~ 20220116 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~

01/09 – Who are we? What in the world are we doing

01/16 – The Church; a Spirit Wrought Body; Audio available at:

Spirit Wrought Church

We asked the questions last week; What in the world are we doing here? Just who do we think we are?

We answer: We are a church. We are the blood bought and dearly beloved bride of Christ, the body of Christ, the flock of God. We are the temple of God, the church of the living God, the household of God, the pillar and buttress of the truth.

What in the world are we doing here? We bear witness to the identity and transforming power of Jesus to make people new inside, to forgive and give life, to conquer sin and set captives free. We are advancing against the very gates of hell, taking ground from the enemy of our souls.

We looked last time at Matthew 16; that the church is founded on the identity of Jesus, the promised Messiah-King; Eternal Son of the Living God, and Suffering Servant, the crucified one who died for our sins and rose again.

We saw that the church does not belong to us; it belongs to Jesus; he calles it ‘mine’. And it is not our responsibility to build; Jesus said ‘I will build my church.’ The church will advance against and overcome the gates of hell through the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. We have been commissioned to make disciples, baptizing and teaching all nations to obey Jesus, and Jesus promises to be with us always, even to the end of the age.

The church is supernatural. Everything about this is supernatural. The church is a Spirit wrought organism.

Make Disciples; But Wait

At the end of Luke’s gospel, after the resurrection, Jesus said:

Luke 24:46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Jesus commands his followers to proclaim repentance and forgiveness to the nations in the name of Jesus, but he orders them to wait. Wait for the promise of the Father. Wait until you are clothed with power from on high. We are to make disciples of all nations, but do not attempt to do this in your own strength. It’s supernatural. Wait.

Luke continues the story in his next volume, the book of Acts. He says of the resurrected Jesus in Acts 1:4

Acts 1:4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Wait for the promise of the Father; this is a command, an order from Jesus. Wait. You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. He explains in verse 8:

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

You will receive power through the baptism of the Spirit, when the Spirit comes upon you, to be witnesses for Jesus to all the nations. Do not step out ahead and attempt to do this on your own. Wait. This is supernatural business. Wait to be clothed with this power from on high.

After Jesus said this, the disciples watched as he was taken up into heaven, and then they returned to Jerusalem, to the upper room, to wait. In Acts 2, we read:

Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

There was a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit coming on them, and the Spirit caused them to speak in other languages, something that drew a crowd from the diverse multi-lingual masses who were gathered in Jerusalem for the feast. Peter interpreted this event as a fulfillment of Joel 2, where God promised to pour out his Spirit on all flesh. Peter used this opportunity to preach Jesus to the crowds, his crucifixion and resurrection. He concluded:

Acts 2:33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.

What they are witnessing is the fulfillment of the prophesied promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is evidence of the identity of Jesus. Peter says:

Acts 2:36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Peter used this opportunity to point to the identity of the crucified and resurrected Jesus as both YHWH the Lord in the flesh, and the promised Messiah.

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

Notice what is happening here. They were cut to the heart. This is supernatural. This is the Spirit’s power at work through the testimony of his people. This is not merely powerful and persuasive preaching. This is God’s Spirit at work opening the hearts of people.

Salvation is Of The Lord

This is what Paul talked about in 2 Corinthians 4; It is by the open statement of the truth that we commend ourselves to everyone’s consciences in the sight of God.

2 Corinthians 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

There is a satanic blindness clouding the minds of unbelievers.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

It is God who creates light, who opens blind eyes, who sets captives free. God gives light and life. Paul had experienced this firsthand and quite literally on the road to Damascus, where Jesus blinded him physically for a time so that he could truly begin to see.

God creates light in the hearts of satanically blinded unbelievers, to give us ‘the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.’

John’s gospel uses the metaphor of birth; in John 3, Jesus told Nicodemus that in order to enter the kingdom of God, ‘you must be born again.’ You must be born from above, born of the Spirit.

Jesus said that all who receive Jesus, all who believe in his name, become children of God,

John 1:13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Salvation belongs to the Lord (Ps.3:8). New birth is of God. The lifting of satanic unbelief and blindness and the imparting of supernatural light to see Jesus for who he really is, is of the Lord. This is nothing but the work of God in salvation.

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

The Gift of the Spirit

In Acts, Peter testifies to the identity of Jesus, and

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

This is evidence of a powerful supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. God is opening blind eyes. God is bringing about new birth.

Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

God was calling them to himself. They received his word. They repented. They had a change of heart and mind. They turned away from whatever they were trusting in, and turned to Jesus alone. They believed in Jesus and were baptized as a public declaration that they had believed. About three thousand souls were added to the church. God added them. God supernaturally saved them. We are told a few verses down:

Acts 2:47 ...And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

God is mighty to save. Jesus promised that he would build his church. And here at the beginning of Acts, we see him doing just that. This is a supernatural work of the Spirit of God.

Jerusalem & Judea

Peter said that this promised gift of the Holy Spirit;

Acts 2:39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

It is for you; all the Jews assembled in Jerusalem to keep the Jewish feast of Pentecost. But he says that the promised Holy Spirit is also for your children, and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.


After the stoning of Deacon Stephen, and because of Saul’s persecution of the church, the believers were scattered and went about preaching the word. In Acts 8, Phillip proclaimed Christ to the city of Samaria. Remember, Samaritans were despised by Jews, considered half-breeds.

Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

This was unusual, but necessary for the unity of the church, to unify Jewish believers with Samaritan believers. Peter and John were eye-witnesses that the same Holy Spirit that they had received had been given to the Samaritans. And it demonstrated to the Samaritan believers their dependence on and connection with the Jewish believers. Remember, Jesus had given the keys of the kingdom to Peter in Matthew 16. Peter was used by God to bind together Jewish and Samaritan believers.

The Ends of the Earth

In Acts 10, Peter was hungry, on the rooftop, waiting for lunch, and God gave him a vision of a sheet full of unclean creatures, and he said ‘rise, Peter, kill and eat.’ When Peter refused because of his Jewish integrity, the Lord said to him ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ About that time men sent by Cornelius, a Roman centurian, knocked on the door, looking for Peter. Peter went with them to the centurian’s house.

Acts 10:28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.”

Peter proclaimed the good news of peace through Jesus to them, his identity, his life, death and resurrection. Peter concluded:

Acts 10:43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” 44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.

Peter and those who were with him became witnesses that God had poured out the gift of his Holy Spirit even on the Gentiles.

Peter responded:

Acts 10:47 “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”

This led to criticism of Peter by the circumcision party. In Acts 11, Peter reported back to the church in Jerusalem; how Cornelius

Acts 11:13 And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; 14 he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ 15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?” 18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

The Holy Spirit bound together Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles who believed in Jesus. The Spirit was uniting believers in Jesus across ethnic and religious boundaries.

This is what Paul points us to in 1 Corinthians 12:

1 Corinthians 12:13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

He says to the uncircumcised Gentile Ephesians:

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

Jew and Gentile, reconciled together in one body through the cross; through Jesus, together we have access in one Spirit to the Father.

In Romans, he draws the distinction no longer between Jew and Gentile, but now between those who are in the flesh and those who are in the Spirit.

Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

The Spirit of the living God lives inside of us. We have received the Spirit of adoption as sons. The Spirit himself bears witness that we belong to God. And because we belong to God, we belong with each other.

We are part of something supernatural, something God did. Something God is still doing, that we get to be a part of! We are one Spirit wrought body, immersed by the Spirit into the body of Christ.


2022.01.16 Sermon Notes

The Church – A Spirit Wrought Body

The church is a Spirit wrought organism

Wait for power from the Holy Spirit to be witnesses

Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:16-21, 33

God overcomes satanic blindness and creates light

2 Corinthians 4:3-7

God gives new birth by the Spirit

John 1:12-13; 3:3-6

Salvation belongs to the Lord

Psalm 3:8; Acts 2:37, 47

The gift of the Holy Spirit is for everyone the Lord our God calls to himself

Acts 2:38-41

-Jerusalem and Judea

Acts 2:5-12, 14, 22


Acts 8:4-5, 14-17; Matthew 16:19

-The end of the earth (Gentiles)

Acts 10:12-15, 27-47; 11:13-18

Spirit wrought unity

1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 2:13-18; Romans 8:9-17


Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~