Presence (Air) + Gospel (Heat) + Community (Fuel) = Church (Fire)
The Fuel - that which is being CHANGED and upon which the FIRE burns - That’s us, but not just one of us alone. It takes our togetherness - our connection with one another - The CHURCH is not just one person. The Church is a community. The church is a tribe. The church is a Family.
- all those who had believed - the Gospel - it is the message - that connects us - no matter where we came from or where we do life we are connected to one another with an unbreakable bond - we are together - IN CHRIST
- Paul put it like this in Eph 2:13 "13But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.14For He Himself is our peace, who made both [groups into] one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, [which is] the Law of commandments [contained] in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, [thus] establishing peace, 16and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 17AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHOWERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; 18for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,
- and again in Eph 4 "4[There is] one body and oneSpirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”
- We are members one of another - Eph 4:25 - look at your two hands - you are as related to the people in this room as those two hands are to one another - that is our closeness to Christ - and to each other
- This is deeper than family
- This is more vital than friendship
- whether you know it or not - look around - we are one
- Out of that understanding we begin to act differently toward one another - we respond to need
- They were all in - when the church met they were present
- in person - they attended
- in prayer
- and in finance - they gave generously - later when the Jerusalem church was going into a famine the rest of the church
- we believe in tithe - we go beyond that - what belongs to me belongs to you
- Parable of the long spoons
One day a man said to God, “God, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.”
God showed the man two doors. Inside the first one, in the middle of the room, was a large round table with a large pot of stew. It smelled delicious and made the man’s mouth water, but the people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.
The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. God said, “You have seen Hell.”
Behind the second door, the room appeared exactly the same. There was the large round table with the large pot of wonderful stew that made the man’s mouth water. The people had the same long-handled spoons, but they were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.
The man said, “I don’t understand.”
God smiled. It is simple, he said, Love only requires one skill. These people learned early on to share and feed one another. While the greedy only think of themselves…
- Choosing to be of one mind
- that is when the Holy Spirit came when they were in one accord
- They make a conscious effort to be in agreement
- that means 100% participation - they were all in.
- The prayed together
- they ate together
- they were REAL with one another
- the word sincere here means singleminded and simple - not complicated
- They worshipped together
- God gave them favor
- God gave them converts
- God trusts a church like this with his babies
Communion - celebrating our connection with Christ and with one another -
- begin by self examination
- are you connected to Christ
- are you sinning and not repenting?
- are you praying / worshipping?
- are you asking God to help you grow - become more like Jesus?
- if no - lets fix that now
- are you connected to the people around you?
- are you mad at anyone?
- is someone mad at you?
- have you forgiven everyone?
- do you need to ask for forgiveness?
- do you NOT TRUST someone?
- if the answer to any of these is yes you need to fix it BEFORE you partake
- Let’s partake - WITH Someone else - serve one another
- are you connected to Christ
- This is the church - God’s work of salvation throughout the ages
- His dwelling place
- Isaiah 60 - the glory will rise upon you
- Once again - God’s incredible decision to use the human race in all he does
- He dwells in us
- He exerts His power and influence in the world through us.