COMMUNITY- BEING BUILT UP & BUILDING UP
Hebrews 10.19-25 9 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Ephesians 4.11-16 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Ephesians 4.17-25 17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
Ephesians 4.29-32 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
As we head into the Fall we are taking time as a church to remind ourselves of the power of Christian community. Our discussion today is based off of the sermon from church on Sunday by Jeremy West. If you missed Sunday you can listen to the message on iTunes or our church app.
Jeremy made three big points about experiencing the power of Christian community
Life is tough and we all need encouragement
We position ourselves to be built up and to build others up when we commit to consistently showing up.
Beyond just showing up though we need to come ready to encourage someone.
We are going to dive more into those ideas about encouragement and community today at Lifegroup.
LOOK TO GOD'S WORD:
Set up: If you have a larger Lifegroup break up into groups of 2-4 and assign each group one of the Scriptures from above. If you have a smaller Lifegroup you can have each person read the Scriptures listed above and record their observations.
Activity: We are going to look at four portions of Scripture to learn more about the power of Christian community and encouragement. As you read through them I want you to:
1. Summarize what they say in your own words.
2. What do these Scriptures teach us about community and encouragement?
3. Why do these Scriptures point us to community and encouragement as as important parts of living out our faith?
4. How have you experienced this in your own life? Think of a story from your own life, or the life of a friend or family member that connects to these truths.
Discuss: Take time in group your group to discuss these answers.
How can we respond to this teaching as individuals and as a group?
If you have time, pick someone from the group to encourage as a Lifegroup. Take time to listen to the Lord, and then share different encouragements that people have.