Nov 23-29-08 One Flock


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Our little Church is using a Chronological Bible Reading Schedule by Skip Andrews. It can be found here:
Each Sunday a lesson is given from some of that week's reading. This lesson covers Nov 23-29

Published in: Education, Spiritual, Travel
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Nov 23-29-08 One Flock

  1. 1. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Acts 11:19 NET Now those who had been scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the message to no one but Jews. </li></ul>
  2. 2. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>20 But there were some men from Cyprus and Cyrene among them who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks too, proclaiming the good news of the Lord Jesus. </li></ul>
  3. 3. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>21 The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 A report about them came to the attention of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. </li></ul>
  4. 4. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Christianity eventually prevailed as the dominant worldview and social force in the Roman world. One reason: it planted churches in dozens of the empire's major cities by the end of the first century. </li></ul>
  5. 5. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Acts 1:8 NET But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.&quot; </li></ul>
  6. 6. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Christians spread the gospel &quot;to the end of the earth&quot; by establishing strategic, visible communities in urban areas such as Antioch. </li></ul>
  7. 7. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Acts 11:25 NET Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. </li></ul>
  8. 8. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught a significant number of people. Now it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians. </li></ul>
  9. 9. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Acts 13:1 NET Now there were these prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen (a close friend of Herod the tetrarch from childhood ) and Saul. </li></ul>
  10. 10. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>These groups of believers stood apart from the culture in their belief and values, yet engaged the culture in their daily lives and work. </li></ul>
  11. 11. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>The New Testament word for &quot;church,&quot; ekklesia, means assembly or congregation. In the Greek world, the ekklesia was a public assembly called together by a herald to discuss legal issues and make community decisions. </li></ul>
  12. 12. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>For example, Paul faced such a gathering at Ephesus, a town meeting that turned into a riot. </li></ul><ul><li>Acts 19:31 NET Even some of the provincial authorities who were his friends sent a message to him, urging him not to venture into the theater. </li></ul>
  13. 13. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>32 So then some were shouting one thing, some another, for the assembly ( ekklesia) was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had met together. </li></ul>
  14. 14. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>33 Some of the crowd concluded it was about Alexander because the Jews had pushed him to the front. Alexander, gesturing with his hand, was wanting to make a defense before the public assembly. </li></ul>
  15. 15. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison, &quot;Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!&quot; for about two hours. </li></ul>
  16. 16. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>35 After the city secretary quieted the crowd, he said, &quot;Men of Ephesus, what person is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the keeper of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image that fell from heaven? </li></ul>
  17. 17. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>36 So because these facts are indisputable, you must keep quiet and not do anything reckless. 37 For you have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of our goddess. </li></ul>
  18. 18. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>38 If then Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint against someone, the courts are open and there are proconsuls; let them bring charges against one another there. </li></ul>
  19. 19. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>39 But if you want anything in addition, it will have to be settled in a legal assembly. </li></ul>
  20. 20. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>40 For we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause we can give to explain this disorderly gathering.&quot; 41 After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly. </li></ul>
  21. 21. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>But ekklesia always referred to people—originally to the citizens of a city, and later to a gathering of believers. There is no evidence that it meant a church building until the fourth century A.D. </li></ul>
  22. 22. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Interestingly, eight times out of ten the New Testament uses the word ekklesia to refer to all of the believers in specific city, such as &quot;the church that was at Antioch.&quot; Acts 13:1a NET Now there were these prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch: </li></ul>
  23. 23. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>or &quot;the church of God which is at Corinth.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>1 Corinthians 1:2 NET to the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. </li></ul>
  24. 24. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Elsewhere it implies all Christian believers, regardless of geographic location or time in history—what is often called the universal (or catholic) church. </li></ul><ul><li>CATHOLIC , a. </li></ul><ul><li>1. Universal or general; (Websters) </li></ul>
  25. 25. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Ephesians 1:22 NET And God put all things under Christ's feet, and he gave him to the church as head over all things. </li></ul>
  26. 26. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Ephesians 3:10 NET The purpose of this enlightenment is that through the church the multifaceted wisdom of God should now be disclosed to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly realms. </li></ul>
  27. 27. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Ephesians 3:21 NET to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. </li></ul>
  28. 28. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Ephesians 5:23 NET because the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church — he himself being the savior of the body. 24 But as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. </li></ul>
  29. 29. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>25 Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her 26 to sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of the water by the word, </li></ul>
  30. 30. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>27 so that he may present the church to himself as glorious — not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless. </li></ul>
  31. 31. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>28 In the same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. </li></ul>
  32. 32. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>29 For no one has ever hated his own body but he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church, </li></ul><ul><li>30 for we are members of his body. </li></ul>
  33. 33. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. </li></ul><ul><li>( Gen. 2:24 ) </li></ul>
  34. 34. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>32 This mystery is great — but I am actually speaking with reference to Christ and the church. </li></ul>
  35. 35. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>In forming churches, the early Christians did not drop out of society, nor did they form congregations that competed with each other for members (though sometimes members competed with each other. </li></ul>
  36. 36. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>1 Corinthians 1:10 NET I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree together, to end your divisions, and to be united by the same mind and purpose. </li></ul>
  37. 37. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>11 For members of Chloe's household have made it clear to me, my brothers and sisters, that there are quarrels among you. </li></ul>
  38. 38. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>12 Now I mean this, that each of you is saying, &quot;I am with Paul,&quot; or &quot;I am with Apollos,&quot; or &quot;I am with Cephas,&quot; or &quot;I am with Christ.&quot; </li></ul>
  39. 39. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Instead, they lived and worked as members of the larger community. Meanwhile, they related to the other believers in their cities as members of a common family in Christ. </li></ul>
  40. 40. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>This proved to be a radical concept—so powerful, in fact, that by the end of the second century, one author was able to write: </li></ul>
  41. 41. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Christians are not distinguished from the rest of mankind by either country, speech, customs; the fact is, they nowhere settle in cities of their own; they use no peculiar language; they cultivate no eccentric mode of life.... </li></ul>
  42. 42. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>Yet while they dwell in both Greek and non-Greek cities, as each one's lot was cast, and conform to the customs of the country in dress, food, and mode of life in general, </li></ul>
  43. 43. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>the whole tenor of their way of living stamps it as worthy of admiration and admittedly extraordinary. </li></ul>
  44. 44. CHURCHES-KEYS TO THE CITIES <ul><li>This remarkable reputation of the early Christians compels modern believers to ask: What will the church today be remembered for? </li></ul><ul><li>(Word In Life Study Bible) </li></ul>
  45. 45. One Flock <ul><li>Peter explained to Jewish believers what happened to Cornelius. They needed clarification because they mistakenly thought that salvation was only for Jews. </li></ul>
  46. 46. One Flock <ul><li>Peter convinced the Jewish church leaders of the rightness of reaching out to the Gentiles, and many Gentiles were subsequently added to the church, notably at Antioch. </li></ul>
  47. 47. One Flock <ul><li>The Father sighs because he has a dream. </li></ul><ul><li>John 10:16 NET I have other sheep that do not come from this sheepfold. I must bring them too, and they will listen to my voice, so that there will be one flock and one shepherd. </li></ul>
  48. 48. One Flock <ul><li>God has only one flock. Somehow we missed that. Religious division is not his idea. Franchises and sectarianism are not in God's plan. </li></ul>
  49. 49. One Flock <ul><li>God has one flock. The flock has one shepherd. And though we may think there are many, we are wrong. </li></ul><ul><li>There is only one. </li></ul>
  50. 50. One Flock <ul><li>Never in the Bible are we told to create unity. We are simply told to maintain the unity that exists. Paul exhorts us to preserve &quot;the unity which the Spirit gives.&quot; </li></ul>
  51. 51. One Flock <ul><li>Ephesians 4:3 NET making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. </li></ul><ul><li>Our task is not to invent unity, but to acknowledge it. </li></ul>
  52. 52. One Flock <ul><li>I have two sisters and a brother. We are siblings because we came from the same family. We have the same father and mother. </li></ul>
  53. 53. One Flock <ul><li>I'm sure there have been times when they didn't want to call me their brother, but they don't have that choice. </li></ul>
  54. 54. One Flock <ul><li>Nor do we. When I see someone calling God &quot;Father&quot; and Jesus &quot;Savior,&quot; I meet a brother or a sister— regardless of the name of their church or denomination. </li></ul>
  55. 55. One Flock <ul><li>By the way, the church names we banter about? They do not exist in heaven. </li></ul><ul><li>The Book of Life does not list your denomination next to your name. </li></ul>
  56. 56. One Flock <ul><li>Why? Because it is not the denomination that saves you. And I wonder, if there are no denominations in heaven, why do we have denominations on earth? </li></ul>
  57. 57. One Flock <ul><li>What would happen (I know this is a crazy thought), but what would happen if all the churches agreed, on a given day, to change their names to simply &quot;church&quot;? </li></ul>
  58. 58. One Flock <ul><li>What if any reference to any denomination were removed and we were all just Christians? </li></ul>
  59. 59. One Flock <ul><li>And then when people chose which church to attend, they wouldn't do so by the sign outside...they'd do so by the hearts of the people inside. </li></ul>
  60. 60. One Flock <ul><li>And then when people were asked what church they attended, their answer wouldn't be a label but just a location. </li></ul>
  61. 61. One Flock <ul><li>And then we Christians wouldn't be known for what divides us; instead we'd be known for what unites us— our common Father. </li></ul>
  62. 62. One Flock <ul><li>Crazy idea? Perhaps. </li></ul><ul><li>But I think God would like it. </li></ul><ul><li>It was his to begin with. </li></ul><ul><li>(From A Gentle Thunder by Max Lucado) </li></ul>
  63. 63. One Flock <ul><li>We are instructed to build up the body of Christ. Make a list of ways you can be involved. If there are certain ways you could be tearing down the body of Christ, list those as well. </li></ul>
  64. 64. One Flock <ul><li>Be brutally honest. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask a family member or good friend to be honest with you. </li></ul><ul><li>(Max Lucado Devotional Bible) </li></ul>
  65. 65. One Flock <ul><li>Unity: </li></ul><ul><li>John 13:35 NET Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples — if you have love for one another.&quot; </li></ul>
  66. 66. One Flock <ul><li>Ephesians 4:3 NET making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. </li></ul><ul><li>Colossians 3:14 NET And to all these virtues add love, which is the perfect bond. </li></ul>
  67. 67. One Flock <ul><li>Do you think the idea of Believers everywhere dropping their denominational names is crazy? Do you think Believers are unsaved because of the label they wear? </li></ul>
  68. 68. One Flock <ul><li>Perhaps belief systems are flawed because they have believed the teachings of men instead of proving that teaching with God’s Word. </li></ul>
  69. 69. One Flock <ul><li>In the early part of the sixteenth century Martin Luther broke the shackles and gave the world the open Bible. Later, Calvin advocated the divine sovereignty of God. </li></ul>
  70. 70. One Flock <ul><li>John Wesley agitated the question of more spirituality in the churches. Around these ideas great denominations sprang into existence. The people were inquiring for the old paths. </li></ul>
  71. 71. One Flock <ul><li>While all the churches were doing good, had much of the Scripture in their teaching, and possessed good men, yet they were weakened and handicapped because they were divided. </li></ul>
  72. 72. One Flock <ul><li>What it all comes down to takes us back a couple hundred years when men such as Alexander and Thomas Campbell started encouraging Believers to return to the Word of God to see what the church was like in the beginning. </li></ul>
  73. 73. One Flock <ul><li>Their goal was to re-capture the unity of the early church doing all things as they are laid out in God’s Word. </li></ul><ul><li>Getting back to the Bible! </li></ul>
  74. 74. One Flock <ul><li>President James A. Garfield, who lived and died a member of the Christian Church was for some years a preacher in the church. The following is a copy of Mr. Garfield's statement of our position in matters of faith. </li></ul>
  75. 75. One Flock <ul><li>1. We call ourselves Christians or Disciples. </li></ul><ul><li>2. We believe in God the Father. </li></ul><ul><li>3. We believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God and our Saviour. We regard the divinity of Christ as the fundamental truth of the Christian system. </li></ul>
  76. 76. One Flock <ul><li>4. We believe in the Holy Spirit, both as to His agency in conversion and as a dweller in the heart of the Christian. </li></ul><ul><li>5. We accept the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God. </li></ul>
  77. 77. One Flock <ul><li>6. We believe in the future punishment of the wicked and the future reward of the righteous. </li></ul><ul><li>7. We believe that Deity is a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God. </li></ul>
  78. 78. One Flock <ul><li>8. We observe the institution of the Lord's supper on every Lord's Day. To this Table we neither invite nor debar. We say it is the Lord's Table, for all the Lord's children. </li></ul><ul><li>9. We plead for the union of God's people. </li></ul>
  79. 79. One Flock <ul><li>10. The Bible is our only discipline. </li></ul><ul><li>11. We maintain that all ordinances should be observed as they were in the days of the apostles. </li></ul>
  80. 80. One Flock <ul><li>We cannot claim to be the only Christians, but we must strive to be Christians only. There is a Universal Church and we must search the Scriptures and make sure we seek only to do it God’s way in order to be part of that ekklesia, assembly, Church. </li></ul>