Summary: Pictures of my exponential church
1. Don’t just look at differences in doctrine, culture, liturgy, class (upper, middle and lower) or age distinction (youth vs. elderly church).
2. “I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18).
a. Not supervise outward arrangements.
b. Not organize people, programs, facilities, time, curriculum, etc.
c. Not expand offerings and programs.
d. Not grow an internal organization.
3. Expressions of churches.
a. Soul winning.
b. Bible teaching.
c. Small groups.
e. Serving human needs.
4. Seven New Testament faces describe My churches from seven perspectives. Each word gives a partial picture.
B. SEVEN FACES/PICTURES OF MY CHURCH
1. My church is a body (Eph. 1:22-23). I am the head and the assembly is the body.
d. Sovereign leadership.
e. Head is source.
f. All sustains life.
g. Healthy body grows.
h. Diseased body stops growing, but spreads infection.
2. My church is a temple (Eph. 2:20-22).
a. The Shekinah filled, i.e., God’s presence.
b. Stones are people.
c. Cornerstone is Christ.
3. My church is a bride (2 Cor. 11:2, Eph. 5:23-32).
a. The husband loves first, the bride gives love back.
b. Love in giving.
4. My church is a flock (Acts 20:21).
a. Jesus is the Shepherd (John 10:11) who cares for each sheep.
b. Flock is inward unity.
c. John 10:16, fold is outward. As undershepherds you must find sheep evangelism: fold sheep, baptize, feed sheep, and teach and train sheep.
5. My church is a garden, i.e., field, vines, farm, husbandry, fruit tree, orchard, etc.
a. A garden is a cultivated plot of ground where weeds and obstacles are removed, seeds sown, care and water until grown. Then crops and fruit are harvested.
b. Growth from Christ. “Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine” (John 15:4, Amplified).
c. Purpose of garden is fruit bearing.
2) Another Christian.
6. My church is a family, children, brethren, sister, saints, and loved ones. The key to family growth is,
c. Unity and,
d. Each function in their role.
7. I am a priesthood. “You are his holy priest through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God” (1 Peter 2:5, NLT). Priests perform three functions:
a. Sacrificed for people.
b. Intercede for people.
c. They lead worship.
C. SUMMARY AND APPLICATION
1. A church/believer is known by its purpose. A Christian lives for Christ and a church serves Christ.
2. The Bible is not a theology textbook. It is a description of God’s expectations. It is a picture of God at work, and what God has in the future for us.
3. God created people different, so expect the church to have different faces, and live different ways, and work with different motivations.
4. Just as each person is independent/dependent, so each church has that characteristic.
5. In the final analysis, each must give an account to God for the way each has used his strengths, resources and energy.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
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