Ephesians 1:15-16 15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, Memory Verse
Church Attendance Jesus Movement ’60’s Para church ’70’s
Church Attendance Many churches have seen renewed interest in the last 25 years. Is it healthy growth or just successful marketing.
The fact that millions of people are now involved in multiple faith communities - for instance, attending a conventional church one week, a house church the next, and interacting with an online faith community in-between - has rendered the standard measures of "churched" and "unchurched" much less precise September 11, 2006
Is it just conventional wisdom that tells us that we should be part of a church or is it Biblical? Can you move closer to God, but further from the church? Are there lots of alternatives to church when it comes to spiritual growth? Are those that reject church blameless before God for that choice? We will see in scripture that the answer to all of these is NO.
The Household of God Household - Oikos (Greek) – can either mean dwelling place (house) or an immediate family (household) The Church is God’s dwelling place John 2:16 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.” Acts 7:47 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 16 Do you not know that you  are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. Footnotes   3:16 The Greek for you is plural in verses 16 and 17 Ephesians 2:19-22 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. The Household of God
Christ Corner- stone Apostles & Prophets Foundation Us – Our Bodies The Temple Holy Spirit
1 Peter 2:5 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. If we want to be where God is, we need to be in His church, for that is where He dwells. The way we relate to Him is largely dependent upon the way we relate to His church, for it is the house He has built with His own hands. The Household of God
The Church is God’s Family 1 Timothy 3:15 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. Here it is obvious that household means family Romans 8:15-17 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
How could one call God their Father while refusing to be a part of His Family? The Household of God
The Church of the Living God God created the church, he loves the church and he still owns the church...it is his. Eph 1:4-5 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, God the Father
God the Son Ephesians 5:25 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, Ephesians 5:23 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. The Church of the Living God God created the church, he loves the church and he still owns the church...it is his. Church Discipline…Making Disciples…Communion Jesus is present
God the Holy Spirit The Church of the Living God God created the church, he loves the church and he still owns the church...it is his. 1 Cor 12:13 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. Ephesians 1:13-14 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 4:3 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
The Pillar of Truth 1 Timothy 3:15 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. Matt 16:18 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The Support of Truth 1) Revelation - The Truth or revelation in the new testament was given to apostles to communicate to the church. The church was the intended benefactor of the revelation Ephesians 3:8-11 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, Jesus Death Burial Resurrection
The Support of Truth 2) Proclamation - Acts 13:1-3 tells us that the church in Antioch officially ordained Paul and Barnabas as missionaries. And Paul says later that Titus was appointed by the churches to travel with them. 2 Cor 8:19 Acts 13:1-3 1 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. Proclamation
The Support of Truth 3) Administration The Bible lays out clear and detailed instructions on how a church should function and how people can worship. 1 Timothy 3:15 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.
Attempting to grow in Christ outside of the church is like trying to learn to swim without getting in the water.
The Support of Truth 4) Protection -The church upholds the truth by protecting it from error. It judges the teaching of false prophets, declares them to be divisive, and renounces them if they persist in heresy. Romans 16:17 17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. Matt 18:17-18 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
The Support of Truth The church will always endure. Matt 16:18 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Ephesians 3:21 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. 8