Faithlife Sermons

"Benefits of Belonging"

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H. aving a Foundation

From Conflict to Evangelism

Like the young man in the video, the church I came up in was very similar.
Acts 6:1–7 KJV 1900
And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
This early church faced the same things we do.
Wherever there are people, there will be conflict. It may be between family, coworkers, close friends, distant acquaintances, and yes even church members. God expects us to reconcile our differences and work together in harmony. We can do this by keeping our eyes on the mediator, Jesus Christ, and trying to fulfill our purpose in Him.
(Jesus & Peter John 21)
As the early church grew so did the the diversity of personalities and cultures. Within any local community, we would expect there to be a wide diversity of people, therefore conflict is going to happen within the local church. But the whole body needs to work together to promote an atmosphere of unrestrained love ans mutual respect. When each member of the body feels loved and respected, lasting change ripples across the greater community.
There is a lot of redundancy in this lesson. I have covered most of this material so many times, yet there are some that have not heard it, so I am going to try and balance this out tonight.
I have a two pronged approach. Benefits received and benefits given.

The Importance of Community

Being a part of a church community is an essential element of our spiritual formation. When we are a part of such a community, we are grounded in faith and enriched by the relationships built among our church family.
When a community starts, there’s a benefit of joining together in commerce.
God built the very existence of the Church on the concept of community. (expound Adam & Eve, baptism, two or three)
Acts 5:42 KJV 1900
And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 16:19 KJV 1900
The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
Where did the disciples preach and teach?
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2. Why do you think they not only taught in the temple, but also in individual homes?
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3. How does being a part of something counteract some of the negative influences in our culture today?
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(Read insert on commentary 1. pg 39)

Privileges of Membership

When God transforms our lives, we are baptized into the body of Christ, the Church. This group of believers, both in our local church and globally, functions like a family and blesses us with love and support.
1 Corinthians 12:12–13 KJV 1900
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
When we are baptized, we are baptized into what? (verse 13)
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2. Why do you think different groups of people are mentioned being part of the body?
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3. In verse 13 Paul used a metaphor of drinking the Spirit. How might you envision this with application to your own life?
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A member can supply a need.
There is healing in the body.
The benefits of drinking the Spirit can only be accomplished by the whole body. (benefits received)
We can accomplish more. (benefits given, history of UPCI)

Using Our Individual Gifts in the Body.

Each member of the body has received gifts from God, uniquely designed to serve the kingdom of God. As we reflect on how God has equipped us, we find new opportunities to use our gifts in His service.
Romans 12:4–8 KJV 1900
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
What does Paul mean that members have not the same office? (verse 4)
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2. Paul writes that we are many members, yet one what? (verse 5)
3. Do you have abilities, talents, or interests that could be used in service to the kingdom of God?
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One challenge some people face is acceptance in their role of within the body.
Colossians 3:23 KJV 1900
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
1 Peter 5:6 KJV 1900
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
If something happened to me, Gospel Tab you would find another great pastor and tremendous preacher and teacher.
But how hard would it be to replace the other members of our body?

Guidance of a Pastor

Jeremiah 3:15 KJV 1900
And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
1 Peter 5:2–3 KJV 1900
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
God provides a pastor to serve the local assembly. Pastors care for the church with guidance from scripture, provide direction for spiritual growth, warn of spiritual dangers, and are available in times of need.
God gives us what? (Jeremiah 3:15)
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pastor is a gift!
2. What shall that person feed the individual? (Jeremiah 3:15)
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3. Pastors should be what to the flock? (1 Peter 5:2-3)
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Community

1: a unified body of individuals: such as
a: the people with common interests living in a particular areabroadly : the area itselfthe problems of a large community
b: a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger societya community of retired personsa monastic community
c: a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society
Commune: Discuss, intimate conversation, communion.
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