Faithlife
Faithlife

Oikos God's Method of Church Growth

Oikos The NT Principle of Growth #5  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God has designed to build his church though our Oikos, the most natural environment for evangelism to occur.

Notes & Transcripts
Introduction
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This is the last Sunday that I will be preaching the NT principle of Oikos. It is the exact way the church grew in its earliest days and it is the principle that God honors and blesses in growing his church today.
The Oikos principle:
House - Family - Community/Neighbors - Work/School
I heard a story recently of a man, a believer who after parking for work, would cross the same street every day and he would pass the same police officer every day as he walked from the parking garage to his office.
These are the people that God is preparing for you to share his grace, love and salvation with. But he is also preparing you to share with them and at the proper time, he will reveal to you the divine moment to share the gospel with members of your oikos.
Pray -
I heard a story recently of a man, a believer who after parking for work, would cross the same street every day and he would pass the same police officer every day as he walked from the parking garage to his office.
On a recent day he happened to have a gospel tract with him. His church had been teaching about being ready to share the gospel so, he had taken one to work with him. He leaves his car and goes to the street corner waiting for the officer to motion for him and the others gathering to cross, when an overwhelming sense, “you should share the gospel with that man.” At first he thought, “this is just me responding to the teaching at church” then, all within seconds, he decides, “no this is not my nature to think this, it must be God.” Then, “I can’t share with him, I won’t have time.” Then again, clearly he heard it, “you have the tract that you brought with you this morning.”
So when he began to cross, he stopped for just a moment handed the tract to the police officer and said, “I don’t know if you know Jesus Christ as your savior but I want to give you this, it may help you. Have a good day.”
Here is the miracle, the officer looked stunned and asked, “how did you know I was thinking about this very thing?”
Transition
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God will tell you when you should speak and to whom you should speak. If you are obedient he will use you for his glory as you share the gospel.
Message
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Cornelius has been faithful to the light he was given and was now praying to the true and living God.
Peter has shown that he is obedient to the preparation of God in his life. He inserted the first key of God’s kingdom into the heart of the Jew and many were saved.
He inserted the second key of God’s kingdom into the heart of the Samaritans and many believed and were added to the church.
He will now insert the last key of the kingdom of God into the heart of a gentile seeking God.
Because one man was obedient to the light God gave him and another man was obedient to God’s will, the gospel will be given to the world.
(ESV) 34So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
The phrase, “so Peter opened his mouth and said” is written in such a way that it indicates that what Peter is about to say is of great importance. And it is!
God does not prefer one man above another.
(ESV) 7Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking bribes.”
(ESV) 6He will render to each one according to his works: 7to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11For God shows no partiality.
God does not look at a person’s external appearance, nationality, wealth, social status, and achievements. In the light of what God taught Peter through his vision, Peter sets aside his ingrained bias against the Gentiles. He accepts that salvation belongs to all nations and not merely to Israel.
There is no partiality with God, we will all answer for how we have responded to the light God has given us.
This is not salvation by works, it is the response that God expects when he reveals himself to a person or a people.
The Jew had the truth but his heart was far from God. The gentile believed a lie and his heart was far from God. Both must come to God in faith and then by the power of the Holy Spirit live according to God’s will!
A. W. Tozer
The Bible recognizes no faith that does not lead to obedience, nor does it recognize any obedience that does not spring from faith. The two are opposite sides of the same coin.
36As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all),
(ESV) 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
37you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
God has triumphed in Christ, though Christ and by Christ.
7But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
If Satan and all those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness had known the result of the death and resurrection of Jesus they would never had hung him on that tree.
39And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
This is the gospel. Jesus died hung on a cross, he was physically raised to life by God three days after his death and he showed that he was alive to many people for forty days after his resurrection.
(ESV) 3He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
42And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Now here is the payoff. Cornelius has brought his oikos to hear Peter and they all receive Christ. This is what God wants, this is why God is active in salvation from the beginning till the end when a person receives Jesus into their lives.
(ESV) 44While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.
God will abandon no one who is seeking truth!
While Peter was speaking these people began believing. No special prayer, no public confession just a simple heart felt, honest belief that what God promised in Jesus is true.
God had opened their hearts and they allowed him in!
Conclusion
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What about you, has God placed the key of the gospel into your heart and turned the lock ever so gently? Will you deny him access to your life or will you allow him to enter and change you forever?
What about you, has God placed the key of the gospel into your heart and turned the lock ever so gently? Will you deny him access to your life or will you allow him to enter and change you forever?
If you are a believer will you be obedient and touch someone with the gospel?
Make a list of people in your life. Pray over that list and when God speaks to you, go speak to the person he puts on your heart.
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