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The Journey-Church: Week 3

The Journey-Church: Week 3

The Church

WHO WE ARE
The vision and mission of our church (Matthew 28:18-20):
• Vision: “We will reach the world for Jesus Christ one person at a time.”
• Mission: “We will create biblical disciples in relational environments.”
• Definition of a disciple: One who is committed to Following Jesus. One who is committed to Being Changed by Jesus. One who is committed to Joining the Mission of Jesus. (Matthew 4:19)
• We are all on a discipleship journey that involves Share, Connect, Minister, and Disciple-making (SCMD).
• This process gets lived out in The 5 Spheres of our lives based on what we see in the book of Ephesians.

THE CHURCH SPHERE (Ephesians 2:10-5:20)
The church is God’s idea.
Ephesians 2:19–22 (NIV) 19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

• We are now part of this new kingdom, this new spiritual family, this new organization built on Christ.
• Paul addresses the Church sphere before the Home, World and Spiritual Realm spheres because what we learn in the Church Sphere should get lived out in the other spheres, as well.
• Notice that Jesus is central. Everything we are and everything we do starts with Jesus.
o Jesus is the corner stone, “In Him” the building is joined together, “In Him” we are being built together.
o We are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. We are no longer of this world.

As citizens of Heaven, living in a foreign land, we need to be about Our Master’s business.
Ephesians 3:10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,

• We have a mission. We’ve been given an assignment.
o We are to represent God’s wisdom to the spiritual forces and the people around us.

IT TAKES UNITY, UNDER THE HEADSHIP OF CHRIST, TO ACCOMPLISH OUR MISSION.

Ephesians 4:1–6 1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

o We live out our mission by working together. If we don’t have unity in the body, the church becomes ineffective at completing its mission.
• Christ is the head, but He has given us a structure that allows people to be a part of what He is doing.
o God gives us earthly leaders who follow Christ. (Ephesians 4:11–16)
 Godly leaders EQUIP His people to serve and do their part.
 The leadership brings vision, direction, training and equipping.
• Everyone has a part and everyone brings gifts to make the body better. (1 Corinthians 12:12-21)
o It’s not ok to disassociate yourself from the body of Christ. God made us interdependent
o We are all important to the body of Christ. We all bring something to the table that is needed
o There are several passages that talk about different kinds of gifts in the body – Spiritual Gifts, Leadership Gifts, Practical Gifts (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, 1 Peter 4)

WE ARE PART OF GOD’S FAMILY. (Ephesians 2:19)
o We are members of God’s household. We have been adopted by God.
o We don’t get to choose who is in the family—our physical family nor our spiritual one.
o Family can be messy sometimes, but these are oftentimes the most important relationships we have.
• The church is where we learn to live out a Christ-centered life.
o No one expects a baby to know what to do while it’s a baby. It learns as it grows. We learn how to be a spiritual family in the same way.
• In the same way every kingdom and family has beliefs and expectations that are central to how they operate, so does the church.
o God has expectations as to how we are going to behave in the family. (Ephesians 4:22-32)
o We’re going to make mistakes. If you get in relationship with others—real, authentic relationship—you are bound to get hurt. But real, authentic relationships also fight to work it out.
• Our objective is to be one spiritual nation within a world of nations.
o From this experience in the Church, we learn how to live in the spheres of our family and in the world.
• When God’s people grow in maturity, obey His commands, and live out His mission, it changes the world!

WHAT WE ARE CALLING YOU TO:

• Join God’s family if you haven’t already.
• Commit to growing in spiritual maturity.
• Get and maintain real, authentic relationships.
• Use your gifts in the body of Christ.

QUESTIONS TO REFLECT AND DISCUSS:
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.

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