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What is Church?

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Assistant Pastor Chris Poirier's message, "What is Church?" from 2/2/2014 at First Alliance Church Raleigh, NC. …

Assistant Pastor Chris Poirier's message, "What is Church?" from 2/2/2014 at First Alliance Church Raleigh, NC.

A walk through the Book of Ephesians to discover what the Apostle Paul has written on the topic of what Christ has called the church to be. Is it a building? Is it a group of people? What has Christ called His people to do, be as the Church of Christ?

http://www.facraleigh.org/

Published in: Spiritual

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  • Anyone else have a morning like that today? Guess I might be the only one..
    (Change Slide)
  • We’ve talked about what a community is, what people think it means to be Christian, but today let’s focus on thinking about what exactly is “church”
    Is it a building? Is it a group a People? What is church?
    Take a moment to discuss with those around you.
    (Slide Change)
  • So what did we come up with? Any thoughts?
    (Take two or so from the congregation)
    Great, sounds like we are on track for today’s discussion on: What is Church?
    (Slide Change)
  • So what is Church? Let’s take a look at some background before we get started with our scripture for today.
    Ek-klay-see-ah (Greek for Church)
    Literally means “an assembly” or “Religious Congregation
    Christ used this term during His early ministry, knowing that in the classical Greek it applied to religious or secular organizations and gatherings and would not draw specific attention to His ministry from the government.
    Paul would continue to use this term, however he applied it as a term with a specific meaning of Christian gatherings through his epistles.
    Today we will focus on the Ekklesia of Ephesus and Paul’s letter to that church.
    (Slide Change)
  • The Book of Ephesians, like most of Paul’s writings was in the form of a letter and sent to the Church of Ephesus.
    The church of Ephesus was not perfect, though it is noted that this is by far the most positive letter that Paul wrote to any particular church. Unlike other epistles, there was no specific “error” that Paul calls out to address.
    However, Ephesus did have a specific issue it was trying to come to terms with. Ephesus was dealing with the issue of bringing new Gentile believers and seeking Jews together in the body of Christ. The issue of “oneness” is a central message of the Book of Ephesians and Paul covers this specific issue, as well as, the oneness of the Body of Christ in general.
    For the early church and for us today, it is a key book for understanding our personal relationship with Jesus, and how to live with our fellow Christians in a nurturing, ministering relationship.
    (Slide Change)
  • So, what is church? This is where I want to spend the bulk of our time together today.
    As I just mentioned, the book of Ephesians is an important book to study for us as Christians today. I think you will see that it helps us not to think of our own churches in institutional terms—as buildings and programs and activities alone. But, that it helps us to see ourselves, and one another, as living expressions of a Christ who still expresses His glory in human lives. Christ in us.
    To accomplish this goal I hope take us on a Christ lead journey through the text and pull out four things that Paul has identified in his letter to the Church at Ephesus. To accomplish this we will jump around the text, but don’t worry I will let you know where we are as we study together.
    Then we’ll fast forward to today and talk about where we are as First Alliance Church and provide some thoughts for you to take home this week.
    Are you ready church?
    Let’s pray:
    Thank you for this opportunity to gather together today as your church Father
    Please open our hearts and minds to the text you have provided us and please be with us as we seek to understand you better.
    Bless this time we have and let it be entirely for your glory.
    Amen
    (Slide Change)
  • Our journey in seeking the truth of the church starts in Ephesians 5:15 – 20 if you would turn there to start.
    (Read Scripture)
    Starting back in Ephesians 4 Paul provides God’s expectations of the Christian body in character and conduct. To this end, Paul brings us to his primary purpose in living out the Christian life together in Christ.
    Starting in Chapter 5 Paul paints a series of contrasted events between the world and the Christian Life:
    Believers are to walk in love and reflect the image of God, not the world(5:1–7),
    please God by avoiding evil (5:8–14),
    and walk in wisdom, rather than foolishness (5:15–17).
    Paul then changes direction at Chapter 5 verse 18 by reminding us that we should not fill our lives with useless things designed to distract us or alter our state of minds, like wine, but rather to fill out lives with the Holy Spirit:
    The Body of Chris is enabled to do all of the good Paul mentioned previous by this filling of the Holy Spirit (5:18).
    When this happens, believers can together praise God, constantly offer thanksgiving in all things, and mutually submit one to another (5:19–21) in the Lord.
    Maybe to draw out the core point here, Paul reminds the church of Ephesus that we must be thoughtful in how we live our lives as Christians, God called us to be different: We are to be wise, not foolish, we are to focus on God’s will for our lives, and to be filled with His Spirit in all we do.
    We are called to be humble in all our relationships—putting one another first, as we all put Christ first in our lives.
    When these things happen and Christians meet together, the result is for worship, our talking and singing must be for one another and the Lord, full of thankfulness and praise to God.
    (Change Slide)
  • And this gives us our first point for today’s message: Worshipping Together.
    Here Paul reminds us to our calling in Christ and one another as the Body of Christ. However, he also reminds us that our standard of living has changed to that of how Christ has called us to live in His image.
    In this we worship with one another thanking God for seeing us as the perfected image as Dr. Towns mentioned last week, but also knowing our hearts and that we are in progress. We need this reminder: That we are to live in Christ and not of the world. We are different.
    In other words we should be focused on what Christ has called us to, not the evil in the world or the influences the devil tries to tempt us with. We should be of sound mind, not altered in wine or anything else. We are filled with Christ and the result is worship in Him who has saved us and dwells within us.
    Sounds easy right? No? I can relate to that. How many people here had a morning like the video we started with today? Was your mind on Christ or some where else this morning? Do you mentally prepare yourself for worship as Paul calls us here?
    We’ll come back to this a little later, but let’s see what else Paul and the text has for us this morning.
    (Change Slide)
  • Our journey continues now in Ephesians 4:11-17 if you would turn there with me.
    (Read Scripture)
    Still concentrating on the oneness we have in Christ, Paul turns to the diversity within the unity that is the Christian body.
    In 4:11-12 Paul paints a picture of a cross section of those that Christ called into service in the Church. In this, God in His grace demonstrated that He uses all kinds of people to accomplish His will. Dr. Towns talked of this last week as well, for we are all gifted differently and God uses that to grow His church. This is His plan!
    Following verse 12, Paul brings us forward and provides again his theme of unity in the body and that we must mature in our walk with Christ, always growing.
    The maturity Paul references here could be defined as an ongoing process of being “joined and held together” in relationship with the body of Christ. We are all one, together in Christ.
    Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, put it like this: “It is a growing corporation. It increases by mutual edification, not by being puffed up, but by being built up. It grows as the result of its own life, sustained by suitable food.” Put another way, Spurgeon was trying to demonstrate to his congregation that we grow in Christ together as a church and that growth is based upon the common goal, not through pride or ego, but by supporting one another as a body. This results in sustained growth in Christ and becomes self sustaining in Christ.
    Moving on to Verse 14, Paul provides us imagery of the growing believer as a young child who can be easily tossed about by the world and the evil within it. However, in verse 15 we now refocus on the light and the reminder that in focusing on Christ and the love of God, we God’s people, will grow and mature when we focus on Christ.
    Bottom line: Christ wants us to grow up and like any proud parent He wants us to grow up in His image.
    Verses 16 and 17, Paul paints a picture of the Body of Christ as a physical human body. Christ as the head, we again are given imagery of us as believers in unity, serving as the other parts of the body that support our Head: Christ. Again, each and every one of us serves a purpose, but we are constantly in process of growing and maturing.
    Look at it this way: A baby’s head is unusually large in comparison with the rest of its body when it is first born. As it develops, however, the body grows into its proportionate size as it matures. Just like a growing infant, The Head of the body of Christ is waiting for the rest of the body to grow to its natural size in relation to Him.
    That said, when people look at the body of Christ, they should be able to recognize that it belongs to the Head and in this we must humble ourselves to mature as Christ calls us to do so.
    (Change Slide)
  • So, Paul calls us to Grow together, our second point for your outline.
    Here in Ephesians 4 Paul provides us another insight of the early church and that is the importance of growing together in our faith as we walk with Christ.
    By another name, the church knows this process as sanctification as we seek to grow and become more and more like the head: Jesus.
    This takes work and it requires all of us in the church to always be speaking the truth in love and constantly equipping the saints of Christ’s church.
    However it also means that we should focus on the work of the Body over those things that attempt to break into our lives throughout the week and distract us. Don’t let the waves and winds of false teaching toss you around, seek to mature yourself in Christ and grow to support the head of this body.
    By growing up in Christ and together we are no longer those infants Paul speaks of, but rather followers of Christ speaking and living the truth for our Lord, Christ!
    (Change Slide)
  • Now in Ephesians 5:8-14, let’s see what else the text has for us on our journey to understand the church.
    (Read Scripture)
    Verses 8 through 10 Paul reminds the people at Ephesus that, just like we sit here today, were once lost to the darkness of sin. However, now as those saved by faith in Christ, we now shine the light of the Lord. To this end Paul calls the Lord’s people to live in that light and remain in all things good and righteous.
    Verses 11 through 13 Paul again reminds us to avoid those things of the World that are foolish and evil, but rather to expose them. Paul consistently calls the followers of Christ to rebuke sin in the world and to provide light on the transgression. This is not to say to be in judgment, but rather to show love through the pointing out of that which does not please the Lord. It is then the work of the Holy Spirit that works on the lost in these moments.
    Finally in verse 14 Paul uses the quotation to urge the unbeliever to turn from death to life. Sleep is a common metaphor for death throughout the Old Testament and serves as a reminder that those who are apart from God are sleeping, dead in their sin, but seeing and accepting the light of Christ will awaken those who were covered in darkness.
    That is to say, what is Darkness? An absence of light right? In this case darkness is sin and sin is death in the eyes of the Lord. Therefore a world without Christ, is a world without hope.
    (Change Slide)
  • Paul reminds us again that as believers we come from darkness ourselves and that each of our personal experiences in conversion can help others see how Christ has changed each and every one of us in Him.
    This is the church’s mission. Whether the people in darkness are church members or society members (the culture that surrounds us), the goal is to transform them completely from darkness to light as Christ has called us to in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18)
    As Christ said of himself, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” Of His disciples, He added, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Even more, they will become the light of the world themselves (Matthew 5:14).
    There are many ways for us to wake the sleepers around us, but the core reminder Paul provides us here is that we are called to reach the nations and wake them all from their slumber by bringing them into the light, just as we once were ourselves. Therefore we must reach others together and that is point number three for your notes.
    (Change Slide)
  • Finally, let’s turn to Ephesians 6:18-20 four our last point this morning in the text.
    (Read Scripture)
    This section follows Paul’s description of the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10): Belt of truth, Breastplate of righteousness, Feet gospel of peace, Shield of faith, Helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit.
    Paul provides us with a vivid imagery of war and a preparing army about to do battle. This battle is between the light and the dark and the warriors are all of us who believe in Christ. To this end, Paul provides us an image of armor we can wear, but then provides us with the most important piece of equipment in doing battle and that is prayer.
    In verse 18 Paul also reminds us that, no period of life or battle should be without prayer—youth, middle life, old age, all demand it; no condition of life—adversity, prosperity, sunshine, desolation, under sore temptation, under important duty, under heavy trial, under all the changing circumstances of life, personal, social, Christian. He also calls us to pray for all of God’s people as we walk together and face life together.
    Finally in verse 19 and 20 Paul calls for personal prayer for his ministry. Paul currently in prison for spreading the Word of God asks for prayer humbly that he may continue his ministry of preaching the Word in Truth. This is a piece of encouragement in that even when in bondage we should be happy to proclaim the Lord our savior and that prayer underpins our ministry together.
    John Piper once provided another image of prayer in this “war/military” context: “Life is war. That’s not all it is. But it is always that. Our weakness in prayer is owing largely to our neglect of this truth. Prayer is primarily a wartime walkie-talkie for the mission of the church as it advances against the powers of darkness and unbelief. It is not surprising that prayer malfunctions when we try to make it a ‘domestic intercom’ to call upstairs for more comforts in the den. God has given us prayer as a wartime walkie-talkie so that we can call HQ for everything we need as the kingdom of Christ advances in the world.”
    Is it not amazing that our God is so personal, that He has provided us with that direct line of communication in all that we do. Least we forget that our God is a personal God and He wants to be part of our every day lives as much as when we are in great need.
    (Change Slide)
  • So Praying Together is the final point in our study of Ephesians for today.
    Prayer is the lifeline of the church and it is a direct, personal mode of communication with our Lord and Savior that ultimately under pins all that we do.
    It provides us with that personal connection to an amazing God that wants to know and hear all that burdens our hearts.
    It also serves to humble us in our mission as a church to spread His Word and to reach the lost for Him. Prayer is the glue, the sustaining function of all we do as the Body of Christ.
    (Change Slide)
  • So by means of review, what does Paul tell the church?
    Well, it’s 1: Worshiping Together as we saw in Ephesians 5:15 – 20
    We are called out in Christ to live differently and we are fully empowered in that life as we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He is ALWAYS with us.
    What an amazing God we have that He gave of Himself upon the cross so that we could be pulled from the evil that Paul calls us to rebuke and live apart from as Christ followers.
    Honoring God in life and in heart is exactly what worship is and Paul calls us to do so corporately through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in hymns, reading of the psalms, and singing of songs with one another.
    (Change Slide)
  • It’s 2: Growing Together as we saw in Ephesians 4:11-17
    For God has called us to unity and maturity in our faith that we might become sanctified and reflect the light of Christ.
    This is an effort of the entire body of Christ as we seek to grow up from infants and grow into maturity in Christ!
    And just like that baby, we are called to grow up and serve the Body as God has gifted each of us uniquely.
    (Change Slide)
  • It’s 3: Reaching Others Together as we saw in Ephesians 5:8-14
    Paul especially calls this out as the Church in Ephesus had been a long supporter of Paul’s mission to the world to reach the lost. The Ephesians understood the importance of waking the sleepers and shining the light of Christ as Paul and Timothy had come to them.
    Paul provides the reminder however, that there are still many lost in darkness, where once we came, and are in need of the same light that saves.
    Matthew 28:18 the Great Commission, core tenant of the C&MA and the primary mission goal of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    For He commanded us, we shall seek the Lost and bring them the light of Christ.
    (Change Slide)
  • It’s 4: Praying Together as we saw in Ephesians 6:18-20
    Remember the quote from John Piper? Pray is our Walkie-talkie with HQ, direct, personal communication with God.
    Prayer underpins all our activities and keeps us in direct contact with our personal God and savior!
    (Change Slide)
  • So you say, sure Chris that was interesting, we all learned the Greek word for Church.. Do you remember it? Any one? And Paul’s letter to the Ephesians clearly focuses on the unity of the Body of Christ, being filled with the Holy Spirit, bring light into darkness, growing in Christ, and praying..but what does that mean for us today?
    So, yeah..so now what? What does all of this mean for us here at FAC? What can I do tomorrow? What can I do now?
    (Change Slide)
  • Well, what is church the according to Paul?
    I think it can be summed up like this: Church is Living Together in Christ. See the key word there, TOGETHER.
    Paul was telling the church at Ephesus that the walk with Christ is a group activity. It’s a team sport if you will. No matter what analogy you want to use, his point was that this is not about individuals doing their own thing, but rather what individuals come together to do in Christ.
    Dr. Towns mentioned the individual as part of the family over his last two weeks with us while discussing Romans and Paul continues this here concept here in Ephesians by explaining how the that church family is to function together.
    This seems easy enough, but I think many churches in America have lost sight of what Christ truly called of the church. Church has sadly become this part of our culture that is something most people try to simply cross off their to do this each week. As a former pastor of mine used to say, “if the 90 minutes of church you get is hearing me on Sunday, you have not even begun to scratch the surface of God’s calling of His people.” Christ called us into worship and fellowship as a body. So, are you punching your God ticket every Sunday or have you considered the other areas that Paul called on the Ephesians to remember as well?
    If you are hear and you are looking for the next step, I have good news! Here at FAC we have lots of options to help get people plugged into the family and on their path to growing in Christ.
    (Change Slide)
  • We here at FAC want to live TOGETHER in Christ through Worshiping, Growing, Reaching, and Praying.
    This IS our church! This is our FAMILY and if you aren’t connected in some way we’d love to help you find a place to worship, grow, evangelize, and pray!
    Let’s take a few moments as we close this morning by taking a look at how FAC is striving to be the church that Paul shows us in his letter to Ephesus.
    (Change Slide)
  • How do we worship? There are many ways to worship and we have a cross section of those here for you:
    Praying and lifting praises to God
    Singing: We love to sing here at FAC and are ever so blessed with a senior pastor who has a heart for music and an equally amazing group of musicians.
    So the question now becomes, how do YOU worship? As Paul mentioned, we are to worship in love and in the Holy Spirit in thanksgiving for being a part of the body of Christ. I challenge everyone, as I can be just as guilty, to clear their minds and lift up their hearts in love to Christ every time we come together to worship as a family.
    Remember the story of Hank from last week? What was Hank focused on each week? Something too loud, something too quiet, etc. Hank wasn’t focusing on God and wasn’t bringing his heart in love.
    Paul challenges us to come to the Lord with your mind and heart focused on God and as a result the spirit will be glorified!
    (Change Slide)
  • As Paul called upon the church of Ephesus to grow in Christ we also have many ways one can engage to grow in Christ:
    Prayer! We should be in constant prayer for one another, just as Paul asked for the Ephesians to pray for him, we should support one another as well!
    Are you plugged in some place where you can grow? Learn from other believers, share your experiences, and live life together with the Body of Christ!
    I understand that adding something else to the calendar can seem like a lot. I feel like my smart phone runs my life most days, but the community and opportunities to grow in Christ I get from my CCG is unparalleled. I don’t say that just because I host the Men’s CCG on Wednesday (but guys..you really should come..seriously..)but because my family (Sunday night CCG) is a family within my larger church family here on Sunday. We share life together and it’s all for the glory of God.
    We are truly dedicated to connecting believers new and old to place to grow, disciple, and equip.
    Want to get that experience and see what you are missing? Just flip over your 411 bulletin and see if anything pops of the page or is during a time you can carve out a few hours for God. You’ll be glad you did.
    (Change Slide)
  • Prayer! Maybe you’ve sensed a trend thus far?
    Prayer walking neighborhoods, prayer for co-workers, family, friends, the lost, etc.
    FAC is dedicated to reaching our neighbors and helping those around us: River Bend school event and up coming event on 13FEB14.
    FAC has many members on the mission field
    Maybe you noticed that under this heading of “reaching others” there is a cross section of activities. This is not by accident. As Christ called us in the Great Commission to go out into the nations and proclaim His name and His Salvation we must also remember that it is under pinned by the Great Commandment. Does anyone remember what the Greatest Commandment is? Right, it’s love! And we accomplish this through our actions, the modeling of Christ just as Paul called the Ephesians. Through, prayer, service, missions, and love we both show the world who Christ is while also proclaiming His great name!
    Question: Are we called to bring people to the church or take the church to the people?  Think about it, Christ brought His ministry to His people in order to save.  Some where many churches in America flipped that expectation where now many will not go beyond inviting someone into our world.  We are called to bring Christ and His light into the world, whether it is across the globe or across the street!  That is why the Great Commission and the Great Commandment cannot be separated, for we must GO (even if simply across the street) AND we must model the love of Christ as His church.
    I want to challenge everyone here as well. Jesus gave us one primary mission: To reach the nations. How can you get involved? Start praying for people you know, for your neighbors, for your city, for our missionaries, etc. One does not have to cross the globe to impact the world for Christ, but we are incredibly thankful for those who have answered that call, but start with prayer and let the Holy Spirit guide you.
    (Change Slide)
  • As you’ve probably noted, Prayer is what ties all the activities together.
    Prayer isn’t just a form of worship, it is also a call to God.
    We serve a loving and personal God who wants to engage us.
    Just as John Piper illustrated, prayer is our walkie-talkie to HQ where we can request the assistance we need!
    Bottom line: FAC is a praying church and we demonstrate this in all things that we do here!
    (Change Slide)
  • Just as the church in Ephesus was reminded by Paul of the things that draw them together we can benefit from the same instruction.
    Church is about living the Christian life together in Christ our Lord and savior, a message that remains timeless and relevant in all the ages.
    And there is good news, that we here at FAC have dedicated ourselves to this biblical image of church!
    So, if you saw something today you didn’t know about or are interested in learning more about there are a few things you can do: 1, 2, 3, 4
    Also, as I said, challenge yourself to consider the areas you are not currently plugged in or prayerful about and take those to God. As Dr. Towns mentioned and I touched on again this week the Body of Christ is made up of multiple different people with different skills. How can you serve, what are you good at, what reached out to you today?
    Prayer is the foundation of the church and also the Christian life. Take a moment and pray this week and ask God where he wants you and your gifts involved in His body, our family here at FAC.
    Ask myself or any other staff about opportunities and places to serve. Remember we have the river bend school event coming up 13FEB14, this is a great way to get involved and see what the Lord is doing in our community.
    Also, you can use the information cards in your bulletin. Just fill that out and let us know what question or interests you have and leave them on the table before you leave.
  • Excited church? Paul might not have had nifty movies or projectors or any of that to inspire his people, but he did have the Word of God just as we do today.
    Invitation Prayer:
    Father God we do thank you for your message as delivered to us by the apostle Paul
    Thank you for reminding us that church is more than a place, a thing we do, but rather it is who we do it with and why.
    Thank you for giving us your only Son that we may be saved
    Father I ask that you be with this church and this congregation as we continue to seek you and grow in you.
    Be with the lay leaders as they seek to equip the saints of this church and help us to see those who seek to grow and to lead.
    Be with the congregation as they also seek to find their ministry, their calling, and their gifts. Please lay it upon their hearts as they go about their days this week.
    Father be with us as we seek to inform those who live in darkness around us of who you are, give us strength, give us wisdom, and give us a heart for the lost that we may show them your light in all that we do.
    And Father as we pray here today there may be those among us who do not know you yet and are still exploring your Word.
    For these people we pray that today’s message would give them an idea of what your church looks like as you intend it. That it is a place where your glory and your message seeks to penetrate the darkness of this fallen world.
    We do not know where they are at in their walk today Lord, but hope and pray that today’s message may have given them some more insight into who you are Lord. A personal, loving, grace filled, merciful God who seeks a special relationship with those whom you have created.
    It is in your glorious son’s name we pray amen.
    If you have not received Christ or are curious to learn more about Him and why we come together as a church in this community there are always pastors and staff available to talk and pray with you or simply fill out the information cards in the bulletin and we will follow up. We would love to get to know you and tell you more about the amazing God are here to worship today.
  • Transcript

    • 1. CHURCH? WHAT IS C CHURCH RALEIGH, N FIRST ALLIANCE RY 2ND 2014 FEBRUA
    • 2. QUESTION: WHAT IS CHURCH?
    • 3. CHURCH? WHAT IS C CHURCH RALEIGH, N FIRST ALLIANCE RY 2ND 2014 FEBRUA
    • 4. CHURCH • EKKLESIA • AN ASSEMBLY OR RELIGIOUS CONGREGATION
    • 5. CHURCH • EKKLESIA • AN ASSEMBLY OR RELIGIOUS CONGREGATION • BOOK OF EPHESIANS • CHURCH AS LIVING ORGANISM
    • 6. CHURCH • EKKLESIA • AN ASSEMBLY OR RELIGIOUS CONGREGATION • BOOK OF EPHESIANS • CHURCH AS LIVING ORGANISM • WHAT IS CHURCH?
    • 7. EPHESIANS 5:15 – 20 BE VERY CAREFUL, THEN, HOW YOU LIVE—NOT AS UNWISE BUT AS WISE, 16 MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY, BECAUSE THE DAYS ARE EVIL. 17 THEREFORE DO NOT BE FOOLISH, BUT UNDERSTAND WHAT THE LORD’S WILL IS. 18 DO NOT GET DRUNK ON WINE, WHICH LEADS TO DEBAUCHERY. INSTEAD, BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT, 19 SPEAKING TO ONE ANOTHER WITH PSALMS, HYMNS, AND SONGS FROM THE SPIRIT. SING AND MAKE MUSIC FROM YOUR HEART TO THE LORD, 20 ALWAYS GIVING THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER FOR EVERYTHING, IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. 15
    • 8. 1. WORSHIPPING TOGETHER EPHESIANS 5:15 – 20 BE VERY CAREFUL, THEN, HOW YOU LIVE—NOT AS UNWISE BUT AS WISE, 16 MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY, BECAUSE THE DAYS ARE EVIL. 17 THEREFORE DO NOT BE FOOLISH, BUT UNDERSTAND WHAT THE LORD’S WILL IS. 18 DO NOT GET DRUNK ON WINE, WHICH LEADS TO DEBAUCHERY. INSTEAD, BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT, 19 SPEAKING TO ONE ANOTHER WITH PSALMS, HYMNS, AND SONGS FROM THE SPIRIT. SING AND MAKE MUSIC FROM YOUR HEART TO THE LORD, 20 ALWAYS GIVING THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER FOR EVERYTHING, IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. 15
    • 9. EPHESIANS 4:11-16 SO CHRIST HIMSELF GAVE THE APOSTLES, THE PROPHETS, THE EVANGELISTS, THE PASTORS AND TEACHERS, 12 TO EQUIP HIS PEOPLE FOR WORKS OF SERVICE, SO THAT THE BODY OF CHRIST MAY BE BUILT UP 13 UNTIL WE ALL REACH UNITY IN THE FAITH AND IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD AND BECOME MATURE, ATTAINING TO THE WHOLE MEASURE OF THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST. 11  THEN WE WILL NO LONGER BE INFANTS, TOSSED BACK AND FORTH BY THE WAVES, AND BLOWN HERE AND THERE BY EVERY WIND OF TEACHING AND BY THE CUNNING AND CRAFTINESS OF PEOPLE IN THEIR DECEITFUL SCHEMING. 15 INSTEAD, SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE, WE WILL GROW TO BECOME IN EVERY RESPECT THE MATURE BODY OF HIM WHO IS THE HEAD, THAT IS, CHRIST. 16 FROM HIM THE WHOLE BODY, JOINED AND HELD TOGETHER BY EVERY SUPPORTING LIGAMENT, GROWS AND BUILDS ITSELF UP IN LOVE, AS EACH PART DOES ITS WORK. 14 
    • 10. 2. GROWING TOGETHER EPHESIANS 4:11-16 SO CHRIST HIMSELF GAVE THE APOSTLES, THE PROPHETS, THE EVANGELISTS, THE PASTORS AND TEACHERS, 12 TO EQUIP HIS PEOPLE FOR WORKS OF SERVICE, SO THAT THE BODY OF CHRIST MAY BE BUILT UP 13 UNTIL WE ALL REACH UNITY IN THE FAITH AND IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD AND BECOME MATURE, ATTAINING TO THE WHOLE MEASURE OF THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST. 11  THEN WE WILL NO LONGER BE INFANTS, TOSSED BACK AND FORTH BY THE WAVES, AND BLOWN HERE AND THERE BY EVERY WIND OF TEACHING AND BY THE CUNNING AND CRAFTINESS OF PEOPLE IN THEIR DECEITFUL SCHEMING. 15 INSTEAD, SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE, WE WILL GROW TO BECOME IN EVERY RESPECT THE MATURE BODY OF HIM WHO IS THE HEAD, THAT IS, CHRIST. 16 FROM HIM THE WHOLE BODY, JOINED AND HELD TOGETHER BY EVERY SUPPORTING LIGAMENT, GROWS AND BUILDS ITSELF UP IN LOVE, AS EACH PART DOES ITS WORK. 14 
    • 11. EPHESIANS 5:8-14 FOR YOU WERE ONCE DARKNESS, BUT NOW YOU ARE LIGHT IN THE LORD. LIVE AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT9 (FOR THE FRUIT OF THE LIGHT CONSISTS IN ALL GOODNESS, RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUTH) 10 AND FIND OUT WHAT PLEASES THE LORD. 11 HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FRUITLESS DEEDS OF DARKNESS, BUT RATHER EXPOSE THEM. 12 IT IS SHAMEFUL EVEN TO MENTION WHAT THE DISOBEDIENT DO IN SECRET.13 BUT EVERYTHING EXPOSED BY THE LIGHT BECOMES VISIBLE—AND EVERYTHING THAT IS ILLUMINATED BECOMES A LIGHT. 14 THIS IS WHY IT IS SAID: 8  “WAKE UP, SLEEPER, RISE FROM THE DEAD, AND CHRIST WILL SHINE ON YOU.”
    • 12. 3. REACHING OTHERS TOGETHER EPHESIANS 5:8-14 FOR YOU WERE ONCE DARKNESS, BUT NOW YOU ARE LIGHT IN THE LORD. LIVE AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT9 (FOR THE FRUIT OF THE LIGHT CONSISTS IN ALL GOODNESS, RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUTH) 10 AND FIND OUT WHAT PLEASES THE LORD. 11 HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FRUITLESS DEEDS OF DARKNESS, BUT RATHER EXPOSE THEM. 12 IT IS SHAMEFUL EVEN TO MENTION WHAT THE DISOBEDIENT DO IN SECRET.13 BUT EVERYTHING EXPOSED BY THE LIGHT BECOMES VISIBLE—AND EVERYTHING THAT IS ILLUMINATED BECOMES A LIGHT. 14 THIS IS WHY IT IS SAID: 8  “WAKE UP, SLEEPER, RISE FROM THE DEAD, AND CHRIST WILL SHINE ON YOU.”
    • 13. EPHESIANS 6:18-20 AND PRAY IN THE SPIRIT ON ALL OCCASIONS WITH ALL KINDS OF PRAYERS AND REQUESTS. WITH THIS IN MIND, BE ALERT AND ALWAYS KEEP ON PRAYING FOR ALL THE LORD’S PEOPLE. 19 PRAY ALSO FOR ME, THAT WHENEVER I SPEAK, WORDS MAY BE GIVEN ME SO THAT I WILL FEARLESSLY MAKE KNOWN THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL, 20 FOR WHICH I AM AN AMBASSADOR IN CHAINS. PRAY THAT I MAY DECLARE IT FEARLESSLY, AS I SHOULD. 18 
    • 14. 4. PRAYING TOGETHER EPHESIANS 6:18-20 AND PRAY IN THE SPIRIT ON ALL OCCASIONS WITH ALL KINDS OF PRAYERS AND REQUESTS. WITH THIS IN MIND, BE ALERT AND ALWAYS KEEP ON PRAYING FOR ALL THE LORD’S PEOPLE. 19 PRAY ALSO FOR ME, THAT WHENEVER I SPEAK, WORDS MAY BE GIVEN ME SO THAT I WILL FEARLESSLY MAKE KNOWN THE MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL, 20 FOR WHICH I AM AN AMBASSADOR IN CHAINS. PRAY THAT I MAY DECLARE IT FEARLESSLY, AS I SHOULD. 18 
    • 15. WHAT IS CHURCH? 1. WORSHIPING TOGETHER
    • 16. WHAT IS CHURCH? 1. WORSHIPING TOGETHER 2. GROWING TOGETHER
    • 17. WHAT IS CHURCH? 1. WORSHIPING TOGETHER 2. GROWING TOGETHER 3. REACHING OTHERS TOGETHER
    • 18. WHAT IS CHURCH? 1. WORSHIPING TOGETHER 2. GROWING TOGETHER 3. REACHING OTHERS TOGETHER 4. PRAYING TOGETHER
    • 19. SO WHAT?
    • 20. WHAT IS CHURCH? LIVING TOGETHER IN CHRIST
    • 21. THIS IS FIRST ALLIANCE CHURCH • WORSHIPING TOGETHER • GROWING TOGETHER • REACHING OTHERS TOGETHER • PRAYING TOGETHER
    • 22. WORSHIPPING TOGETHER • PRAYER • SINGING • SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE • SPECIAL HOLIDAY SERVICES
    • 23. GROWING TOGETHER • PRAYER • WEDNESDAY NIGHT GROUPS • • • YOUTH MEN WOMEN • SUNDAY SCHOOL GROUPS • DISCIPLETOWN • HOME GROUPS
    • 24. REACHING OTHERS TOGETHER • PRAYER • SERVICE PROJECTS • LOVING OUR NEIGHBORS • RIVER BEND SCHOOL • MISSIONS • BENEVOLENCE
    • 25. PRAYING TOGETHER • PRAYER • HOSPITALITY • ANOINTMENT
    • 26. HOW TO GET INVOLVED 1. PRAY 2. ASK ABOUT MEMBERSHIP 3. ASK ABOUT CCGS 4. ASK ABOUT PLACES TO SERVE
    • 27. CHURCH? WHAT IS C CHURCH RALEIGH, N FIRST ALLIANCE RY 2ND 2014 FEBRUA