If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
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The Lord is concerned with all His children. He loves and has a special individual relationship with each one of us - even though there are tens of millions across the world. He is also concerned with us at a community level, locally, nationally and internationally.
There is an extra dynamic that the Lord brings to us spiritually when we meet together with His people. There is a way in which the contribution of others will help us to see things in a new light, will encourage us in a new way, challenge us to move on in ways that we have not thought of before. We need each other.
The following are tasters. They give an idea of the subject, but to understand more, there is a web page on each subject.
Acts 2:43-47 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
One of the great joys of following Jesus Christ is to be with others who have the same heart. Others give encouragement and stimulus to go on with God. There is little instruction on how to meet up so there is the joy of being free to be creative.
Psalm 122 1 I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD."
2 And now here we are, standing inside your gates, O Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem is a well-built city; its seamless walls cannot be breached.
4 All the tribes of Israel—the LORD's people— make their pilgrimage here.
They come to give thanks to the name of the LORD, as the law requires of Israel.
Each musician in an orchestra has a contribution and together they work for a unified sound greater than any one can produce. So, as God’s people, each has strengths and limitations. When we live in partnership with others heading in the same direction, there is an extra dynamic to life that gives a spark, and allows life to flow more easily. For this purpose the Lord brings us together to live and work as one body, His Church.
Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,6 and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.
A broader perspective on God’s People - The Church
Worship is usually expressed as singing songs of praise and worship to God. The examples of worship in the form of singing in the Bible are numerous, however Worship in the Bible is much broader and envelopes any means of giving honour to God.
Revelation 5: 11 Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders.12 And they sang in a mighty chorus:
"Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered- to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing."
There is an extra dynamic to prayer coming when people pray together. It would seem that the unity of the Christian brothers praying together delights the Lord and that He brings special blessing to those who do so.
Matthew 18:19 "I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.20 For where two or three gather together as my followers,* I am there among them."
It is best when we walk with God in community not alone. One of the ways a community of God’s people is held together is through teaching of the Bible.
Ephesians 4:11-13 11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.12 Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
Jesus had people baptised by His disciples when He was ministering on earth. After His death and Resurrection Jesus gave this command in Matthew 28. Baptism existed in Judaism as a means of bringing people into the Jewish religion. John the Baptist introduced a Baptism for repentance to Jewish people wanting to make a new start with God. In this way he prepared the way for Jesus.
Matthew 28:18-20 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,* baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Paul gives teaching about communion. He focuses on remembering Jesus and testifying to his death on the cross which sealed a covenant or agreement between God and us. 1 Corinthians 11
1 Corinthians 11 23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, "This is my body, which is given for you.* Do this to remember me."25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it."26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord's death until he comes again.
There are many churches because there are many ways people prefer to meet with God. There is a wonderful variety of churches. We have different ways of expressing ourselves, different approaches to God, different tastes of music, different ages .