Sermon #17 Ruth Series:
Title: The Congregation Of The Lord
Text: Ruth 2:4-9
Subject: The privileges and responsibilities of God’s house illustrated by Ruth in the house of Boaz
Date: Tuesday Evening - August 24, 1993
In our text tonight we follow Ruth, the Moabite stranger, from the field of Boaz into his house. We find many instructive lessons in the reception that was given her. (Read with me Ruth 2:4-8). The title of my message is - The Congregation Of The Lord.
I want to show you some of the privileges and responsiblities of being a part of God’s house as they are illustrated in our text by Ruth’s coming into the house of Boaz.
I. RUTH FOUND HER PLACE IN BOAZ’S HOUSE AS THE RESULT OF HUMBLE OBEDIENCE TO THE WORD OF GOD.
You will remember that she had humbly taken her place as a gleaner in the fields, because that is what God in his law prescribed as a means of the poor continuing to provide for themselves. Being obedient to the Word of God, she was guided by the hand of divine providence to the field of Boaz and then to the house of Boaz.
That is always the case with God’s saints. If a person walks in the light God has given him, God will give him more light. If you take the Word of God to be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path, if you follow this Book, it will guide you in paths of righteousness and lead you to the place of blessedness (Psa. 19:7-11; Psa. 119:9).
II. IN THE HOUSE OF BOAZ THE ONLY PROMINENT PERSON WAS BOAZ.
No prominence, honor, or distinction was given to anyone but Boaz. Even the servant who was “set over the reapers” is left nameless in our text, because he is really not important. He as only a servant!
So it is in the house of God. Only one Person is recognized here. Only one name is honored in God’s house. Honor, recognition, and pre-eminence is given to no man but the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
A. We call no man “holy” or “reverend”, because no man is. That name belongs only to our God (Psa. 111:9).
B. We call no man “master”, or “doctor”, or “father”, because we are all simply brethren (Matt. 23:6-12).
III. WHEN A SINNER IS SAVED BY THE GRACE OF GOD IN CHRIST, HE SHOULD IMMEDIATELY SEEK HIS PLACE IN THE CONGREGATION OF THE LORD.
Sheep are social creatures. The only time you find one alone is when he is sick or wounded. And God’s sheep are social creatures too. We need one another. As soon as a person is saved he should, like Saul of Tarsus, join himself with the disciples (Acts 9:27). Every saved sinner ought to be committed to one of “the churches of God”, one of the “churches of the saints” (1 Cor. 11:16; 14:33).
A. Some things happen to people immediately when they are saved.
As soon as a person is united to Christ by faith, as soon as you trust the Son of God, you are, or you have been immediately…
1. Forgiven of all sin by His grace (1 John 1:9).
2. Justified from all things by Christ’s righteousness and shed blood (Acts 13:39).
3. Born again and made a new creature in Christ (1 Pet. 1:23; 1 John 5:1).
4. Given the place of a son in the house of God (1 John 3:1; Eph. 2:19).
NOTE: You are born into the family of God. You do not join it. You are born into the church universal, the mystical, spiritual body of Christ. You do not join it.
B. However, every saved person ought to seek his or her place in a local church, which is the House of God, the congregation of the Lord.
1. Nothing is more important in the life of a believer than the House of God (Heb. 10:24-26).
2. Nothing is more detrimental to the lives of men and women who bear the name of Christ than the neglect of God’s House (Hag. 1:4-6; Zech. 8:9-15).
3. There are only two things required for membership in the House of God.
· Faith in Christ.
· Believer’s Baptism.
4. All who come into the House of God professing faith in Christ are to be received without “doubtful disputations” (Rom. 14:1; 15:6-7).
NOTE: The House of God is to be a place where the Lord’s “newborn babes” may receive the love, care, protection, guidance, oversight, instruction and companionship they need.
C. The House of God, the Church of God, ought to be like the house of Boaz, an attractive, pleasing haven for weary strangers.
When Ruth came to the house of Boaz, she found it to be a household of generous, kind, gracious people. She was attracted to the house, not because of its greatness, grandeur, and gold, but because of the grace displayed in the people who dwelt there.
1. We preach grace - The free gift of God’s best to those who deserve his worst.
2. Let us make certain that we practice grace! If the grace that we proclaim with our lips is not practiced in our lives, it is not likely that we will see much result from our preaching.
· Love one another!
· Forgive one another!
· Bear one another’s burdens!
· Be kind to one another!
· Rejoice with one another!
· Put away envy, jealousy, and peevishness!
NOTE: We offer no attractions to the flesh. But we do offer two attractions to weary strangers.
1. A message of grace!
2. A fellowship of grace!
IV. THE PERSON WHO GETS THE MOST ATTENTION IN THE HOUSE OF GOD SHOULD ALWAYS BE THE ONE WHO NEEDS THE MOST ATTENTION.
When Boaz came to Bethlehem to greet his reapers and to sit with them in his house, two things stand out (vv. 4-5).
A. A very gracious salutation (v. 4).
These words, “The Lord be with you” and “The Lord bless thee,” contain all that could be desired by us.
· All grace!
· All blessedness!
· All peace!
· All prosperity!
· All security!
B. A very gracious condescension (v. 5 - “Whose damsel is this?”).
There were many, many maidens in the fields. But Ruth was the newcomer. Ruth was the stranger. Ruth was the one who needed attention. And she got it.
NOTE: This question was put to “his servant that was set over the reapers.” He represents the pastor, the gospel preacher, whose responsibility it is to know the people to whom he preaches, to know what they need, and to give account of them to God (Heb. 13:17; Jer. 3:15).
V. BOAZ TOOK GREAT CARE TO PUT RUTH AT EASE IN HIS HOUSE.
He seems to go out of his way to make her feel welcome, at home, and comfortable. Knowing she was a stranger, knowing she probably felt very uncomfortable, he took care to make her comfortable - “Hearest thou not, my daughter?”
A. He spoke to his young men about her in her presence.
B. He spoke directly to her.
C. So it is with our Lord (Isa. 40:1-2).
· He speaks about you in your presence.
· He speaks directly to you.
· He speaks for your comfort.
VI. THE TITLE WHICH BOAZ GAVE TO RUTH IS VERY SIGNIFICANT - “My Daughter!”
A. This title placed her upon the footing of the highest privilege and greatest blessedness in the household.
You and I who come to God by faith in Jesus Christ are the children of God (Rom. 8:17; Eph. 1:4-6 Gal. 3:26 4:6; 1 John 3:1).
All the rights and privileges, all the possessions and prospects of the house of God belong as fully to the youngest and weakest member of the family as to the oldest and strongest.
B. This title, “Daughter”, indicates a permanent relationship!
When we talk about the family of God, we are talking about a family circle that will never be broken.
1. God will never disown us!
2. He will not let us leave him!
3. No enemy can ever carry us away!
VII. ONCE MORE, I WANT YOU TO NOTICE THAT BOAZ’S FIRST WORDS TO RUTH INDICATE THAT WHICH OUR GOD REQUIRES AND EXPECTS, AND DESERVES FROM ALL HIS CHILDREN (vv. 8-9).
The house of Boaz was something separate and distinct from all the other houses of the land, and he was determined to keep it that way.
A. He told Ruth what her service and occupation was to be.
· Glean in my fields. - “Go not to another field.”
· Drink at my wells.
B. He told Ruth who her companions were to be. - “Abide by my maidens!”
· It matters not whether they please you. They please me!
· It is your duty to love them, to serve them, and to serve me with them (1 john 4:21; 5:1).
NOTE: In a well ordered house the service of all depends upon the service of each one!
C. He assured Ruth of complete protection and constant provision in his house!
You and I have been given the privilege of a rightful place in the house of our God.
1. Carefully fulfill your own place in the house.
2. Make your companions these people.
3. Don’t drop your part of the load. Seek to serve, not to be served.
4. Give special attention to those who need special attention.