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The Journey-Church: Week 3

The Journey-Church: Week 3

The Church

• To help us understand what it means to be and to make disciples of Jesus.
• To Encourage us in our growth towards Spiritual Maturity

If you ask Christians today “What is the Church?”, you will get answers like:

o It’s a building.
o It’s where we meet on Sunday.
o It’s an organization.

If you ask non-believers “What is the Church?”, you will get answers like:

o It’s a building.
o It’s where those crazy people meet.
o It’s full of hypocrites.

o It’s full of confusion. If they can’t agree on what the truth is, why should I be a part of it?
Today we’re answering the question: What is the Church?


Matthew 16:13-18 (ESV) 13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18And 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.

• Who does Jesus say owns the Church? “I will build MY Church…” It seems as if we have forgotten that we are managers of the Church… not owners!

• The Greek word for church is “ekklesia” and means “called out” and “assembly.”1
o As Christians, we are called out of something to something different. We are called out of the world (death) and called into the Kingdom of God (life through Jesus).

This speaks of our citizenship.

Philippians 3:17-21 17Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

TO BE A CITIZEN MEANS BELONGING—As Christians, we belong to the Family of God (the Church).
• There is NO SUCH THING as dual citizenship when it comes to our eternity!

Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God

This would imply that at one point we belonged to a different kingdom.
Ephesians 2:1-3 1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.


Ephesians 4:11-13 11And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

• So many Christians live as if they are spectators, and they simply come to church to watch. This is not how God designed His Church to operate!

Christ is the head of the body. You and I are the body.

1 Corinthians 12:14-18 14For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.

Romans 12:4-8 4For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

• This is why we talk so much about small groups and getting connected!

John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

• As a family, we are going to function like a family!
o We are going to pursue real relationships with each other.
o We are going to encourage one other to grow in our spiritual maturity.
o We are going to fight for relationship with one another even when it’s difficult!
• The outcome? The world sees the Church as God designed it to function!

Matthew 5:14-16 14You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Passages to consider: Ephesians 2:19-22, Ephesians 3:6-12, Ephesians 4:1-6, Ephesians 4:11-16
Icebreaker: What was a team, club, or group you wanted to be a part of growing up? Or What country would you like to visit? Share some reasons why.
• Share some insights you gleaned from this week’s sermon.

  1. Divide up into four groups and have each group take a passage. Read Ephesians 2:19-22, Ephesians 3:6-12, Ephesians 4:1-6, and Ephesians 4: 11-16. What do you discover about the church from these passages?
  2. When you hear, “BE the church,” what comes to mind?
  3. Who has modeled for you how to be a part of God’s family, body, church?
  4. What are you discovering about your own part in being a member of God’s family? A) What can stop you from getting involved?
  5. How does being in relationship with Jesus impact your relationship with His church? A) How does being in relationship with other believers impact your relationship with Jesus?
  6. Conflict comes in the midst of relationships, even in the best of families. How does being a part of God’s church—His family—affect your response to conflict?
  7. How do you want to grow as a group in the church sphere? A) Where can you serve as individuals or as a group? Think of spiritual goals and serving goals for your group.