THIS WEEK’S MYTH: “I CAN BE OK WITHOUT THE CHURCH.” WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
The Bible alone gives a clear and complete picture of what God wants done (His mission) and how He wants it done (His methods).
Genesis 2:18 (NIV) The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (NIV) 5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Leviticus 19:18 (NIV) Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.
GOD’S HEART FOR THE CHURCH HAS ALWAYS BEEN FOR RELATIONSHIP.
Consider the 10 Commandments:
1. You shall have no other gods before me—breaks relationship, inconsistent with love
2. Make no idols and do not worship them—breaks relationship, inconsistent with love
3. Don’t misuse the name of God—harms relationship, inconsistent with love
4. Remember the Sabbath—honors relationship, consistent with love
5. Honor your father and your mother—builds relationship, consistent with love
6. Don’t murder—bad for relationship, kills relationship, inconsistent with love
7. Don’t commit adultery—breaks relationship, inconsistent with love
8. Don’t steal—breaks relationship, inconsistent with love
9. Don’t give false testimony against your neighbor—breaks relationship, inconsistent with love
10. Don’t covet the things that belong to your neighbor—harms relationship, inconsistent with love
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
Galatians 5:22 (NIV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Which of these is not lived out in the context of relationship?
Fruit is measured by our capacity to be in relationship with one another:
Goodness—passed on to whom?
Joy—demonstrated for whom?
Gentleness—given to whom?
Self-control—to honor whom?
Kindness—shown to whom?
WHAT JESUS MODELED FOR THE CHURCH
Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT) 37Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on those two commandments.”
John 13:34-35 (NIV) 34A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 17:4 (NIV) [The night before Jesus went to the cross, he prayed this:] “…I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”
THE EARLY CHURCH: FELLOWSHIP OF BELIEVERS
Acts 2:42-47 (NIV) 42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS IN LIFE GROUPS OR WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Myth to bust: I can still be good with God without the church.
Passages to consider: Acts 2:42-47; Romans 12; Hebrews 10:19-25; or select one from the sermon.
1. From this week’s sermon, what was meaningful to you?
2. Read through Acts 2:42-47 a couple of times. A) What do you see is significant in how the people interacted as the church Jesus left? Observe all you can. Share what stands out to you.
3. What has been your experience with being devoted to the teaching of God and being devoted to relationships with fellow believers? A) How are both significant in following Jesus? B) What’s it like when one is missing?
4. What helps you press into biblical relationships? A) What helps you seek and align to God’s truth? B) What can get in the way of either one of those?
5. What is your action step and response to what God is showing you?