Peninsula Community Church
Will the Real Church Please Stand Up?
What is the Church Suppose to be Doing?
November 6, 2011
Act 2:41 & Acts 9:31 – So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.
Last week we began to look at the actions that are necessary for the church to be effective. The goal here however is not only to do something but to become what God has called us be. You see it is more about being something than doing something.
Encourage others through fellowship. The word used in the New Testament for fellowship is the word Koninia. The Greek term used here literally means to have all things in common. As believers we serve the same God. We have participated in the same salvation and act of God’s grace.
The idea propagated by this word is that they are in partnership together. It carries with it the idea of joint participation with others. We work together, we laugh together, we cry together and we grow together. There is something to be said about what transpires around the table as people eat and enjoy a meal together or a cup of coffee. But this idea of fellowship goes beyond the sharing of a meal but it is the sharing of a heart as well. You see when can have a lot of meals together and yet miss the purpose of this concept. We must have more than a meal we must have a growing of hearts together.
Fellowship is what happens outside the church as much as it is what happens inside the church. We are all responsible for fellowship. I have heard people say “I don’t get invited anywhere.” Well, when was the last time you invited someone to go out with you? When did you take someone a cup of coffee and sat at their kitchen table and just chatted?
The goal of fellowship is to encourage one another and to prod each other toward good works. Can you imagine what would happen in the world today if we looked for ways to encourage one another rather than spending an inordinate amount of time trying to find ways to discourage?
The bottom line in this discussion is that we need one another. Adam and Eve were created with the innate or inborn desire for fellowship. God walked with man in the cool of the day. It is no less true for us today. Someone has said that bars are one of the best places for people to share the cares of life because people listen and lend support. It may not be the right kind of encouragement but it is encouragement.
Can you imagine with me what it would look like if people looked at us as encouragers? What if people felt secure and safe to share their cares of life with us? I believe we have it in us to be a church of encouragers. But let me say this before we move to the next point. In our encouragement we must be able to speak the truth in a way that rings life and hope.
Edify others through ministry and service. The word edify carries with it the idea of encouraging and building up others.
Rom 14:17-19- For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
1 Thess. 5:11 – Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
How do we edify others? We do so in how we glorify God in our service and the attitude by which we serve God? How do we do this?
- We serve God and serve others in love
Galatians 5:13 – For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Ephesians 5:2 – And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
- We serve God and we serve others without grumbling or complaining.
Philippians 2:14 – Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
- We serve God and we serve others without regard to whom will get the credit
- We serve God and we serve others even when no one will know what you have done
And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that form the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24 ESV).
To be Continued…..