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The Church as a Community Mine

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THE CHURCH AS A C OMMUNITY

Fellowship and community must be centered on truth. - Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42  And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Fellowship and community must center around the Gospel. - Philippians 1:3  I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

God calls us to be part of His fellowship and community. - 1Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Fellowship and Community are part of ministry. -  2Corinthians 8:4  Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

Fellowship and community comfort and build others up. - 1Thessalonians 5:11  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Fellowship and community are to be extended to our missionary family. -  Galatians 2:9  And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

“Not forsaking” is not just being at church, it is living church as community. “Not forsaking” also includes opening your life to the community in times of fellowship. Notice the comparison. -  Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Through this brief survey, it seems evident that fellowship and community are a part of God’s plan for His people, His church. Let’s take several minutes and look at how community within a body of believers can thrive like it should.

I.      Community thrives when people see church as a real                                          

        Galatians 6:10; I Timothy 1:2; 3:15; 5:1-2

        ILL: Take a kid away from a family; Camden when he gets hurt, I hurt with him

II.     Community thrives when people see church as a real                                          

        ILL: Play “What part of your body are you willing to give up today Bob?”

                Your spleen, your nose, your toes, what’s it going to be?

        Romans 12:3-8; I Corinthians 12:12-27        

        A. Many                                            , One                                        

       

        B. By God’s                                        

III.    Community thrives when people                                                                        to one another

        I Corinthians 15:3

Note yoga breathing exercises, but what comes out of our mouths and lives should all be with a spirit of grace .

        A. Always bring the                                            - John 4:7-26; I Corinthians 1:4-9

            ~Who God is, what He is like and what He is doing

       

        B. Notice,                                           and                           what is good - Philippians 4:8;                 I Thessalonians 5:11

       

        C. Be                                 to how words will affect others - Proverbs 12:18; James 3:1-12

       

“Sticks and stones…” The words we speak have a powerful impact on the people around us.

        D. Communicate so clearly you cannot be                                              - Colossians 4:4

       

        E. Offer loving correction ~                                      +                               - Proverbs 27:6;   

            Ephesians 4:15-16

Love is not true love unless it is willing to confront. This can be seen in the example of God’s love for His own. - Hebrews 12:6

IV.    Community thrives when people delight in displaying God’s                                   

        to others - Ephesians 4:32

        A. Regularly practice                                           &                                   - Acts 2:42-47; I Peter 4:9

           

            Steadfastly the early church was given to fellowshipping. It wasn’t a sporadic practice

            but a continual one.

        B. Comfort those in                                                 - Romans 12:15

       

        C. Sacrifice to                       the needs of others, especially those who are hard to

            love - Luke 6:27-26; Acts 4:32-37; Romans 12:20    

D. Providing diaconal care for the widowed, elderly, poor and unemployed -             

    Matthew 25:36-40; James 1:27

~The bottom line is that we need to take time to love, to take time to invest in the lives of our fellow believers as we live transparent lives in front of them~

V.     Community thrives when people                                          one another as image bearers of the living God

        A. Accept one another as                          accepted us - Romans 15:7; I Peter 5:5

        B. Respect one another - Acts 2:11-22; Galatians 3:26-39; James 2:1-9

        C. Replace critical judgments with charitable judgments - I Corinthians 13:4,7 

        D. Preserve peace and others’ reputations

                1.  Resist                                       - Proverbs 26:20

                2. Resist                                       - James 4:11

        E. Never give up on a                                          or leave the church without making every effort to                             your concerns and                                     your differences -    Romans 12:18

Community and fellowship are essential to the healthy life of a church and they thrive when we see church as a real family and body, when we breathe grace to one another, when we delight in displaying God’s compassion to others and when we respect one another as image bearers of the living God. Do those characterize your life tonight? Living in a community as God has called us to do is hard word, but it is a must if we are to have a healthy church.

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