We have seen God’s love for us and his desire to have a relationship with us. We respond to that love by pursuing a relationship with him through our faith in Christ, our obedience to the word and our repentance. We enter into that relationship fully through our baptism. Then what? God not only has a plan for our relationship with him, but a plan for our relationship with each other, the family of God!
What is the “church?” The Greek word is “Ecclesia” “A group of people called out for a purpose.” God has called us out of the world to be in his family, the body of Christ
THE BODY TOGETHER
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
The church is the “body” of Christ. It’s all of us together with Christ as the head.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
The body of Christ is like a building, with Jesus as the foundation.
1 CORINTHIANS 1:10-13
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephasb]”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?
God wants no division in his church! We need to build unity!
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Why is it important to meet together? What would stop me?
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
“snapshot” of the 1st church.
- What stands out to me?
EACH MEMBER OF THE BODY
1 PETER 1:22-23
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.a] 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
As a family, love each other deeply from the heart!
HEBREWS 3: 12-13
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
- What does “see to it” mean?
- Why is this important?
- How do I develop these kinds of relationships?
1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-27
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
We are each baptized into this body and we all have an equal place in this family. We need each other!
HEBREWS 13: 7, 17
7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
Christ is always the head of the body and His word is above all else, but the church does have leadership! We need to support and encourage our leaders. They are there for us! If you have a question or concern, speak up with respect and love.
1 JOHN 4:7-12
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
We love because he loves us! Loving each other and the church is not an option. This is the family of God!
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
The church is part of God’s kingdom on earth. Make plans now to be at all the meetings of the body! Find out what’s going on!