Church #7 “As the Church, We Are”
A Declaration of Dependence Some 300 years ago, John Donne penned the following words in Holy Sonnets: No man is an island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse…Any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tills for thee.
Donne’s words accurately reflect something about the rural mindset of the past. People once were connected to each other in a way that is almost incomprehensible to modern men and women. The slave of ancient Greece, the serf in medieval France, the farmer in Renaissance Italy was born, raised, married, and buried on the same few acres of land. His occupation was monotonously stable. His father’s house, in time, became his house and, in turn, was passed on to his children. Families were extended, neighbors were permanent, and friendships could be lifelong.
The sense of permanence impacted how people of the past viewed reality, their commitments to others, and even…
Last time we covered the first aspect of our identity as the church. Remember? We are distinctly described as sharing one holy passion. Turn to Acts A. Sharing One Holy Passion (Acts) 1. for communion with God (1:14) 2. to fellowship (2:1) 3. to worship (2:46) 4. to depend on God (4:24) 5. to identify with Christ (5:12-13) 6. to respond to God (8:6) 7. to follow Scriptural leadership (15:25)
In the New Testament as church was born it sprang into life with one holy passion and as that passion was shared it issued into the fact that each individual was given a new life thus all were sharing one empowered life!
Let’s refresh that beautiful portrait in our minds of how they lived in the power of God’s spirit and how we too can live.
B. Sharing One Empowered Life (Epistles)
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1. Outwardly: Living in the World a. Fellow Citizens (Philippians 3:20) b. Fellow Workers (Romans 16) c. Fellow Partners (Philippians 1, Ephesians 5) 2. Inwardly: Serving the Body a. Fellow Feelers (I Peter 3) b. Fellow Comforters (Romans 1) c. Fellow Slaves (Colossians 1) 3. Upwardly: Pursuing Holiness a. Fellow Life Sharers (Philippians 2) b. Fellow Imitators (Philippians 3) c. Fellow Heirs (Ephesians 3) d. A. Living in the World – outward relationships 1. Fellow Citizens Ephesians 2:10 > Philippians 3:20 = our shared rules of conduct #4847-Supolites(n) Ephesians 2:19 But fellow citizens with the saints Politeucmai(v) Acts 23:1 I have lived in all good conscience Philippians 1:27 Let your conversation be Politeuma(n) Philippians 3:20 For our community (lit) is in heaven Polites = citizen of same town Spiritual communion, Christ’s righteousness, Loving o/a, following God’s word 2. Fellow workers Romans 16:3,9,21 = our shared labor union Sunergos(adj) Romans 16:3,9,21 My — I Corinthians 3:9 We are—– with God (working with God) 2 Corinthians 1:24 Are —– of your joy (produces joy in ch) 2 Corinthians 8:23 My partner and —- concern you Philippians 2:25 My brother and —– lifts lowly work to high calling Philippians 4:3 Other my —- reflects on our eternal design Colossians 4:11 Focus on kingdom tasil I Thessalonians 3:2, Philemon 1,24;3j8 – laboring for truth 3. Fellow partners/partakers Philippians 1:7 = our shared fellowship Sugkoinoonos(n) Ephesians 5:11 Have no — with the unfruitful works (negative – sin) Philippians 1:7 You were – in defense and conf (positive – grace) Revelations 18:4 Be not – of her sin 4. Fellow strugglers/athletes = our shared struggle Sunagonidzomai Romans 15:30 in prayer Sunathleo Philippians 1:27 striving faith gospel Philippians 4:3 shared Paul’s struggle
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CH: Distinctly described as a shared life! B. Serving in the Body – Inward Relationship 1. Fellow feelers – I Peter 3:8 = our shared concern/sympathy #4834 – Sumpatheo Sumpasko = to experience the same Brand and Yancey Leprosy = kills pain detecting cells!
So in the body also – 2. Fellow comforters/strengtheners – Romans 1:12 = our shared strength/comfort #4837 – sumparakaleo = console jointly 3. Fellow Slaves – Colossians 1:7; 4:7 = our shared master #4889 – Sundoulos = sharing same master (not service) C. Pursuing likeness – upward relationship 1. Fellow spirits, Life shares – Philippians 2:2 = our shared soul/life #4861 – Sumpsukos 2. Fellow imitators – Philippians 3:17 = our shared model/example #4831 – Summimetes = followers together 3. Fellow partakers, Heirs and members – Ephesians 3:6 = our shared source / wealth/ body #4830 – Summetokos = co participants, joint holders
What else? I. Divinely Formed By A. God’s Call (Ephesians 1) B. Christ’s Work (Matthew 18) C. Spirit’s Equipping (I Corinthians 12)
II. Directly Commissioned to – A. Offer True Worship (John 4) B. Make Disciples (Matthew 28) C. Glorify God (I Corinthians 10)
III. Distinctly described as