A. Ephesians 4:11-16 (NLT)
· Real growth happens when we find reinforcement and repetition through relationship.
B. Principles of Community:
· 1-Church is a spiritual family. (Ephesians 2:19 NLT). Church is not a building, it is a family of believers God has set in common unity with each other. Being a spiritual family isnt something we do, it is who we are.
· 2-God expects us to be part of a spiritual family. When you are born again you are supernaturally placed into the body of Christ, but you can be in the body of Christ and not be part of a spiritual family.
o God doesnt expect you to be a church member but He does expect you to be part of a spiritual family. God doesnt expect you to go to church every Sunday but He does expect you to be part of a spiritual family.
o The bible has the assumption that as a saint of God reading it, you are actually part of a spiritual family somewhere. There are over 40 verses in the NT alone that you cannot do by yourself.
o The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships. Beware of Crabs!
o God sends Promotion two ways: Resource and Relationship.
· 3-God expects us to ACT like a spiritual family. We will definitely disagree and have moments of iron sharpening iron, but at the end of the day; God expects us to love, restore, and forgive each other as well as bear one anothers burdens and defend each other.
o Why do we stick together? 1 Peter 1:22-25 talks about doing it for the legacy of Gods Word.
A. Principles of Community Continued:
· 4-Without a spiritual family we can become endangered, isolated, and unprotected. (1 Peter 5:8)
o Enemy loves to isolate and separate just like a lion does. When we stay connected to the body though, we are much less likely to become prey.
o Psalm 68:6- God sets the isolated/lonely in families.
o In Mark 3:31-35, Jesus says believers and those who do the will of the Father are family.
o In an age where natural families are disintegrating, the Church must step up as a family.
§ Too much brokenness and fatherlessness in the USA culture.
o God wants us strong in our natural family and our spiritual family to help those without them.
· 5- Loving spiritual families produce growing and maturing followers of Jesus. (Eph 4:11-16)
o When you have families that love each other, they grow.
o Whatever you love will grow!! Whatever gets loved will grow. Love is the growing force, the fertilizer of this universe. Our hobbies and play time shouldnt get more love than our family.
o Just like in the natural, the new birth is just the beginning of our growth process not the end.
o Colossians 1:27-28 says that healthy churchs: Proclaim Jesus, Admonish the body (correct and help), Teach the body, and bring the body to maturity.
o Gods goal is not our comfort but our progression according to 2 Peter 1:1-9.
§ If we are 10 years into our walk with Christ and we are still easily offended, still externally driven, still carnalsomething is wrong.
§ Being immature is ok for a season, staying immature is not ok.
· 6- Loving spiritual families are united in thought and purpose. (1 Corinthians 1:10) NLT
o The mind we all have is the mind and purpose of Christ.
o 90% of strife could be avoided is people just maintained a servants heart, humility, and a we mindset over a me mindset.