Summary: This 8 part series with application questions after each part deals with what it really entails to be a genuine contributing part of the Lord’s church in any local setting. Timeless Truths.
UNDERSTANDING CHURCH LIFE
THE CHURCH AND ITS PEOPLE
Since you have received Jesus Christ, you need to learn all you can about Him and His people, the Church.
There are two ways of understanding the Church. The first is to know that the Church is made up of more than a billion believers in Jesus who live in every country on Earth.
(Matthew 16:18, 28:18-20)
The second way to understand the church is what this course is about: the local church. Hosanna New Testament church is one of millions of local churches here on Earth. It is the local church you are part of. Therefore it is really important for you to understand "church life". Then you will know what the Lord Jesus Christ expects of you as a member of His Church, and as a member of Hosanna Church. (Acts 2:47, Philippians 1:1)
Why learn these things?
A. Jesus is our king. We need to please Him.
B. To understand how church life works.
A Definition: Christian- For the purposes of this course the word Christian (or Believer) refers to any person who has believed in Jesus Christ, that is to say, who has committed his or her life to following Jesus Christ, having received Him as Savior and sin bearer and who is relating to Him as Lord.
FIVE KINDS OF BELIEVING PEOPLE IN ANY LOCAL CHURCH
1. New Converts. These are people who have just recently received Jesus as Savior and Lord.
2. "Babes" in the Lord.
a. Those who are almost new converts
b. Those who have been believers for a while, maybe
even for years, but have never "grown up" in
3. People from other types of churches.
a. Those looking for another church like their old
one which they miss
b. Those looking for something better than their old
4. People from churches similar to ours.
5. People who have been hurt in another church or by other Christians.
LIFE IN THE CHURCH FAMILY
1. There are people and leaders who care about you. You begin to become a "family member" and have real friends who will help you to live in ways that please God.
2. You begin to "grow up" in the Lord. If you are serious about pleasing God, He will give you what you need to become effective for Him.
THE TWO PARTS OF THE REAL CHRISTIAN LIFE
a. Love and serve Jesus Christ. (Mark 12:29-30)
b. Love (really care about) other people. (Mark 12:31)
The Bible says: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."
-Jesus (Matthew 22:37-39)
This course will help you learn these two important things. Please read the above verses carefully and think about what they mean to you. Then answer the questions which are on the next page. Each lesson will have questions. These questions help the elders to understand you and help you to really "get" the ideas which this course teaches.
By the way, the entire New Testament assumes that every real believer in Jesus Christ will be a vitally connected, ongoing part of a local Bible preaching church family. There is not such thing as a lone Christian in the Bible. This is so strong in God’s word, that all the instructions for living found throughout the New Testament, assume that the believer is part of an active part of his or her local church.
QUESTIONS ABOUT LESSON 1:
1. Why learn these things?
2. Name the five kinds of Christians who come into any church.
3. Which type were/are you?
4. What two things happen when people are truly part of a church family?
5. What two commandments did Jesus say are the most important of all?
6. Have you been hurt in a local church by leaders or others?
7. Would you like to get together with an elder of the church?
UNDERSTANDING CHURCH LIFE
OUR FIRST CALL: LOVING GOD
If we really know Jesus, we will love him because we will know that he really loves us. He suffered and died for us. He loves you so much that he suffered punishment for your sin, as he died on the cross.
If we love Jesus, we will want Him to be our Lord. This means that he is our boss and our guide. We will "put Him first" by obeying his word, the Bible. His Spirit, the Holy Spirit
gives us the power to do this. The Bible says:
"To be controlled by the human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace." -Romans 8:6.(Good News Bible)