Power of Agreement = Harmony. Accord.
forsake not the assembling of yourselves... (Heb 10:23-24)
23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb 10:23-25).
Ancient teachers from Greek philosophers to Qumran's founding teacher established communities of followers to perpetuate their teachings...
- Bin Laden
- Charles Manson
- These men’s adherents should be viewed just a suspiciously as their leaders...why isn’t that the case with Christians?
- I want to teach FoLifers to embrace the Body of Christ
- My family taught me that we ALWAYS side with family.
- You never fight publicly
- You always defend family
- If one of us was not welcome in a place, none of were
- if one of you gets jumped unfairly...or the other relative is losing this fight...you’d best jump in or you’d have a “fight” when you got home.
Hebrews was likely written to Hellenistic Jews who were facing persecution...
(Paul explains what that might’ve looked like in Act 26.9-11).
These strong believers wanted to be encouraged as they were being challenged to die for their faith...
- be unswerving...how?
- spur each other on to good works...who?
- continue meeting together!!
- The author of Hebrews said what AA, NA, SA advocates have been saying for years... go to your meeting!!
What can coming to the house of the Lord can do?
- reflect on the past week and prepare for the upcoming week
- confess sin/ hear testimony/ experience artistic expression of faith/ silence
- study the faith of ancient believers/ hear a message that contradicts the voices of mainstream america
- praying & being in the company of people who are trying to do all these things.
Watchman Nee (Famous Chinese Author):
The Lord revealed to me that He desired to build up local churches in various places to manifest Himself and to bear the testimony of unity on the ground of the local churches. In this way, each saint [believer] is able to function in the church and live the church life. What God wants is not individuals trying to be victorious or spiritual; He wants a corporate glorious church presented to Himself.
- Talk about co-signing
- Talk about exchange
- my relationship with presbyterians
- Our attitude is wrong...gathering is about seeing God (direction); worshiping God (empowerment for service & witness); encouraging others (family time)
- Why was the church so hard on sin?
- it destroyed community
- inappropriate dress
- inappropriate conversations & propositions
- you don’t crap in the water you drink from
Peter's Miraculous Escape From Prison
5So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him...
12When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.
Where do I want to end up?
- Explain that the sense of isolation and disconnection from others has been a huge part of the sin problem
- Adam’s sin was incubated in the fact that he didn’t think about how his actions would impact others...and God.
- Community is where we spur others on to faith and good works
- Each time you see a powerful outpouring of God’s Spirit in the Book of Acts, it was when a great unifying event had taken place.
- Ask for volunteers for a First Sunday Fellowship
- Use purple forms this week to write a note of encouragement for the any member of the ministry team (children, youth, music, set-up, janitorial, sound/video, ushers, etc.)
- Make a point of hanging back for a few minutes after service each week in order to meet a new person each Sunday.
God’s view of the POWERFUL local church:
- settle disputes & avoid the courtroom (...You and your sister fought at school?!)
- put people out of church if they wouldn’t live/act right
- reinstate people when they got right