Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Elements of Church being a Family

This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on April 2nd 2023  by Colin D Cruz. For the audio & video please click here. To listen to the worship please click here.

The church as a family

1. Loving 

John 13:34-35 - A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Rom 12:10 - Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above  yourselves.

2 Corinthians 13:12 - Greet one another with a holy kiss.
Rom 16:16 - Greet one another with a holy kiss
1 Thessalonians 5:26 - Greet all God's people with a holy kiss
1 Cor 16:20b - Greet one another with a holy kiss

Dream with me
What would a loving church look like?

As you walk in people warmly greet one another and catch up with you. If it is your birthday or wedding anniversary you get wished appropriately. 
Some want friends to come in at midnight, and others would love a cake.
When you are unwell, you get calls, maybe a visit or a meal.

What do you do when you want these things to happen to you? 
The solution is in Matt 7:12 - So in everything do to others what you would have them do to you for this sums up the Law and the Prophets

2. Forgiving

Col 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Eph 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Matt 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?
Jesus answered, I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

We must forgive completely, unconditionally, repetitively, continually how Christ forgave us

Forgiveness and trust are different issues. Trust is earned and forgiveness is always given.

3. Accepting

Associate and relate with people different from us.

Rom 15:7 Accept one another, then just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

1 Cor 12:22-25 - 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 

The poor, the slaves, the disabled, and those with mental illnesses or learning disabilities. Though despised in the world they should be given greater honour in the church.

Special emphasis must be on the poor and the different.

4. Disciplining/maintaining healthy boundaries

Rev 3:19 -  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 

Heb 12:8 - If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 

Heb 12:11 - No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Gal 6:1 - Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.

Matt 18:15-17 - 
v15 If your brother sins (against you), go and show him his fault just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.
v16 But if he will not listen, takes one or two others along, so that ever My matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
v17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Titus 3:10-11 - Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.
v11 You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

1 Cor 5:4 - When your are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the flesh may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord

1 Tim 1:20 - Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.

Job 2:6 - The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” - to put the professed believer out of our fellowship, to excommunicate him,

Satan is the ruler of this world, and turning a believer over to Satan, therefore thrusts the believer back into the world on his own, apart from the care and support of Christian fellowship. The word "handed over" is a strong term indicating the judicial act of sentencing, of handing over for punishment.

1 Cor v9-13 - But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

Expel the wicked man from among you.

In Rev 2:14 Pergamum tolerated sexual immorality

Eph 5:25-27 - 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

We are Jesus' bride being made holy and spotless.

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.  

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