STARTING POINT WEEK 8

"Invitation"

During childhood, you may have been handed a faith framework through which you began to view the world. For a lot of us, that childhood framework didn't survive the rigors of adulthood. It's not enough to say, "The Bible says . . . ," in the face of real-life tragedy. Adults often need a new starting point.

But the starting point for Christian faith isn't, "The Bible says . . . ." It's better than that. It's Jesus.

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”   Matthew 16:13


“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 (NLT)



“Who do people say that I am?”  - Jesus


“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”    Matthew 16:14


“But who do you say I am?”   Jesus


“Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  Matthew 16:17a


“You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.”   V. 17b


“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”    Matthew 16:18-19

EKKLESIA (Gr) - “gathering, assembly, congregation.”  



KIRCHE (Ger.) - “House of the Lord.” 



“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.”

Acts 2:42-47 (NLT)



A COUPLE OF PROBLEMS WITH THE “CHURCH”


1) They weren’t being equipped to love and serve their growing congregation


“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”   

Ephesians 4:11-12 (NLT)


2) They got good at taking care of one another, but they forgot their commission


“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”   Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)




A HUGE PROBLEM:


“The movement stopped moving. The gathering stopped growing.”

3 TRUTHS TO WRESTLE WITH:

  1. People that didn't really expect to see Jesus resurrected, saw Him raised from the grave.
  2. Those people went out and boldly told the world of what they had seen and heard.
  3. Untold numbers of people believed their testimony and His Church has been growing





WHAT'S YOUR NEXT STEP:


a) CONTINUE TO COME AND SEE


b) CONFESS CHRIST AS SAVIOR AND LORD


c) CONSIDER BAPTISM


d) COMMIT TO BEING A PART OF A COMMUNITY OF FAITH


e) CONSECRATE YOUR GIFTS FOR GOD AND HIS PEOPLE


f) CONSIDER YOUR SPIRITUAL CALLING






THE LOCAL CHURCH

(AND THE MESSAGE OF CHRIST WE SHARE)

TRULY IS

THE HOPE

OF THE WORLD!