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1 Church Fellowship a Bible study course for adults By Professor John F. Brug PowerPoint: Angi Kinsley, Pastor Mark A. Cordes New Life Evangelical Lutheran.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Church Fellowship a Bible study course for adults By Professor John F. Brug PowerPoint: Angi Kinsley, Pastor Mark A. Cordes New Life Evangelical Lutheran."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Church Fellowship a Bible study course for adults By Professor John F. Brug PowerPoint: Angi Kinsley, Pastor Mark A. Cordes New Life Evangelical Lutheran Church Shoreview, Minnesota

2 2 Introduction to the Course Author: Professor John Brug  Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary: Doctrine, Old Testament  People’s Bible, commentaries, adult Bible Classes

3 3 Introduction to the Course Goals:  Briefly review the doctrine of the C/church – necessary background  Define terms for discussion  Motivate by God’s Word

4 4 Opening Prayer Lord, thank you! By giving us faith in Jesus as our Savior you made us members of your family, the holy Christian Church. Keep us and all your family united with you and each other. Preserve us in saving faith in your Son and keep us faithful to all the teachings you revealed in your Holy Word. Motivate us to “make every effort to guard the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). Amen.

5 5 Topics of Discussion 1. Introduction to Church Fellowship Scriptural Principles: 1. Working Together for the Truth 2. Romans 16:1-19

6 6 Topics of Discussion Scriptural Principles: 4. The Unit Concept 5. Preserving and Extending Fellowship

7 7 Topics of Discussion Practice of Fellowship: 6. Guidelines and Basic Applications. 7. Situations Dealing with Our Own Services 8. Working with Others

8 8 Topics of Discussion History of Fellowship: Early Church; WELS & LCMS Relations WELS & CLC Relations; the CELC

9 9 Introduction What is the most important doctrine of the Bible? Why?  1 Corinthians 2:2  Romans 3:28

10 10 Introduction The most important doctrine of the Bible is the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone. Without this teaching no one can be saved.

11 11 Introduction What is another very important teaching of Scripture?  2 Timothy 3:16f

12 12 Introduction The doctrine of the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture is also very important because it is necessary for preserving the other doctrines, including justification.

13 13 Introduction Some people outside the Wisconsin Synod consider the teaching of fellowship to be a “WELS trademark.”  Have you ever experienced this perception?

14 14 Introduction Why do you think people think this about the WELS? 1. The doctrine of Church Fellowship is a very important part of our historical development. 2. Very few other churches teach this Scriptural doctrine today.

15 15 Why is teaching church fellowship so important? It is a scriptural doctrine. Necessary to preserve other teachings (golden necklace) Important doctrine in shaping WELS. Under heavy attack today. Causes strong emotions – members and prospects, family and friends.

16 16 What is the invisible “Church”? Define the term “Church.” How does one become a member of the “Church”?  1 Peter 2:9  Galatians 3:26

17 17 The “Church” is…  …everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as his/her Savior from sin.  One becomes a member of invisible “Church” only through faith in Christ, created by the gospel.

18 18 The invisible “Church” Why do we say there is only one “Church”?  Acts 4:12

19 19 The invisible “Church” There is only one “Church” because there is only one way to heaven:  Through faith in Jesus as our Savior from sin.

20 20 The invisible “Church” No matter what age, sex, wealth, nationality; whether Lutheran, Baptist, Catholic, etc. – all who believe in Jesus as their Savior are members of God’s “Church.”

21 21 The invisible “Church” Why do we call this one “Church” the invisible “Church”?  2 Timothy 2:19

22 22 The invisible “Church” You have to have faith to be in this “Church.” Only God can see faith in the heart. Only God can say for sure who is a member of the invisible “Church.”

23 23 The invisible “Church” How can we recognize the presence of this one “Church”? Isaiah 55:10f

24 24 The invisible “Church” “Marks of the Church” show the “Church” is present:  The Gospel preached.  Sacraments administered according to Christ’s command. = “Means of Grace.”

25 25 What is the visible “church”? Revelation 1:10f A visible church is…  a group of Christians  gathered to share the Means of Grace  doing work God assigned to the church.  a local congregation, larger group of congregations, i.e. synod.

26 26 What is the visible “church”? Make a list of reasons to join a church. Colossians 3:16

27 27 Reasons to join a church: o Share the Means of Grace. o Receive and give Christian admonition. o Worship with other Christians. o Enjoy Christian fellowship. o Join in mission work. o Train pastors and teachers. o Support Christian schools.

28 28 Real Life Definition: “Church Fellowship” General Fellowship is…  friendly relationships between people  people working together toward common goals

29 29 Narrowing the Definition to “Christian Fellowship” What fellowship do we enjoy as members of the invisible “Church”? 1 John 1:3

30 30 Narrowing the Definition to “Christian Fellowship” Through faith in Jesus every Christian is in spiritual fellowship with… 1. the triune God and … 2. with every other believer in Jesus Christ.

31 31 Limiting the Definition to “Church Fellowship” In an ideal world every Christian could express fellowship with every Christian. But in a sinful world…  Many visible churches teach contrary to God’s Word, the Bible.

32 32 Limiting the Definition to “Church Fellowship”  In this series of Bible studies we want to confine our discussion not to “fellowship” in general, nor even to “Christian fellowship,” but specifically to “Church Fellowship.”

33 33 Real Life Definition: “Church Fellowship” is… Our “common-union” with all Christians confessing all teachings of Scripture. Expressing this fellowship through joint activities.

34 34 Real Life Definition: “Church Fellowship” is… …every activity in which members of visible churches join together… …as an expression of their unity of faith and doctrine.

35 35 What This Means We want to explore…  with whom we may practice church fellowship  how much agreement is necessary for church fellowship  what constitutes an expression of shared faith

36 36 Summary Through faith in Jesus Christ people become members of the one holy Christian Church. In this invisible Church they enjoy fellowship with God and with every other true believer.

37 37 Summary Christians join together visibly with other Christians in church activities  to spread God’s Word and…  to build faith. “Church Fellowship” – member activities of visible churches joined to express unity of faith, doctrine.

38 38 Next Steps - Assignment Read 1, 2, 3 John, noting how many times “love” and “truth” are used. Decide how these words are related. Read Revelation 2, 3. Jot down Jesus’ concerns that truth in doctrine and life prevails in these churches. Read Church Fellowship, pp

39 39 Closing Prayer Dear Lord, in the weeks ahead as we study what your Word says about church fellowship, create in us a better understanding of this teaching and a willingness to practice it more faithfully in our lives. Amen.


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