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Summary: Church is the people that make up the Body of Christ. We are the Body of Christ, and He, that is Jesus, is the Head of this Body. Church is two or more believers gathered in the name of Jesus for the express purpose of worshiping God.

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Churches are People, TOO

Acts 15:22-41

Introduction:

Today we are going to look at Church. Church, such a formal sounding word, a stately word, and, according to the secular world, there are many definitions for this word. Here are a few:

1. A building for public, especially Christian worship.

2. often Church

a. The company of all Christians regarded as a spiritual body.

b. A specified Christian denomination: the Presbyterian Church.

c. A congregation.

3. Public divine worship in a church; a religious service: goes to church at Christmas and Easter.

4. The clerical profession; clergy.

5. Ecclesiastical power as distinguished from the secular: the separation of church and state.

Only two definitions in all five or so of those definitions are used, or rather, should be used by Christians. “The company of all Christians regarded as a spiritual body.” And, “A congregation.”

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4, verses 9-12

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Church is the people that make up the Body of Christ. We are the Body of Christ, and He, that is Jesus, is the Head of this Body. Church is two or more believers gathered in the name of Jesus for the express purpose of worshiping God.

Not only do we corporately, or together as a people, worship God, but, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, we ‘do’ things as a church, as an expression of our worship of God. We have services, ministries, studies, funerals, feasts, marriages, vigils, events, outreach… and the list goes on and on.

“A cord of three strands is not quickly broken..” Take those three strands and lay them side by side and they can do nothing. Take two of those three and the one is left out, weak and unable to withstand the world. Put those three together and they become CHURCH.

One believer by themselves is alone. Put two believers together in unity and you have CHURCH!

In one of the shortest chapters of the Bible, Psalm 133, King David tells us what unity does for the believer. In Psalm 133, he says,

Psalm 133:1 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

When we are together and unified through the Lord Jesus Christ, people will see Jesus in us. However, when we are bickering and arguing with one another, people will not see Jesus at all! Jesus Himself tells us this in John 17. Look at John 17, verses 22 and 23:

22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

If we are not together as one, then the world will not see that Jesus was sent to them and us, and they will not see any love.

Are we church, or a bunch of people that get together on Sunday to talk about only our own successes, or only our own problems?

Today, we are going to look at several key points in Acts 15:22-41. These points are inter-woven into the verses. At first glance you’ll quickly grasp the gist of these verses. You may see the mother church in Jerusalem stepping in to help those in Antioch and other places. And, you wouldn’t be wrong in your assumption. If you take a second glance at these verses you may see the Apostles, with Paul, Barnabas, Judas and Silas opening the arms of the Christian church to the gentiles. Once again, you wouldn’t be wrong in your assumption. But, dig a little deeper and you’ll see the crimson thread of Jesus. The unity of the brethren that He desired and prayed to the Father for in John 17. Ponder on every word in these verses and you’ll see that Peter and James had set up a Ministry Leadership Team that met together, discussed the problems, reached a decision, then laid that decision before the church for its approval.

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