Living in Community Message Introduction

Today, we’re concluding our message series “Basic Training.” In this series, we’ve covered many of the basic disciplines that every believer needs to practice in order to be effective for the Lord. Our last message in this series is entitled “Living in Community.” We’re going to be looking at the importance of being connected with other believers in the church community.

To begin our discussion today, let’s think about how a person becomes a believer. Every Sunday, we go over the basics of becoming a believer. First of all to give everyone here an opportunity to become a believer or to recommit their lives to the Lord. Secondly, we go over the basics, so that you will know how to lead someone else to faith in Jesus Christ.

Becoming a believer is something you do as an individual. You are not saved because your parents were believers or had you baptized as an infant. You are not saved because your spouse is a believer. The Bible clearly teaches that each person is saved by their own individual faith and commitment.

So, if we’re saved individually, why do we need other believers? What’s that point of church and the family of God? Sadly, many today are asking those questions and not finding good answers, they are trying to make it on their own without the church. Let’s look at what the Bible has to say in

1 Corinthians 12:12 (NIV)  The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.

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Build the Building Message Introduction

Today, we’re continuing our message series called “Bondservant.” When you’re a servant to a master, the master has tasks for you to do as you serve them. So, if you’re a believer here this morning, you are a bondservant of Jesus Christ. And Jesus has tasks for you to complete for Him in your life. In fact, those tasks are not just a part of your life, those tasks are your complete life. We have no life of our own outside of serving Jesus.

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http://www.youtube.com/embed/9AkTEFuJh8M Today, we’re going to talk about church. What is the importance of church? A recent poll in April asked the question: Is attending church important? 49% of the people said somewhat or very important, while 51% said not too important or not important at all. About 50:50. When those under 30 were asked the question: only 20% think that attending church is important. Although as people grow older, many do return to church, this number is the lowest ever seen for this age demographic. Today, overall, 36% of people are regular church attenders, the lowest percentage in this decade. While, 40% have not attended church at all in the last 6 months, an all-time high. The top two reasons why people think that attending church is not important are: 1. I find God elsewhere and 2. Church is not relevant to me personally. Those are the opinions about church of people in our society today. So, this morning, we’re going to look at what the Bible has to say about church. My message is entitled “Loving God’s People in Community.” The Bible defines the church as the community of God’s people. The universal church therefore is comprised of all believers regardless of what denomination or local church they attend. By definition, the universal church has only believers in it.

Ephesians 2:19-20 (NIV)  Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household,  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

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Priorities in life are important. The things that you prioritize are the things that you get done. If you don’t have priorities, than you won’t achieve God’s long term goals for your life. Our current message series if called “Four Priorities for Life.” This summer we’ve looked at the priorities of Loving God and Loving God’s Word.

Today, we’re going to begin to look at the third priority, the priority of Loving God’s People. My message today is entitled “Loving All of God’s People.” When I speak of God’s people, I am talking about those who are believers in Jesus Christ. Now, many of the principles that we will be talking about apply to our interactions with non-believers as well, but in this message we are talking about God’s people. In the Old Testament, God’s people were primarily the Jews of the nation of Israel. Even there, God opened the door for those of other nationalities to become part of Israel.

In the New Testament, God’s people are the church, comprised of both Jew and Gentile of every nation. The church is to be an all-inclusive community of those who believe in Jesus Christ, irrespective of language, race, nationality or appearance. When the church was birthed on the day of Pentecost, we read …

Acts 2:5 (NIV)  Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.

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The human body that God created is absolutely incredible. The average human heart pumps over 1,000 gallons a day, over 55 million gallons in a lifetime. This is enough to fill 13 super tankers. It never sleeps, beating 2.5 billion times in a lifetime. The lungs contain 1,000 miles of capillaries which the body uses to exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide in a complicated process. The DNA in your body, which contains your genetic code, if stretched out would circle the sun 260 times. To write out the DNA information in one cell would take 300 volumes, each volume 500 pages thick. Your brain contains 100-500 trillion synapses and is far more powerful than the largest supercomputer. All of these different parts of the body have been created by God to work together in harmony and unity. The Bible teaches us that the human body is an illustration of the body of Christ, the church.

1 Corinthians 12:12 (NIV) The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.

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