Your Local Church Family
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 95 · 6 months ago

Your Local Church Family

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The church is the people. All different kinds of people. We are so excited that you are a part of it!

It's Mother's Day, and let me just say before we dive into our sermon today, that Mother's Day is an awesome day. We it's a great day of celebration. We're so appreciative and thankful for our mother's but also it is a hard day for many people for a variety of different reasons. It's so just all the way out front, you know. We just want to acknowledge that and say again it's okay, you're welcome here and I praying specifically that God would meet you in that place, in this moment in a special way to comfort you and to give you exactly what you need. We have to recognize that we do live in a fallen and imperfect world and as much as we love our moms and pray for our MOMS and listen to our moms and love our mom's, our mom's, all of them, are imperfect people and we live in an imperfect world and their situations that aren't always exactly the way that we want them to be. And so you know, that's okay because what God is doing and has been doing in the church is he's creating a family. That's one of the metaphors that God uses to describe what a church is, the family of God, and you can have a spiritual mother spiritual father in the Church that you may or may not have in your own biological family, and so it is really unique and it's really special and you know, we might not all be mother there's we has. It always falls on a Sunday, so the church has to do something with it and we're coming into mother's Day today in the middle of a series about the church, the you shaped whole, and so today we're going to talk about how the church can be like a family, how we can operate as a family together, and we read about this and Paul tells us in Effusians chapter three. We're going to look at so many verses today that I gave you a outline to follow, and so that's going to be over there on the side of the wall. If you didn't grab one earlier, you could just grab one, but you could follow along. This is like pre outline. Okay, pretty outline. Effesians chapter three, verses fourteen through nineteen, says this. For this reason, I kneel before the father. God is our father, our heavenly father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. Every family has some relationship to this father, like we, in some small way, are a microcosm of the family of God. Every individual earthly family we are have some relationship to this family that God has created. And Paul Prays that out of his riches, glorious riches, he may strengthen us with his power through his spirit, in your interbeering, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and Paul praise that we, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and how long and how high and how deep is the love of Christ. Do you grasp that? How wide, how long, how deep his love is for you? And to know this love that surpasses knowledge? You you won't ever get to the end of it, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. God is our father, the church is a family, and our ladies are women, are mothers at Church, are so special and so unique to what God is doing here. Like we need you, we need you to use your gifts and abilities, we need your wisdom and your insight, we need your love and your care and maybe you'd say that your home life is a little crazy right now. It's just crazy. I want you to know that you always have a home here at Church and I pray that God would provide spiritual...

...mothers and fathers to all of us, because that's a beautiful thing that God has created in the church. And so let's just take a minute and pray for our mother's thanks God, thank God for the family of God, and then we'll get rolling. God, we just thank you for the family of God, that we can relate to you as our father other and that our brothers and sisters in Christ. That's amazing, and that we can have influence with one another, that there are people in our life that have that we would call like our spiritual mothers and fathers. They they care so much about us, they love us, they invest in us, they they lead us to Jesus, they pray for us, they they reach scripture over us and God, we just want to say thank you for them today, this mother's Day. Thank you for those people and may we be those people to somebody else as well. And Lord, I just want to take a moment and pray for those that today is a hard day, a hard day for many people for different reasons, and I just pray that you would be with them, and only the way that you can be, like you know exactly what they need, God, and I pray that you would meet that need, that you would comfort them and provide peace and Lord, just may you be with them in a special way today. May they feel heard, may they feel loved, may they feel known and may they feel welcome in a space like this where maybe things are a little crazy and that's okay. So, God, thank you for what you will do in Jesus name. Amen. Amen. So today we want to look at there's a hundred and fourteen times in the New Testament that the word Ecclesia, translated church, is used roughly. Okay, a hundred and fourteen times, and out of those a hundred and fourteen times, Ninety Times, at least ninety times, it most likely refers to what's called the local church. The local church is something like this, like connect US church, and there's one. We're just one of hundreds of thousands, of millions maybe, of local churches that meet in this area, in this region, in our country and around the world. That's the local church. But then the other twenty fivesh times or whatever. Where this word church is used, it is probably used in reference to the universal church, and the Universal Church is when you put your faith in trust in Jesus Christ, you are born into the family of God. You become his son and his dot on his daughter, and you are a part of God's family. Whether or not you ever engage with a local body, whether or not you ever walk into a church building or not, whether or not you you know you ever do that, you are a part of God's family. So you could fly across the world and find a brother and a sister in Christ, because that's the family of God that God has created. But yet he's also created something specific and unique in a local place, and that's the local church. And so next week we're going to talk about the Universal Church. Today is about the local church, the local church and the local church. There are so many things to think about. I mean, you're here involved in one right now. Right it's kind of like a Meta experience for you, like we're talking about the thing that we're experiencing and talking about it. It's kind of crazy, but that's what we're going to do, and so I've done my best to help you today we're going to look at it by a bunch of different angles. I printed out for you a sermon outline. There are filling the blanks and some of you are like, praise the Lord, Hallelujah. I've been looking forward to fill in the blanks forever, and some of you aren't going to know what to do with that. Okay, so guess what? That's okay. Don't expect a fill in the blank sermon outline every single week. I'm just telling you right now. Okay, but today I felt like it was helpful and important because we're going to look at...

...a lot of different scripts or passages and we're going to go all over the place. So you'll be able to follow along and some of you will really love it. You'll like taking all the notes. What was point number two? What was point number four? And others of you won't get it at all. So it's okay, it's okay what. However, you engage right there's something really good about writing stuff down, and there's also something really good about engaging in the moment. Talking back to me answering my questions, experiencing the sermon like I hope that I'm not up here talking and you're out there listening like you have just as much, if not more, of an active role in the sermon then I do, and it's something that develops with time and practice and it's just an all big thing, all right. So we're going to look at it from a bunch of different angles. The first angle that we're going to look at is point number one. When you think about a church, what do you think of? What do you think of? Maybe you think about the name of the Church, Grace, Bible, calvary, you know. Maybe you think about the denomination of the church, baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, assembly of God. Maybe you think about does this church preach the Bible or not? And maybe you know enough about the Bible to know that if a church says they preach the Bible, there's like a many different ways that you could preach the Bible. What is their particular interpretation? What are they trying to do? Maybe that's a little deep for you and you're like, I'm here for them music. I got the worship songs, I got the hymns, I got the contemporary stuff, I got the drums, I got, you know, the music. Or maybe you thinking about groups what's this church to do? Are they active? Are they doing events, that type of thing? Maybe you think about the location of a church. Where is it? It's close by, it's next to this thing, it's down the street, it's in that old building, it's in this thing, or maybe you think it has multiple locations. Maybe they have a live preacher that's preaching to you, like I'm doing right now, or maybe you go and you watch it on a screen and you see God use somebody on a screen and in a powerful way, communicating God's word. Churches are unique. They are so unique and I believe that we need all different kinds of churches to reach all different kinds of people. We need all different kinds of churches to reach all different kinds of people, because the New Testament doesn't give us a definition of a local church. You go look for it. What is a church? Look in the Bible, try and figure it out. It's not there. You go in the Old Testament and you'll see the Tabernacle and God gives Moses the specific dimensions to build this thing. This is this long, this is this high, this is made out of this material, this goes in this spot on this particular day you do this and you sacrifice this and everything was exact. The church it's not like that. The church is so unique. It morphs to whatever culture it is born in. It goes in it, because the church is the people and the people kind of define what it's doing, and so you can take the principles of scripture and throw together your own definition, which maybe you want to try and do that one of these days. Go home today, Mother's Day lunch. What's the definition of the church? How would you define the church? That's a great conversation. Here's one that my seminary teacher told me and I sent him...

...a message on facebook this week just to clarify what his definition was, and I want to give him a little shout out. His name's Ken Davis. He was the teacher of the class, the church planting class, that I took in seminary where God birth the vision of this church in that class. So that is incredible, like that guy is sort of like the guy that God used to start this. So that was really, really cool. So this is his definition. A local church is a body of professing baptized believers organized and gathered together in one locality with biblical officers as available and necessary, which assembols together regularly for the purpose of glorifying God through evangelism of sinners, the edification of saints, the observance of the ordinances and the worship of Christ. It's head and you're like, that is why I did not go to seminary. It is a loaded, loaded statement. Every little word there means something like that is incredible. Lots of big words, lots of difficult to understand and if you look on your outline, I've filled in those words for you already. I'm helping you out here and if you've been paying attention through this church series, we've actually talked about a lot of these things and we will talk about a lot of them today. I might not use the exact words that he used and if you want to make those connections, I'd be more than happy to help you. But the church is really hard to pin down. Maybe you're more familiar with church size. You're like, that's the big church and this is the small church. Right, they got the fancy building and their building looks like it might fall down tomorrow. Right, like that's sort of how you engage with with church, and a lot of times it relates to ministry philosophy, which is like a tractional church or like missional church. ATTRACTIONAL church is like I want to get as many people as possible to come to church and it's going to be the most amazing thing ever, and we're going to tell all these people, hopefully many of them are far from God, and they'll come to this place and they'll listen to a message like this and they'll engage in community and this whole experience and they'll say the words of Jesus and John One and thirty nine that you are to come and see. That's what Jesus invited people to do. Come and see, come and see what I'm doing. Come and see what I do, come and see my love for you. Come and see what I've done. Come and see. Come and see. And then you've got churches that would lean more towards the opposite of that. Oftentimes thought of his opposite, which is like this missional idea where it's now we're going to go and tell the church is the place where you're like trained up and and excited about and disciple to like go and tell people in your world about the good news of what Jesus has done for you and for them. And so they would say in Jesus words and Matthew Nineteen, to go into all the world and make disciples preaching the Gospel. Go and tell, go and tell. So you got to got these two different camps or two different kind of ideas, and I connect US church. We want to do both of them the best we can do. We want to take the best of both worlds and say here is what we want to do. There are people who are far from God that we want to do everything possible to say, Hey, come here and come and see there's something special going on. And then we want to do everything that we could possibly do to train you up, to send you out to go and tell the Good News of the Gospel with people that will never come to a place like this. So this is a big concept. I got a video for you that talks about the difference. Check it up. This is the missional church. Simple. In the past, churches have spent large amounts of resources to construct the most attractive places imaginable for the community in which they were situated. Great Music, compelling teaching and a host of programs designed to gather...

...people together or the staple of such church communities. Anyone who wanted to come was well and church members were encouraged to invite their friends and neighbors. Generally, people had a pleasant experience. The people who came and were cared for seeing relatively similar education, income, pastimes, race struggles and histories seem to be almost identical. Eventually, someone asked the question, what about all the people aren't like us but who live around us? Why aren't they here too? To in response to Church increased its marketing budget, direct mailing the community, taking out ads and local papers, buying radio time, releasing a fresh wet page and offering to host the world's greatest event. The church was determined to be the center of everything great that happened in the community. Church members began to rely on the church to do the work of conveying God's story in the world. If someone could be brought to an event, they could hear about Jesus from a professional teacher. Inviting people became synonymous with evangelism. The missional church, on the other hand, and powers its members to be the church in the community. The church trains resources, encourages and challenges its people to live out the good news in their community with those who would otherwise be suspicious of a church and its marketing efforts. The church sends out its members to live among people unfamiliar with Church Customs, songs and what it holds sacred. Just like a foreign missionary, the missional church recognizes, then, that every believer embodies the life of the church in their neighborhood and their school or at their place of work, each one of them telling God's story in the context of Compassionate and genuine relationships. So you can kind of see from a video like that that oftentimes these ideas are presented as opposites. Right, it's either like one or the other. I don't think that's true. I think it's both, and the better you do both, the better disciples will be made. Like there will always be people that will be pulling the one side of the rope, saying we got to be more attractional. Things got to be better, the music is got to be better, we got to do this better, like we got to throw this thing and invite the whole world, because if we don't, they're going to die and spend a place separated from God forever, and so we got to do whatever we can do short of sin to bring them and attract them to come and hear the good news of the Gospel. Like they're always be those people, and then they're always be people on the other side of the rope, pulling it this way, saying like we gotta go, we gotta go tell them, like they're not just going to show up here no matter what we do, and we got to go out and spend time, you know, meet with them at that wherever they are in their home and do a Bible study at the bar and call that church, you know, like there's always going to be people on both sides of that, and so we have to recognize that and as a church. Point number two is we have to be united with one mind and purpose. We had to be united with one mind and purpose, and Paul writes this letter to an early church, to Flippian Church, Chapter two, versus two through four. You says, then, make be truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another and working together with one mind and purpose. Don't be selfish, don't try to impress others, be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others. To you're like, that sounds good. How do you do it? What? Paul breaks into this him this song. It's about Jesus. And what was Jesus's mind? What was Jesus's purpose? He was with God and he humbled himself and became a man, even to the point that he died on a cross. And if that was Jesus's mind, if that was Jesus's attitude, it should be ours as well. Can we love one another like that? Can we spend time...

...with one another, pray for one another, care about each other, put others people's needs ahead of our own? Maybe we that means making a phone call during the week or as sending a text message, or showing up and having a meal together or something, because it's really hard to love somebody well if you only ever see them for an hour or so on a Sunday morning. It might be impossible. And then we want to love one another when we do get together, when we do spend time together, when we do talk, we want to love and work together, humbling ourselves. Like have you ever said to somebody, wow, that is a great idea. I never thought about that before. That is amazing. What God is doing in your life. I'm so excited you got that job and that happened to you, like, way to go. I wish it happened to me. But that's amazing. Saying right, that's amazing. And your your you're humbling yourself to say to somebody else and lifting them up, to say God is doing incredible things in your life, like go for it, run with it like that's amazing. So we need to be united, united with one mind and purpose, the mind of Jesus. That's how we're going to ever be united. If we all kind of do our own thing, will never be united, united in Jesus, which means point number three. We got to be submitted to Jesus because he is in charge. He's in charge of the church, he's the head of the church. This letter that Paul writes in Ephesians to the Church in Ephesus again, one of this was written in the first century. Paul wrote these words and they stayed around. We have them today, two thousand years later. It's amazing. Ephesians, Chapter Five, twenty one through twenty four and further. Submit to one another, out of reverence for Christ, submit to one another. He goes in and says four wives. This means submit to your husband's as to the Lord, and for a husband is the head of his wife, as Christ as the head of the church, he is the savior of his body, the Church, and the Church submits the Christ, so that you, wives should submit to your husband's and everything submit to one another, and the church submits to Jesus. He is the head. And in these verses we run into another metaphor of the church, that the church is the bride of Christ. There's all these metaphors. I told you there's not a definition. There's all these pictures that try to help us get an understanding of what the church is, and one of them is like it's like marriage. Marriage is a beautiful thing, it is a wonderful thing, but it's not just two people that get together and do it because that's what you do and they love each other. Marriage is a picture of what Jesus has done for the world and for the church, how he loves the church, how he died for the church, and that you can be united to people can be united because of what Jesus has done, that there is a oneness and when you trust and believe in Jesus, there is a oneness between you and God, like there is in marriage, and husbands and wives are different right. You have different roles, different functions. Were different people, and yet we work together as a team to show the good news of Jesus to our world, the Good News of the Gospel to the world, and the same is true with the church. We submit to one another with the purpose, the single purpose, of glorifying Jesus, and everything that we do and what you do is going to be different than what you do. It's going to be different than what you do and what you do. Everybody is going to be doing something different, but we're all should be doing it with the same purpose of glorifying Jesus, and when we do...

...that then we will be united. And when we're united and submitted to Jesus, then point number three or four that the church will work in order. We want to help the church work in order, and Paul tells this into another letter to another early Church and Corinth, first Corinthians, fourteen forty. Be sure that everything is done properly and in order. If you've ever read the book of First Corinthians, you would know that the church in Corinth was messed up you read through that book and see all the things that Paul is addressing and the like they were dealing with, that they were doing that. Are you serious? This church was crazy. They were crazy, and Paul wrote them this letter and told them like this is how to do church, this is how to be a church. And one of the things that he addresses, and First Corinthians Fourteen, twenty three. He says this. Even so, if unbelievers or people who don't understand these things come into your church meeting and here everyone speaking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy. But you have to plan, and we do our best to plan a church service gathering with someone who isn't a believer in mind, someone who isn't a follower of Jesus in mind, because they're here, they're here, and so if they're here, they they shouldn't walk in the door and be like this is ridiculous, I don't even understand a single thing that's going on, like it shouldn't be that way. Sometimes, maybe all the time, people should say at a church like this, they're not super familiar with it and they come in and be like these people are crazy, in a good way, like this is different like this isn't like a normal world thing, like like there is nowhere else in the world where this happens. And in the crazy way that's a really good thing. But if people come in who aren't believers, who don't follow Jesus, and they're like this is offensive and it's impossible to understand, it's like, you know, what a waste of time. They should come in, Paul saying, and be like wow, like I don't really believe this stuff, but like something, something's happening here, like I don't really get it, but like I kind of do, like I don't understand it all, but I kind of like it and like maybe I want to ask some more questions and learn more. Like like that is an amazing thing to shoot for, and that's what Paul's telling them to do. It's got to be an order, there's got to be a plan to it, there's got to be a purpose behind it and when the church is organized and in order, it will be organized well with officers. And maybe God is calling you to be a leader in the office of elder or Deacon. Those are the two main leadership positions that the Bible outlines in the New Testament. The Office of elder or Deacon. There's along scripture passage in First Timothy, chapter three that outlines the qualifications. So you're like maybe, maybe God is calling me. Ok. So it's a trustworthy saying. If someone aspires to be a church leader. That's how the new living translation translates the word elder. He desires an honorable position. Like it is a great thing that you would desire this and if you do, like seriously, if you are, please tell me, because we're going to be starting something relatively soon to like get people that might be interested in this to like get them plugged into something where they can continue to go along on this track, because we need some more strong leaders, pastoral leaders. So this is a trustworthy saying. If someone aspires to be a church leader, elder, he desires an honorable position. So a church leader must be a man whose life is...

...above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife, he must exercise self control, live wisely and have a good reputation, he must enjoy having guests in his home and he must be able to teach some of your like I'm disqualified already. He might not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if the man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God's church? What an amazing question. A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud and the devil would cause him to fall. Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil's trap. That's the elder. The Deacon, in the same way, must be well respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money. They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscious. Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they passed the test, then let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self control and be faithful in everything that they do. A Deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus. There is a lot in there. We looked at the deacons last week in this message last week, the first deacons. There was a problem in the church. The Hebrews speak or the Greek speaking believers felt like their widows were being left out in the daily food distribution, and so they called these seven guys to say, Hey, go take care of this, we entrust you with this responsibility. Go take care of it. And they had to be qualified, like, they had to be well respected, they had to be full of integrity, full of the spirit, full of wisdom, all of those things. So what about the elders? That's I want to dive into that a little bit more. Today. We're like, I'm we don't use the word elder. We do, really don't. Elder, Bishop and Pastor all referred to the same position, the same office, Elder Bishop. They're used interchangeably in the same verse in the New Testament a couple times. And so all those words, though, describe as specific function of an elder. So, for example, the word elder carries the idea of being a spiritual leader and and example, as well as ruling and teaching, shepherding and taking oversight. The word Bishop carries the idea of leading the church, as well as caring for the church, teaching the scriptures and protecting the flock. And finally, the word pastor carries the idea of being example for the church, protecting the church from false teaching and teaching the scriptures. So we have not formally started the process of identifying elders and deacons here at connectors church, but all of these characteristics, as you might imagine, become apparent over time. Right as time goes on, we're watching you, and it's true and and it almost plays itself out over time. You can just kind of look and just kind of point to be like who's that person? Oh, yeah, it's them, and everyone's like yeah, of course it is, because we've seen them over time. And so that's what is happening right. Time is going on people, you are living into these realities, developing these qualifications, developed it being these characteristics, and when the time is right, we will officially say identify you and we will have some elders who will be a part of our church leadership team, but they won't be exclusively on the leadership team, if that makes sense. So, like sometimes churches just have elders, like an out the elders get together and make decisions, we going to have a leadership team with the elders and their wives and maybe a couple other people who are also together leading...

...the church. So that's like vision for the future. Don't worry about it, it's later. We're going there one day, right, and the same with deacons. One day will identify a deacon. It'll be a great thing. It's in the Bible, right, and their specific job is to go and do something specific. You've been given the responsibility for this important task for this season. Go and do it. So we will have these leaders in the church. And you're like that's not me. Okay, then you could be a church member or a church person. Right, because we don't like the word member. Really, churches don't even have members anymore. Right, because it kind of brings up the idea like if I just pay my dues to the country club, then I'm a member, or if I pay my fee to the reck center, that I'm a member, and that's not the church. Right, it's not. But there is something to be said about the concept of membership and will eventually have it, because it's just the way for you to identify yourself and be like, I'm committed to Jesus and this local church, and the church then responds and says, okay, we want to help you stay committed to that commitment that you just made and we're going to help you stay accountable to that. And like, very practically, like at the very, very basic level of membership is like is someone leading a small group and teaching the Bible? Okay, Great. Do we put our church name on them and be like that is a connect US church leader who is leading this group? Maybe good, we at least want to know if they're a Christian, right. So, like that's important. Let alone be an agreement and online and mission with the church, and so like. That's church membership really is, just to be like hey, you've engaged with us, you're a part of the process. We're going to walk with you as every step of the way. Do you have to be a member? No, but do you want? If you want to be and you want to like lead something and the church puts their name behind it, it's like we should be in agreement here. So you're not going off on left field and you know, we're like, where did you go? Or what happen? Right, lots of stuff, lots of stuff falling along the outline. Helpful, outline, helpful, all right. So we want to be united, we want to be submitted to Jesus, we want to help the church work in order, we want to step up and lead, if that's your calling, and if for everyone else, we want to be committed. Be committed and want watch God work. Be Committed, the writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us. In Ten, twenty five. And let us not neglect our meeting together, right, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return. WHO's that? WHO's return? Jesus is returned. Jesus is coming back. He's alive and he's coming back and it's drawing near. So don't neglect meeting together. And you know that nothing happens without commitment, right. You know this. There's projects on your list that you haven't gotten around to it. Right, it just hasn't happened. I wanted to do it, but I it's I haven't done it yet. I haven't done it yet. Right, we need to set goals and be committed. If we want to see anything happen, we got to be committed to seeing it happen. We got to figure it out, we got to make it happen. We got to get be committed to it. We can't just say like one day, I'll get around to it, one day, I'll figure it out, one day I'll get around to it. Guess what, it's your lucky day. I have around to it. And if you need to get around to it, I have one for you. You can have mine. I'll see you after the service. All right,...

...all right, it's a bad joke, everybody. It's a bad, bad joke. We got to be committed to the mission, committed to the vision. None of you are going to hear anything I'm going to say. Committed to the mission, committed to the vision and our vision in three words as we want to make more and better disciples. That's what we want to do, make more and better disciples. There is a quality of disciples that we want to make better and there is a quantity of disciples that we want to make more. And again, there's a rope. You can envision the rope and there's one side of people that are pulling the rope on this side said that we need more disciples. There are people lost, going to go to hell forever. We need Jesus. We got to make more disciples, more, more, and then they'll be people on this side of the rope pulling it this way, saying we got to make better disciples, we got to train up and have Bible Studies and pray and do all these things and trust and do all this. We got to be better. Like it's a tension to manage and to figure out and to live in the middle of all of those things. And so again, as if there's a theme in my understanding of these tensions, it's got to be both. It has to be both, and I believe strongly it won't happen either way if it's not both. Like, if you are a better disciple, you will be making more disciples, like that is an outcome of being a better disciple. And if you actually become a disciple, you will be made better, into a better disciple, as just a natural thing that God does in somebody's life when he comes to live inside of a believer. You become a better believer, more like Christ. So effesians chapter four God causes qualitative growth. Qualitative growth, these are the gifts that Christ gave to the church, the apostles, the profits, the evangelist, the pastors and the teachers. And their responsibility is to do everything for the church. No, that's not the responsibility. Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the Church, the body of Christ. Every single one of us has a very important role to play, and this will continue until all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like truth, and instead we will speak the truth and love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of the body the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow so that the whole body is healthy, growing and full of love. Growing. God wants his disciples to grow he wants you to grow. He wants you to be healthy, and part of being healthy is growing. Every healthy thing grows, and a healthy church certainly grows. So we want to help you to be healthy, to be full of love, to be how do you measure health? More like Christ. That's the goal, to be more like Christ. And it's not just qualitative growth, it's quantitative growth. And you can look at Matthew Twenty eight, where Jesus Said told his disciples I have been given all authority in Heaven and on Earth, and therefore go and make disciples of all nations. How do you make disciples? You find somebody who's not a disciple and you make one. Right, you've added one person to the disciple jar or I don't know what. That's a bad illustration. Go and make disciples of all nations, every people group,...

...everybody, baptizing them in the name of the father, son and Holy Spirit. You get baptized when you become a new believer, and teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I've given you. And be sure this, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. And so therefore go and make disciples. You are going somewhere. You will leave this place. At least I am going to kick you out. Eventually, you are going to leave this place and you are going to go somewhere. As you go somewhere, you've got one commission from Jesus. It's not to teach or baptize or do all that stuff. Those all things support the one thing. There's one thing that you are to do as you go, it's to make disciples. Make Disciples. That is the one command in the Great Commission, which we're going to look look at closely in two weeks. Go and make disciples. And if you do make disciples, that means you're turning somebody who wasn't a disciple into a disciple. and part of being a disciple is you go and you make more disciples. It's a self replicating command. So if you are a good disciple, you're making more disciples. Right. It's a whole thing. It's a whole process. We made it Pooh through the whole outline. Look at that, you did it. Here's some concluding thoughts. If you bring it all back, God is with us, God is in us and he is here in our church. He lives inside of you. If you are a believer in Jesus and the local church, any local church, our local church, is full of imperfect people and we come together as imperfect people to worship a savior who we desperately need. And this savior, Jesus, loved all the imperfect people so much that he died on the Cross to pay the penalty for their sin, and he was buried and he rose again the third day so that anyone who trusts and believes in him will have his perfection and be born into the family of God. And when that happens, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you to empower you to live a life that is impossible to live without the Holy Spirit. And so there is a lot that the church could be doing, but God gives us the power to do it through his spirit. It's the beauty of the local church. It's everyone coming together to see their world's chains for Jesus, and I'm so glad that you are a part of it. Let's pray, Lord Jesus. We thank you that this is your church, that you are the head of this church. I pray that we would be submitted to you and as we submit to you, Jesus, we would be united, that we would be united by loving one another, by caring for one another, by serving one another, but sharing the Gospel to one another. Lord, you have created something so special, so unique here in this place and in churches all around the world. Lord, I pray that you would do something special here, that you would continue to do something special here. We thank you for every single person here, whether there are a believer in Jesus or not, whether there are consider themselves a strong, better disciple or not. Lord, help us as a church, to make more and better disciples...

...and to ultimately, above all, as glorify you, Jesus. Thank you for your word and what you will do now in Jesus name. Amen.

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