Purpose of the Church #5

The Purpose of the Church

Message #5 – Fellowship

 

#1 – evangelism

#2 – discipleship

#3 – worship

 #4 – ministry

#5 – fellowship / biblical community

 

Intro:

         In the Old Testament that nation of Israel was known as the “Covenant people of YHWH.”  They were a group of individuals that shared a common identity as the people of God.  The way that they were supposed to treat each other was completely unlike any other social structure at that time.  The strong were to protect the weak, the rich were to help the poor, the men were to provide for the women and the children, the people were to respect the leaders, and the leaders were to lead the people where God wanted.  When one family hurt in the nation of Israel, all of the families were supposed to hurt.  The lives of the people were so intertwined that they truly became a support group for one another.  The closest relationships they had were with one another.  The nation of Israel was God’s example of how a group of people should live together on earth. 

         The Church has the same responsibility.  We like the nation of Israel are God’s chosen people.  We have been called by God to love other Christians, live holy lives, and help one another live our lives for God.  The relationships we have with other Christians is to be radically different from the relationships that we have with everyone else.  People should see that we love each other, minister to / help each other, and help each other become more Christ-like.  They should see that we respect, encourage, and pray for our leaders that God has given us as they lead us where God wants us to go.  The Church is to be an example of how people treat each other and live together here on earth. 

         So often there are people among us that are broken, and we don’t know it.  There is a problem with that.  The hurting people should be able to trust us enough to tell us, so that we can help them.  We should be trustworthy enough that they can trust us.  In many cities and towns across the world the local Body of Christ is lame, tired, and broken à and it should not be that way. 

         The body of Christ is the hope of the world, but if it is not healthy itself, what hope can it offer those that need it?

 

I)                   Biblical Community

a.      God-honoring

                                                               i.      Jesus Christ is central (Col 1:15-20)

                                                             ii.      Obedience to the Bible (Col 1:9-12)

                                                            iii.      Our relationships (1 Jn 3:10-12)

                                                           iv.      Our priorities (2 Pet 1:5-9)

 b.      Christian-loving

                                                               i.      Love (1 Pet 2:22-23)

                                                             ii.      Honesty (2 Thess 3:14-15)

                                                            iii.      Support (1 Cor 12:14-27)

                                                           iv.      Encouragement (Heb 10:23-25)

                                                             v.      Correction (James 5:19-20)

                                                           vi.      Restoration (Gal 6:1-2)

 

II)                 Examples of Community

a.      Israel

                                                               i.      10 Commandments

1.      God (Ex 20:1-7)

2.      Israelites (Ex 20:8-17)

                                                             ii.      No slavery (Deut 24:15-22)

                                                            iii.      Year of Jubilee (Deut 15:1-2)

                                                           iv.      Sanctity of life (Deut 21:12-14)

                                                             v.      Community’s best interests (Deut 4:4)

 b.      1st Century Church

                                                               i.      Jerusalem (Acts 2:42-47)

                                                             ii.      Philippians (Phil 2:1-4; 4:14-19)

                                                            iii.      Colossians (Col 3:12-17)

                                                           iv.      Thessalonians (1Thess 3:11-13)

Conclusion:

I)                   Biblical Community

a.       God-honoring

b.      Christian-loving

 

II)                Examples of Community

a.       Israel

b.      1st Century Church

 

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