Summary: The church is a supernatural creation of God. Church-assembly of those who believe in Jesus Christ, a gathering of God’s people.
Today is House Church Sunday.
I have some of our HCL’s up on stage with me today.
I want to share today about the importance of the church from the aspect of community/fellowship.
First, let me introduce our HCL’s and assistant leaders.
What is the Church?
You do not find the word church in the OT, but you have the concept of a called out people-
Exodus 19:6 (NAS) and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’
The idea of church in the NT is introduced by Jesus-
Mat 16:15-16, 18
Church- assembly of those who believe in Jesus Christ, a gathering of God’s people.
Greek word- a calling out/the called out ones.
1 Peter 2:9 (NAS) But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Here you see what the church is and its function.
Church- important to Jesus- you will not fully mature in Christ w/o being involved in- life of the church.
There are many NT commandments that can only be fulfilled in the context of the church-
love/encourage/serve/accept- one another.
The church is all together different than other groups or organizations/institutions- it is not a social club.
The church is a supernatural creation of God.
1. The Church is Fellowship
In Act 2- church- devotes themselves to fellowship.
Fellowship- community, companionship, association, partnership, a company of equals or friends.
In the dictionary it is both a noun and a verb.
It is something we are- the fellowship of the saints, and something we do- we relate to each other.
Fellowship- two fellows on the same ship.
We are on the same ship headed in the same direction.
For people to travel together on the same ship, they must learn to get along with one another.
A top priority of fellowship is unity.
We are called to walk together in harmony.
Conflict among Christians is both sin (disobedient to God’s Word) and harmful to God’s church.
1 Pet 3:8-9
2. The Church is Family
When you and I became Christians- we were born into the family of God.
We were actually baptized into God’s Church??????
“When we put- faith in Christ- 4 relationships change-
God becomes our Father,
we become His children,
other believers become our brothers/sisters, and
the church becomes our spiritual family.”
A top priority in family is relationships.
It need to treat one another with respect.
1 Tim 5:1-2
Like your natural family, the church is a family.
You were born into your natural family and you were born-again into your spiritual family.
3. The Church is a Body
The church is a body and not a business.
It is a living organism and not an organization.
The Bible equates the church with the physical body of Christ alive on the earth today.
Every believer is a member of God’s spiritual body.
Not just in the sense that you are part of a larger group, but also in the sense that you are an arm/leg-
you have both a place/function in the body.
Together we are a local expression of- Body of Christ.
Can you function when part of your body is not working right- yes but not as well. The same is true with Christ’s spiritual body. The church needs every member taking their place and embracing their function- use their gifts/talents.
The Body of Christ is a living expression of God’s life here on earth- it is- Kingdom of God drawing near.
1 Cor 12:12
A top priority of the body is unity with diversity.
We need one another.
You can have unity without having uniformity.
Having unity does not mean that we are all the same.
We are not all alike, but we are on the same ship headed in the same direction.
God is a God of great diversity and creativity.
1 Cor 12:21-22
Your place in the body is often a reflection of your gifting- everyone is needed to play his/her part.
4. The Church is a Flock
Jesus referred to the church as His “little flock.”
Luke 12:32 (NAS) “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.
In the context of the church being the flock, Jesus is the chief Shepherd.
He has also established under-shepherds to oversee and nourish His church.
1 Pet 5:2-4
As a shepherd I will be held accountable by God for how I fulfill my responsibilities towards this flock.
However you have a part or a responsibility as well- make life easy on me.
A top priority in the flock is togetherness.
We need to care for one another.