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Faithlife

What We Believe - The Local Church

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Section I - The Local Church

Secular:

  •  Who invented that game…
  •  one kid… (never gets picked first for anything… teacher decides that this is the moment to right the injustice of the past)… now there is  a terrified kid in the middle of a field
  •  then the onslaught… 30+ kids stampeding
  •   Race by… (remember how much fun to see that little guy in the middle miss everyone…)
  •  Tromping… dragging (if not giving up)… sacrificing the body…
  •  Just trying to make a dint…
  • But wait once you caught on person… (probably tripped) you were able to work as a team…
  • Slowly but surely…
  • In the church sometimes… it seems like we try but the world keeps rushing by… we want to minister to share and we scrape along…
  • What is it with the local church… when able body… God-gifted people stay on the sidelines…
  • There is no minimum age to serving Christ… and there is NO mandatory retirement… (ask Pastor Jack and Shirley)
  •  The local church is dynamically gathered… to serve, to grow, to exalt and to reach out….

Biblical:

Section I - The Local Church
We believe that a church is a company of immersed believers, called out from the world, separated unto the Lord Jesus, voluntarily associated for the ministry of the Word, the mutual edification of its members, the propagation of the faith and the observance of the ordinances. We believe it is a sovereign, independent body, exercising its own divinely awarded gifts, precepts and privileges under the Lordship of Christ, the Great Head of the church. We believe that its officers are pastors and deacons.

 

Personal:

  • We try to work with someone who always sees things differently…
    • Never understands your plans
    • Never sees your goals
    • Never can agree on a way to do things
    • Isn’t that just exasperating…

  • I remember the first time at ministerial that one minister said that they didn’t believe that Jesus Christ was the ONLY WAY to salvation at that there were many paths…
  • I also remember the how dumbstruck others were around the table that day… 
  •  It all began to make sense…
    • No wonder they could not understand the plans
    • No wonder we never had a common goal
    • No wonder we could never agree on a way to do things
    • No wonder we were exasperated!!
  •  We do not serve the same Lord and Master!

Bridge:

  • The local church is more than a gathering…
    •  Or… a social group
    • or a Holy Huddle…
  • It is organic
    • It is synergistic (works together)
    • It is dynamic
    • And it is empower by the Holy Spirit to serve Christ and to exalt the Father…
  •  We have a plan and goal… a reason deter… reason to exist!
  • We are:
    • Bits and Pieces… uniquely called and gifted
    • Called to Holiness and Faithfulness
    • To serve as the Priests and children of God

Body:

  •   The bits and pieces…

NAU Romans 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

  •  The bits and pieces…
  •  Romans 12:1&2 Talks about giving ourselves as a sacrifice for God… then obeying his will and serving him… then the link to our passage… the transition For… From a spiritual sacrifice… to a Spiritual servant… Romans 12:3-8 builds the bridge… a spiritual attitude…
  • Humility is the key to the Christian and to the church… humbled before God in Service to Him!
  •   We are different…
    • If a car was made up of all the same components…. It wouldn’t run
    • If in baking we had access to one ingredient…
      • 4 cups of flour (and a spoon)
      • 1/3 cup of oil… (chug-away)
      • 1 tsp salt… (my blood pressure climbs thinking about it)
      • 2 tsp yeast… (ummmmm)
      • 1 tsp baking powder… (you’ll get a rise out of that)
      • Terrible tasting… nothing like the potential product…
  •  We are individual ingredients…
    • Valuable in our own right…
    • But think of yourself “soberly” or with sound judgement…
    • The call is not only to the dynamics of corporate life (the church) but recognize that though we are a vital component need to have humility… (recognize our position before Christ)
    •  “and individually members one of another” and interdependence to do the will of God…
      • mutual edification…
    • Society has convinced us that… we want to change the rules…
      • Make faith individualistic
      • Almost all the commands of Scriptures and all the promises are made to the churches and groups of believers…
      • We were never meant to live or serve as an island!!
  •  But we are meant to serve as God has gifted us…
  • Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
  •  Not an invitation… an expectation…
  • Church isn’t about Sunday…
  • The local church is about a body, redeemed by Christ, empowered by the Spirit of God, living and serving in community… and in our community… set apart to make an impact!
  • We are the bits and pieces that make up… this Body of Christ

  • Holiness and Faithfulness

NAU Ephesians 4:1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all

  •  Prisoner of the Lord… (enslaved to Christ and his will… master over his life… master over our life)
  •  Walk worthy…
    • Life testimony
      • Gang colours
      • Rotary vest
      • Elk’s Hat (FEZ)
      • Police Uniform
    • Testimony of Christ
  • Those who believe… 
    • LIVE IT!
    • Humility…
    • Gentleness
    • Patience
    • Tolerance in Love
    • Unity in the Spirit?... in the bond of peace…
  •  One Body… The Universal Church… under Christ
  • One Spirit… the regenerating and empowering Holy Spirit…
  •  One hope of your calling… to become like Christ… by salvation by grace through faith… and to be sanctified…
  • One Lord… One way… the only way… Jesus Christ
  • One Faith… salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone!
  • One God and Father… the Sovereign God… all-powerful… ever-present…. All knowing…
  • This is the church of Jesus Christ…
  • The local church is a geographical manifestation of the Universal church…(here and now) as long as we stay true to Scripture… to our Faith… to our Lord and God.
  • “voluntarily associated for the ministry of the Word”… Body attached to represent and serve Christ… not added to the roles at birth… but added to the Kingdom on Conversion… and bound together by the Passion to see the King served, people saved and the Father glorified…
  • Holiness and Faithfulness

 

  • Priests and Children

NAU 1 Peter 2:9 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 marvellous light; 10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

Priests and Children…

  • No clergy… no ecclesiastical authority…
  • Not just the pastor’s job…
  • We are chosen of God… (the elect)
  • As a Royal Priesthood…
    • Royal because we are children of the King… adopted through salvation… by Christ’s sacrifice
    • A priesthood because we have been called to mediate God’s Word to the world… and to each other… we are called to the Great Commission by virtue of adoption!
    • Means WE ALL HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY!!
  • We are the people of God… set apart by God…
  • We have had the scales removed and are no longer children of darkness… but children of light…
  • And we have received the mercy of God and his call on our life…
  • We are Priests of the most High God
  • And we are his children…
  • And we are to serve him faithfully…
  • Priests and children
  •  

Passion / Obedience

Take some time and Read Titus 2 and 1 Timothy 3 about Elders and Deacons…

  •  
  •   Bits and Pieces…
    • Together to serve
    • As an army
      • Specialists…
      • Gifted
      • Empowered
      • Called…
    • As a mission
    • As a team
    • Christ as our Lead!!

  • Holiness and Faithfulness
  •   Know and Live it…
    • Know Scripture
    • Know Prayer
    • Know servanthood
    • Live your faith
      • As a witness
      • As an edifier
      • As a worshipper

  •  
  •  
  • Priests and Children
  • Lineage if Aaron
    • Called to intercede for our world
    • Called to mediate the word of God…
      • Bring it to them…
  • As children
    • Loyal…
    • Living as heir
    • Protecting the treasure…

The local church is Christ’s manifestation in our midst… the body of Christ…

It is the vehicle God chose to share the message of salvation…

The local church is the hope of the world…

AND YOU BY VIRTUE OF ADOPTION BY THE GOD THE FATHER… ARE THE CHURCH… KNOW YOUR SAVIOUR… KNOW YOUR MISSION

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