THE CHURCH – A SHARED LIFE
The church is literally the ekklesia, “called out ones”. Our study is a biblical portrait of who and what we are… More than a 160 year old organization we are an organism… The Scriptures call us the body of Christ, a living, growing body called to existence by Christ!!
The New Testament portrait of the church starts in the gospels and finds its completed detail in the epistles.
I. DIVINELY FORMED AND KEPT (Mt. 16, 18) Look at Mt. 16:18 – Christ is building it, but how?
A. Called by God into being (Eph. 1:3, 6, 10) Eight aspects > 3:6, 10
B. Equipped by the Spirit for His purposes 1 Cor. 12:7-11, 12-14 = spiritual gifts each Eph. 4:11-12 = gifts of pastor-teachers We will examine pastorals = qualified leaders
C. Disciplined by Christ for purity (Mt. 18:15-20) Steps 1-4 Promise v. 20, Christ there Also 1 Cor. 5, Rev. 2-3, see Christ personally involved
Not only are we as the church divinely former. We are also directly commissioned. Open to Mt. 28.
II. DIRECTLY COMMISSIONED
A. Make disciples (Mt. 28:19-20) – as going, baptizing and teaching –Acts 1:8….
B. Offer true worship –Jn. 4:23-24 –Phil. 3:3
So, divinely formed, directly commissioned. What else?
III. DISTINCTLY DESCRIBED – Acts and Epistles:
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Let’s go to Acts tonight and get the flow:
Gospels: Ministry, promise… death, resurrection Acts: re-commission, ascension WOW – Acts 2:37-41 – 3,000 v. 42 all together!
How did this happen? Back up to 1:14 and note a chain of events: shared lives were seen in-
HOMOTHUMADON Our Shared Passion ACTS 1:14
Adv – “with one purpose, mind, accord, unanimously”
Acts (11x) 7x
1. 1:14 continued one accord – prayer (com.) 2. 2:1 all one accord in one place (fell) 3. 2:46 daily with one accord in the Temple – worship 4. 4:24 voice to God with one accord – prayer (communion) 5. 5:12 all with one accord – temple (worship) see also 5:20 6. 8:6 people without accord gave heed – resp. (response) 7. 15:25 (leaders) without accord [become one mind] – decisions (direction)
So they had this incredible start. It was based on a shared life that is as stated: “distinctly described”.
How so? Well, Paul the wordsmith makes words with a preposition:
sun = with, together, fellow… No less than ten times!! Unique word pictures that tell us in a down-to-earth way how to be as a church!
A shared life comes as we are: shared life is realized as we are ⇒
A. Living in the world – most aware of this!! This is our outward manifestation of being Christ’s body.
B. Serving in the body <inward> – This is our task at QBC.
C. Pursuing Christ-likeness <upward> – This is our lifelong goal.
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*Each of these aspects to be lived out is pointedly described by means of vivid word pictures. We are:
1. Living in world to be: (outward) Sumpolites = fellow citizens (Phil. 3) Sumergoi = fellow workers (Rom. 16) Sumkoinonia = fellow partners
2. Serving in the body (inward) Sumpathco = fellow feelers (1 Pet. 3:8) = fellow comforters (Rom. 1:1) = fellow slaves (Cor. 1)
3. Pursuing Christ-likeness (upward) Fellow life sharers (Phil. 2) Fellow imitators (Phil. 3) Fellow heirs… (Eph. 3)