The most important person to follow is Jesus, without regard to congregation or position of its members. All members, in acknowledgment of their salvation through Jesus Christ, submit to His authority (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
The church is a society of sinners who admitted their need for a Savior. Jesus came to save a lost world, and someone prayed for each of us to be saved into a fellowship with Christ and with other believers.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
God’s grace is always at work. It is His grace that saves us.
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient. 3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, 5 made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!
Believers in Jesus Christ are reminded that, they too, followed their own desires and devices, but thankfully received the grace of Jesus when they acknowledged Him as Lord and Savior. God is readily available for anyone who seeks Him.
Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him.
God’s will was being done in Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. God allowed the atrocities to take place upon His Son because of His grace…God withheld His wrath that we might receive eternal life instead of death.
6 Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, 7 so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
The display of His wisdom is to bring all people together in the church. No one made any prophecy that the church would be the vessel for the gospel…only God knew it and revealed it. The church is fulfilling God’s will and desire to see people won over for Jesus Christ.
6 The Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and partners of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7 I was made a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of His power.
8 This grace was given to me—the least of all the saints—to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of the Messiah, 9 and to shed light for all about the administration of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things. 10 This is so God’s multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens.
God has redeemed and reconciled the people who believe in Christ to Himself through the church. It is God’s plan and desire for all men that is being carried out through the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
22 For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. 24 Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom, 25 because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
The primary purpose of the church is evangelism…to share the gospel with others. The church delivers the message through the equipping of the saints. The church–the body of Christ–doesn’t save anyone…Christ is the one who saves the people through the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is the kindness and sensitivity of the believer that leads people to make the decision for Jesus Christ through the gospel.
What Christians are not to do is to change who they are in their witness to others. Don’t live in the same way as the unbeliever or even separate yourself from them. In order to be a light in the world, you need to be amongst unbelievers, but remain faithful to yourself in Jesus Christ.
- Urgency of the time
- Our presence…we are there to help and lead
- Share your common experiences…”We’ve been there, too.”
- Show mutual respect
- Show openness…nothing hidden about who we are in Christ
- Be honest…speak the truth
- Be accepting to all people in all walks of life
- Show grace to everyone
- Show humility in your service
- Show patience in your service and in your conversation
- Celebrate in every victory
- Reflect that there is always hope…because there is life
- Take responsibility to share the gospel with everyone who needs to hear it
Evangelism is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. To minister to others is to be obedient to God’s will and is a fulfillment of your purpose. In your actions for Christ, God is glorified.
We are to make disciples of all men and women.
19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.
Every day in the temple complex, and in various homes, they continued teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
The church is the place where new life is seen. Men and women are reconciled to God and to other people.
22 Then the report about them was heard by the church that was at Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to travel as far as Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged all of them to remain true to the Lord with a firm resolve of the heart, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And large numbers of people were added to the Lord.
Above all, love one another.
“By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The church witnesses to the entire world to worship and to edify Christ in everything we do.
Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude.
When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.
From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.
So then, we must pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another.