Sundays

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We Aren't Related, But We're Family

Sunday, September 15, 2019

MESSAGE SERIES - Life on Mission: 3 Circles

Welcome to the Empowered Living Church (The ELC). We are celebrating the launch of this new church in our new location as we prepare for our next step. Thank you for being a part of God's victory. Our objective is to save souls, make disciples, and build God's kingdom. We are spending the month of September coming into a collective understanding of how we live a life on mission for God. Click HERE


EmpoweredLiving.Church/3circles

What is the church?

BIG IDEA

"We need one another to carry out the mission of God."

KEY SCRIPTURES ~ Ephesians 2:11-22 (NIV)

11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.


14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.


19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.




CONTEXT

This is a picture of biblical community: being part of the family of God and working together so that people see a clear portrait of who God can be as their Father.  


Here at The ELC we are intentional in our efforts to create and sustain a biblical community.  Together as believers we make up the body of Christ and operate as a picture of gospel transformation to the world in which we exist.  We are not judge, jury, and jailer. Instead, we strive to become the safe place in all of our lives where we as believers can repent, confess our sins celebrate our victories, learn from our failures, strengthen our faith, and get equipped to daily set out on a mission to expand God’s Kingdom here on earth.  


Two years ago, on the 3rd Sunday of September, a group of pioneers launched a new ministry to expand God’s Kingdom.  Two years ago, a group became a church family determined to please God through our labor, love, and loyalty to the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Yes, it’s National Back to Church Day. It is also celebrate the day we launched the Empowered Living Church!

TEACHING POINTS / THOUGHTS TO BUILD ON

Lesson 1: Community is a Non-Negotiable Reality


Ephesians 2:11-13 ~ 11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.


A solitary faith is not a Christian faith.  You can’t choose Jesus and not choose the church.  They are a package deal where you can’t have one without the other.  

Our Christian Community has a few commands given to us that are non-negotiable. For instance,


Love One Another


Isaiah 13:34-35 ~ 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 

Be Kind 


Ephesians 4:32 ~ 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

Encourage


1 Thessalonians 4:18 ~ Therefore encourage one another with these words.

The believers who died before the return of our Messiah will go up towards heaven first and the believers still alive upon His return will meet the others in the heavens together.  We need folks around us, folks in our church family, folks in our community to remind us of these facts so that we don’t go around sad and depressed but joyful with anticipation of our Lord’s return for us.  

 

Pray for each other


James 5:16 ~ 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  

 

We have a prayer team that prays for our church family, submitted prayer requests, and each other daily.  We divide the team up to cover everyday of the week. We are a praying church family. How’s your prayer life?

 

Lesson 2: Community is about being one


Ephesians 2:14-18 ~ 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.


Through the work of the cross we are now one Spirit.  We are now a family of believers. We are now formed into one body called the Church joined together with an inseparable bond.  Jesus came down from heaven to teach us the blessings of living on mission, to teach peace and unity over war and fractions between family members, and to bring us back into relationship with our God . . . because many of us, if not all of us, have a history of not showing ourselves worthy of God’s eternal love for us.  


Because of Jesus, God’s best and brightest, we have direct access to God by way of God’s Holy Spirit.  How is your anointing?


Lesson 3: Community is Messy

 

Community is your support system, your sustaining grace when you need encouragement, prayer, rebuke, or help with a struggle.  The church family is an essential part of living a life as a Believer and it is also just as messy, if not messier, then the lives we live with people that share the same last names, grandparents, and work.  Real relationships, real community, real families are messy and places where one not can, but will get hurt. 


“The church is a bunch of sinful people getting together with a bunch of sinful people working out sinful lives and believing that God will somehow use it all to grow the group toward maturity.” Dustin Wiliams, Life on Mission



CLOSING THOUGHT: We Aren’t Related, but We’re Family

Ephesians 2:19-22 ~ 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.


We are no longer foreigners to God’s people.  We are no longer strangers to God’s chosen. We are, as believers, in the same household, group, community, and family as the apostles and prophets of old.  We are not only related . . . we are family. We are a church family of believers who have more in common than we have differences. Our church family extends beyond these four walls.  Our church family is part of the big “C” Church established through Jesus’ victory over the cross. Our Church family is built on the foundation of Moses, Abraham, Isaiah, David, and other apostles and prophets.  Our Church family is built on the sweat, tears, and tarrying of the ol’ saints that stretched out before the Lord and would not leave His presence until the whole building was joined together. Our church family is built with power, strength, and authority of the chief cornerstone, our Lord and Savior Jesus the Messiah.  

 

Collectively and individually we are His temples built for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Are you filled with His Holy Spirit? Are you living your best life, because God’s Spirit rests, abides, and is flows within you?  


Today, we are hosting a community event after service. You may ask, why?  With intention, we did not invite people to join us for service here at our church.  Today is National Back to Church Sunday. Instead, we invited people to go to any church, anywhere.  Everyone was invited to bring their families out at 12 noon for a Free Family Fun community event called Video Game Truck Sunday.  We regularly invite our people from the larger community group to Free Fun Family events. We are are intentional about inviting our larger community group because 


  1. We want to encourage other Christians to engage with their neighbors
  2. We know that some people may have greater connection with our neighbors than we do
  3. We desire to display Jesus through our church family to our neighbors.  


John 13:34-35 ~ 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”