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Summary: Almost every church claims to be a loving church, but what does it really take to be the loving fellowship God desires? In his letter to the church in Galatia, Paul lays out 7 clear characteristics of a loving fellowship!

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SERMON BRIEF

Date Written: February 3, 2015

Date Preached: February 8, 2015

Church: OPBC (AM) Sunday

FOUNDATIONAL ELEMENTS

Title: 7 Characteristics of a Loving Fellowship

Text: Galatians 6:1-10 (NLT)

ETS: Paul’s message was that a fellowship that loved one another was focused on others not themselves.

ESS: Looking at this passage we can see if we desire to be a strong, loving fellowship we must focus on others & not ourselves.

Introduction:

For weeks, you heard me preach about overcoming fear with the tools God provides you as a believer. We can overcome fear thru God’s power, God’s love and the sound mind we have in serving Christ Jesus.

Last week you heard Bro Aristide preach about a Purpose Driven Church. His message offered 5 points to a purpose driven focus, they stated we must become a learning church; a fellowshipping church; a praying church; a fearing church and a transforming church…

We have entered into a partnership with our sister church at Franklin Ave for the purpose of revitalizing our fellowship and becoming a force for the Gospel in our community. We want our fellowship to reach this community…do we not?

One comment I hear quite a bit from our members is that they believe we have a loving church…a loving fellowship. I believe our members truly DESIRE that our fellowship to be seen by the world as a loving church…but is it?

I know that if I sat down with each one of you here this morning and asked you the question, “Do you want a loving fellowship here at Oak Park?”

I can imagine the answers I would get. I am sure most would be positive and many would believe that we ALREADY have a loving fellowship here at Oak Park.

I am also sure I would hear some say we are NOT a loving fellowship. But this is not about arguing the points these people may have for or against us being a loving fellowship!

Personally, I believe we have many great moments where our fellowship can be VERY loving, but I also see moments where we are not. I believe the reason we find ourselves NOT being loving is that we can lose focus and drift from the characteristics that make up a loving fellowship in Christ.

Now I want all of us here today to understand completely that I believe we ALL want to be a loving fellowship! But where we fall short as humans… where we fall short here at Oak Park Baptist church is that we see love ONE way.

However, God sees love in an entirely different way! We have to learn to focus on how God sees and demonstrates love and NOT on what we are comfortable with in showing love.

For us to become the loving fellowship God desires, we cannot simply settle for what WE think is loving, we must go the extra mile as Christ has called us to do…

There are some characteristics set forth in this passage that reveal what a loving church IS and what God desires from ANYONE calling themselves a fellowship of His people!

This morning I want us to look at these characteristics and see how we can apply them to our lives to become a fellowship that is after Jesus’ own heart.


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