We live in a day of great technology.
Some believers have left the local church in favor of a digital church.
The question is...are these believers then in the church of Jesus Christ?
Today we are going to spend a great deal of time focusing on one word in Paul's letters.
Paul established many churches and on each set the seal/stamp ALLELON.
"Allelon" frequently translates as...
For Paul, the church was a place of training, and this training did not only entail teaching.
5 So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
1 Thess. 5:11
11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Cor. 12:25
25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
1 Thessalonians 3:12
12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.
We support each other.
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[a] Do not be conceited.
The interesting thing is, not one of these verses can be be fulfilled by staying at home...for Paul, this was the work
of the Holy Spirit, not by hearing a lesson.
A big part of our spiritual formation is being in embarrassing circumstances, and presenting ourselves in a less than favorable light. In that conflict we let the Holy Spirit transform us.
These words of Paul cannot be ignored.
God doesn't just want to save a few people; He wants a people reserved for Himself.
This was so important that God sent the Holy Spirit to carry out this plan...God does not search for parts of a body, but a finished, complete body.
When Paul sought proof of his ministry, what did he consider?
Speaking in tongues...NO
But..what was he looking for?
He looked for a group maturing together.
2 Corinthians 3:1-3
3 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
The term "Koinonia" means" coexistence."
First with God….
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Then with others..the church:
2 Corinthians 13:14
14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
How do we respond with those who wish to remain outside the Church and say it is a personal pilgrimage?
1. We recognize their wounds and the reasons they have to stay outside…and pray for the health that only comes by the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. Invite them to return to the body for the benefit of all.
A. They will mature.
B. We will mature.
C. We will see more clearly the work of the Holy Spirit.