Membership at The House Church
The Vision of our Church is rooted in the Goodness of our God. Ephesians 4 is a great foundation for us.
God has given us our unity v 4-6
Let’s take a look at 9 foundational beliefs that unify us here at the House.
1. About God– God is the creator and ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All three are co-equal and one God.
2. About Jesus Christ– Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father and Holy Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross. He arose from the dead on the third day to demonstrate his power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
3. About the Holy Spirit– The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He lives in every Christian from the moment of Salvation. He provides the Christian power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. Ultimate spirituality is not connected to any particular spiritual gift.
4. About the Bible– The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by men who were under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the only source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is true. It does not contain any errors.
5. About Human Beings– People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by sin which separates people from God and causes problems in this life.
6. About Salvation– Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
7. About Eternal Security– Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian.
8. About Eternity– People were created to live forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God in Hell or with God in Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places where resurrected persons ultimately reside forever.
9. About Baptism and Communion– Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water. Communion is the taking of bread and juice as a symbol of the body and blood of Jesus.
God has given us our Ability v.7-11
How has God enabled us?
“Ministry is the only profession that retains nothing to itself, gives away all its knowledge for free, and inv ites those served to do the same work.”
God has given us our Responsibility v. 12-16
You’ve now heard about what we are called to be and do. How do we do this?
What does this look like in your life?
A church of disciples, making disciples...
The Church has always gathered for worship and fellowship. Worship is ministry to and from God.
Acts 13.2 (ESV)
While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
Gathering for worship involves:
· Scripture reading
· Eating at the Lord’s table
Fellowship is ministry to and from each other.
Acts 2.42 (ESV)
And they devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
John 15.12 (ESV)
This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 13.35 (ESV)
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
You are to Gather…
1. Because we deserve to be a spiritual priority in your life.
We need to be in your consideration.
“attentive, continuous care”
2. Because we deserve to be a physical place in your life.
We need to be in your calendar.
When you are with the church be…
...an encouraging presence
...with an eternal perspective.
“When ye frequently, and in numbers meet together, the powers of Satan are overthrown, and his mischief is neutralized by your like mindedness of faith.” -Ignatius, Early Church Father
“For the strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” -quote posted in N.C.State locker room.
As a new member, take your Gathering to the next level:
· Worship more intentionally
· Fellowship more intimately
Christian growth was never a bonus. It was an expectation.
· Personal time/walk with God
· Discipleship with others-LifeGroup
Because growing in Christ is the only way we are prepared to persevere and bring the most glory and honor to God in all situations and circumstances.
1. The request for growth v. 9
The knowledge of God is central to Paul’s ministry.
Philippians 1.9 (ESV)
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment.
What does the “knowledge of God” look like in real life?
· Wisdom-know what to do
· Understanding– know how to do it
2. The Reason for Growing v.10-11a
A life “worthy of the Lord” means…
3. The Reassurance for Growing v. 11b-14
The life of a Christ follower begins with a birth, NOT a tryout, interview, test, or probationary period of evaluation.
If your motivation to grow spiritually is found anywhere besides a genuine reaction to the love of Christ in your life it WILL fail.
Acts 20.35 (ESV)
...and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
In a walk with Christ, there are two ways to give:
1. Give as a Steward
1 Corinthians 16.2 (ESV)
On the first day of the week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.
A Christ follower should give of his/her money…
“on the first day of the week”
“each of you is to”
“put something aside and store it up”
“as he may prosper”
2. Give as a Servant
John 13.13-15 (ESV)
You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
Being a Giver requires…
1. The right view of you v.3
The right view of YOU:
· Christ centered view
· Grateful & Gifted
2. The right view of us v.4-8
We see in us…
· Diversity-by God’s design
· Unity-with Christ and with each other
· Ability-through spiritual gifts
Jesus said “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
(John 20.21 ESV)
The Great Commission
You and I go with…
· A power
· A plan
· A promise
· A goal for EVERY member:
That someone will enter the waters of baptism in one of our services because of your witness.