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1 This slide is up first while people are coming in before class starts. That way people can see where we are headed today.

2 Memory Verse 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, I’m going to start memorizing the memory verse with the class. I’m going to experiment with some visual ways to remember the verse.

3 Have you heard this before. Is it popular
Have you heard this before? Is it popular? Is the church full of hypocrites. What are some actions that people take because they believe this? Can you like Jesus and not the church?

4 Church Attendance Jesus Movement ’60’s Para church ’70’s
During the 60’s the Jesus Movement was popular. During the 70’s and into the 80’s the Para church movement was popular. Both movements pulled people out of traditional church attendance. I’m not condemning these things, just showing trends throughout our church history Para church ’70’s Church Attendance

5 Church Attendance During the last 25 years there has been a renewed interest in church attendance. Why do you think that is? Is it healthy growth or is it just the effects of clever marketing and “reinventing” the church. Bethany Baptist was around 200 people in the late 80’s and now it is around 1100 with an additional 200 in Bartonville’s living hope and another 400 or so in Washington. That’s a total of Is that good growth? What would be an indication that this is healthy growth? What would be an indication that this is unhealthy growth. Is there such a thing? Many churches have seen renewed interest in the last 25 years. Is it healthy growth or just successful marketing.

6 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 As I looked at data from Barna, I saw definitions of churched and unchurched that disturbed me. The bar for calling someone churched was very low. Another piece of data disturbed me. That is how many churched teenagers don’t turn into churched adults. September 11, 2006

7 Can you move closer to God, but further from the church?
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. Get people talking. Reminding them that we aren’t just going to talk about this but we are going to go to God’s Word and get some definitive answers.

8 The Church is God’s dwelling place
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. The terminology “The house of God” is common. What does it really mean? In the old testament we see the tabernacle (top picture) as a mobile place of worship. Kind of like five points…but not. The same with the temple on the mount. Here God’s presences was to fill the holy of holy’s. It was both symbolic and revered as the dwelling of God. Not that God could be contained in such a place, but it was none the less something very tangible and real. In John Jesus calls the synagogue His Father’s house In Acts it refers to a house for God. Is this how we are to view the church today? It would be hard in our circumstances at five points, or at the farmhouse. How are we to look at our facility? Bethany is building a large, expensive building. How should we look at that building. In the same way?? Of course not. Talk about the differences.

9 The Household of God 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
16 Do you not know that you [1] 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 [1] 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. What kind of dwelling place is described in these New Testament verses? What are some of the structural words contained in these verses? Temple (you) Foundation (apostles and prophets) Cornerstone (Christ) Joined together (Christ) Built (in Christ for God by the Holy Spirit

10 Us – Our Bodies The Temple Holy Spirit Christ Apostles & Prophets
Corner- stone Apostles & Prophets Foundation Us – Our Bodies The Temple Holy Spirit From verses on previous slide.

11 The Household of God 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. 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.

12 The Church is God’s Family
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. These verses talk about the household of God meaning the “household” or immediate family. It also calls it a pillar and buttress of truth. This family is described as an adoptive family with a father whom we can call Abba as a child does. We are heirs of the king. We desire for this sense of family to be present at Bethany. Not because we are individually warm and friendly, but because we have a Father that has adopted us and brought us into his presence and we have inherited his nature, and attributes.

13 The Household of God How could one call God their Father while refusing to be a part of His Family? Many times we point to the church or an organization to give us our public Christian identity, but we resist involvement to the point of trying to cut ourselves off of the family tree.

14 The Church of the Living God
God created the church, he loves the church and he still owns the church...it is his. God the Father 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 has adopted us.

15 Church Discipline…Making Disciples…Communion
The Church of the Living God God created the church, he loves the church and he still owns the church...it is his. 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. God the Son is the cornerstone of the church and is present in every act that the church embarks upon. That is church discipline, evangelism, communion. He has sacrificed himself for his bride. The church is His. Church Discipline…Making Disciples…Communion Jesus is present

16 The Church of the Living God
God created the church, he loves the church and he still owns the church...it is his. God the Holy Spirit 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. God the Holy Spirit builds the church and celebrates unity in spirit.

17 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. Paul describes the church as the Pillar. This is a very graphical representation of the importance of the Church. A pillar by definition holds up In the case of Paul's description, The church is the pillar that holds up the truth. God s truth is not able to stand without the church. If the pillar of a building is removed, then the building falls as in the story of Sampson. Paul is implying that the Truth would fall into disaster if the church did not exist. Now that kind of sounds humanistic, but we can t think of the church as man s created institution. Christ set up His church and we are told that it will always endure.

18 Jesus Death Burial Resurrection
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 Jesus Death Burial Resurrection 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, 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. The faith was once and only delivered to the saints in the first Century. The mystery being referred to is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So any church today that claims that they have added to the revelations given to us by the apostles is a false church. The foundation of the church was laid once and is not an ongoing project.

19 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 Proclamation 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. Obviously most gospel proclamations take place outside the gathering of the church. Most people come to a saving knowledge of Christ outside the church and then proclaim that event within the church.

20 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. The Bible doesn't t give instruction or examples of alternate methods of fellowship and worship. A community bible study, a Para church organization, a group of believers at work...none of these is outlined with the detail and intent as is the church. They are not wrong, but they are not a replacement for God’s detailed intent of the local church.

21 Attempting to grow in Christ outside of the church is like trying to learn to swim without getting in the water. There’s a reason that you don’t see this machine in the stores alongside the treadmills, Nordic tracks, and the stair climbers. You don’t learn to swim without getting into the water. You don’t grow in Christ without getting into His local church. The bottom line is that God has outlined the church to be the context in which we move from sinfulness to holiness

22 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. Only the church is given this type of authority.

23 8 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 We must have the appropriate view of Bethany Community Church. God s church. These walls were constructed by people, but the church of God was laid on the foundation set forth by Christ. No other organization can say that. If we have this appropriate view of Bethany Community Church, then we will have an appropriate view of our church leadership and staff. This view will shape how we view service within the church. how we respond to convicting words delivered from the pastor. how we look at tithing how we love the unlovable. how we edify instead of gossip How we reach out to the unsaved how we assimilate the new Christian. How we deal with sin in our midst. How we constantly stay on guard against the enemy.


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