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Elements of a strong Church
Transcript of Elements of a strong Church
Ecclesia - Mt. 16:18
The Body - I Cor. 12
The Temple - I Cor. 3:16-17
The Household - Eph. 2:19
The Kingdom - Col. 1:13
The Army - Eph. 6:10
The Vineyard - Jn. 15
The Bride - 2 Cor. 11:2
The Priesthood - I Pet. 2:9
Elements of a Strong Church
The Concept of Identity
It answers who, what, why and from whence you are.
It has a powerful impact on personality, self-hood and behavior.
It correlates with strength by setting boundaries, will, rights, integrity and responsibility.
An identity crisis can bring depression, hopelessness and various negative states. Mastery of same crisis brings greater definition!
The Church has an Identity
The Church has Identifying Marks
This is why parenting and childhood are so vital.
The Church's strength, personhood, sense of self, and activity depends on knowing that identity.
This is why Word, Scripture, Doctrine, Teaching and Learning are so important.
Teaching impacts belief, which impacts thoughts and feelings which impact action.
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.”
Clear Practical Solution
The Apostle's Doctrine
It Is Differentiative
It Is Distinctive
It Is Directive
We must be Discerning!
2 Thessalonians 2:15 (NRSV) - So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.
Eph. 2:19-20 - So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone
1 Timothy 6:3–5 (NKJV)
3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.
And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
The Universal Church
- Redeemed of all ages since the apostles. The Global Church.
The Local Church
in a specific location. A smaller fellowship or community accountable to a localized leadership.
is the head,
'teaching' is the foundation,
are the lead teachers of the Word,
keep the flock.
- Individual followers of Christ, accountable to a local leadership, accomplishing ministry.
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Ephesians 4:11–16 (NKJV)
“He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.””
Matthew 16:13–19, NKJV
John 4:21–24 (NKJV)
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
1 Corinthians 14:15–19 (NKJV)
15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. 16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified. 18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; 19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Worship represents the essence of relating with and relying on God.
1 Corinthians 14:23–25 (NKJV)
23 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.
Hebrews 10:22–25 (NKJV)
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Matthew 4:10 (NKJV)
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
Romans 1:24–26 (NKJV)
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
The Strength of the Church is conditioned on the vitality, sincerity and veracity of its Worship.
It is the Lifeblood of our faith, discipleship and hope.
Is Impacting for the Seeker
Is God Centered
Is Commanded by God
Is Scripturally Based
Is Spiritually Engaged
Is Edifying and Encouraging for the Saints
This is true collectively and individually.
Case Studies for Empowering Worship
Does Worship Strengthen the Worshipper?
If so, then How?
A State of Weakness - Internal Sickness
A Moment of Worship
A Renewed Will
A State of Weakness - External Oppression
A Moment of Worship
A Resurgent Will
This is true for the individual and collective.
Empowering Worship Strengthens
It gives answers and affirmation.
It helps the saint and the seeker.
A fixed belief or opinion.
Josh McDowell: "Having convictions can be defined as being so thoroughly convinced that Christ and His Word are both objectively true and relationally meaningful that you act on your beliefs regardless of the consequences."
Heb. 10:22 - Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
A Foundational belief that has cascading effect on personhood and behavior.
Feelings or appearance of confidence.
A decision based on evidence, argumentation and reasoning.
Howard Hendricks: “A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for!”
Malcom X: "Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression, because power, real power, comes from our conviction which produces action, uncompromising action."
I Cor. 16:13 - Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
I Thess. 1:5 Because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
2 Cor. 4:13 - It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,
Heb. 11:1 - Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. NIV
Somethings are important enough to die for.
Convictions come from faith but are more than faith.
They shape identity, mentality and destiny.
Beware! There are false convictions!!!
What are 3-5 convictions that the church must have? Why?
Collectively and individually.
Mankind is saved through obedience to the Gospel, which includes baptism for the remission of sins, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and inclusion in the body of Christ.
5 Essential Convictions for the Church
Scripture alone is the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God.
The existence of a Triune God, having infinite power, complete knowledge and absolute authority.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born of a virgin, sinless Messiah, who died as our atoning savior, was resurrected from the grave, exalted and will soon return.
God will judge the world rewarding the faithful with eternal life with Him and punishing the unfaithful with eternal damnation.
What Does a Church Look Like Without These?
Can it be considered strong?
What should be done with these or other convictions?
It looks like the world.
Real strength is the ability to accomplish certain critical functions and accomplishments. No convictions removes criteria and diffuses identity.
Learned, Confirmed, Fixed, Defended and Revisited.
How does this apply to personal convictions?
Articulate the synergy of corporate and individual convictions.
Convictions set the path for Behavior and Identity.
As the Church/Individual is Defined and Lead by Convictions, so goes the Indiv/Church.
As the Church takes a stand the Individual can take a Stand.
Convictions saves both from identity crisis, confusion and perversion.
Convicts of Scripture
Joseph - Gen. 39:9
Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah - Dan. 3:16-18
Peter and John - Acts 4:17-21
All were strong because of a fixed faith!
All were strong because they would not back down, be perverted or compromise.
All were strong because they got the job done regardless of opposition
I Cor. 6:9 - Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And ysuch were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Isaiah 43 - But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“ Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine."
I Pet. 2:9 - But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,1 which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Find a passage for:
1. A clear distinctive identifier for the church. - 10 points
2. A counterfeit issue/agent of the church. - 20 points
3. An Identity Crisis of the Church. - 70 points!
Personhood, Individuality or right Sense of Self are pillars of psychological or 'inner' strength.
The Self-Concept was considered to be in opposition to Christ likeness, but this is only the negative aspects.
Some Exponential, Dynamic, Strength words come from Self-Concept.
& Ministry Moderate the Process
Balance must be maintained or negativity results.
Selfishness, Self-centerdness, Conceit, Arrogance, Paranoia, etc. come from an over emphasis of individuality.
The more these are explored, practiced and achieved, the tighter/clearer the lines of definition become. Authenticity.
The Church is the Bride of Christ - 2Cor. 11:2
Walk in Christ and watch out for philosophy - Col. 2:6-8
Division over Spiritual Gifts - I Cor. 14
This is True for Individual and Congregational Strength
Character -vs- Personality
Personality is constant while Character is situational.
Personality is more of immutable traits while character is more of choice.
Personality is who you are while Character is who you choose to be.
Personality is genetic and contextual while Character is baed on belief.
Personality is neither right or wrong but Character is consequential.
Verse 5 shows the choosing of a 'mind'.
This choice is strong and has strong practical evidence. vs 1-4 & vs. 8-9
The person is impacted by the character choice.
What would be the weak choice and outcome?
This text is exhorts both the collective and the individual.
Ecclesia - Mt. 16:18 - Confessional
The Body - I Cor. 12 - Purposeful
The Temple - I Cor. 3:16-17 - Durable
The Household - Eph. 2:19 - Equitable
The Kingdom - Col. 1:13 - Loyal
The Army - Eph. 6:10 - Powerful
The Vineyard - Jn. 15 - Fruitful
The Bride - 2 Cor. 11:2 - Faithful
The Priesthood - I Pet. 2:9 - Dutiful
Who we are must be seen in what we do!
It is an action word!
It is a people word!
It is a transformative word!
It is a spiritual word