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Origins: Week 2

Origins: Week 2

Overview

  •  We started a sermon series last week called Origins. In this series, we are looking back at the origins of the church and what actually makes a church a church.

The Problem

  •  What we see laid out in scripture as what a church is actually supposed to be, is far different than what a lot of churches today actually function as.

Moving forward while looking back

  • As a church, we are always looking ahead, and asking God what He wants us to do next. Where He wants us to go, and what He wants us to do.
  • BUT as we look ahead at where God wants us to go and what God wants us to do, we are also looking back and reminding ourselves of WHO God has called us to be.

Where did the movement start?

Matthew 16:13-18 (NKJV)

What is the church?

  • Church-Ecclesia: the called-out ones
  • The church is a group of people all over the world that have been called out of the ways of the world to live differently as they submit to Jesus’ authority. The church is called to represent Jesus and tell other people about who He is and how to have a relationship with Him.

First Century Church

Acts 2:42-47 (NLT)

The first century church was devoted to:

  1. Apostle’s teaching-This would now be what we call the sermon or the message

    Ephesians 4:11-14 (NLT)

    Galatians 1:6-10 (NLT)

  2. Fellowship-This is more than just having coffee and donuts together. This is real authentic relationship. The Greek word for fellowship is Koinonia and it means contributory help (Christians aren’t just consumers, they are contributors), participation, community, communion, used of the intimate bond of fellowship which unites Christians.
  3. Breaking of bread-This is what we call communion today
  4. Prayer-Prayer is vital in our relationship with God
  5. Gatherings-We gather together physically. Online church is an option for when you are not able to be here, but it is not a substitute to gathering together physically.
  6. Regular meetings-Not just occasionally, not just on Christmas and Easter, not just 1.2 times/month, but regular. In a Sunday church setting AND in Life Groups in homes.
  7. Praising God-The main purpose we get together…to worship God
  8. Evangelism-We want to reach the world for Jesus!

9. Giving-Individual giving AND corporate giving

10. Elder governed-As the church multiplied elders were established

 

So, what is your part in all of this?
Are you devoted? Are you devoted to koinonia?

  •  Proskartereó (pros-kar-ter-eh’-o) means: to attend constantly; To persist, persevere in, continue steadfast in; I wait upon.

What does devotion look like in this season?

  • Devoted to church
  • Commit to joining a life group in the fall
  • Serve in a ministry
  • Stay connected during the summer
  • Have people over for dinner

Are you devoted to not just going to church, but being the church?

  • Be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10)
  • Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10)
  • Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16)
  • Build up one another (Romans 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
  • Be likeminded towards one another (Romans 15:5)
  • Accept one another (Romans 15:7)

When we are devoted to fellowship and one another and living out the scriptures:

  • God is glorified!
  • He will add to our numbers those being saved!
  • The gates of Hell will not prevail against His church!

 

For Small Group Discussion:
Opening Question: How would you describe the perfect church?

Main Point: (Connect) The believers were together and had everything in common and CONNECTED by devoting themselves to the apostles teaching, fellowship and prayer.

Read/Tell the Story: Acts 2:36-47 (The Fellowship of Believers)

Questions:

  1.  What did the believers of the early church devote themselves to? Why are these habits important?
  2.  Being devoted means being focused on a particular thing almost exclusively. With this definition in mind, what would you say you are devoted to?
  3.  What would those closest to you say you’re devoted to?
  4.  What does it mean to “have all things in common”?
  5.  Why is the corporate gathering, as well as small group gatherings, important for us as believers?
  6.  What does it look like to save ourselves from this corrupt generation in our current culture?
  7.  How has being connected to other believers helped you stay devoted to the right things?
  8.  How can you be encouraging to those around you to stay connected to other believers?

Supporting Scripture:

  • 2 Timothy 2:2,
  • John 3:22,
  • Acts 4:32-37

 

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