Our Philosophy of Ministry

What is "Biblical. Historial. Protestant."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Biblical-Historical-Protestant View of Church Life and Philosophy of Ministry

with Twin Lakes Bible Church in Phelps, WI

Introduction:

 

  1. Why is there such a need to mark out true churches? Who are the True churches in America? We must evaluate what a True Church is and upon further understanding, we do indeed need to maintain True Biblical. Historical. Protestant Churches according to the specifications of the New Testament.

  2. Because many churches are not True Churches there is a need to maintain Biblical. Historical. Protestant Faith Families.

  3. In a world where “church” is not about “being called out, separated into covenant with God” we need churches that will not be another...

    1. Business (many churches operate following Jim Collin’s “Good to Great”) Things do need to be done “decently and in order” 1 Cor 14:40 Here it is speaking of the services having an order to them, and it is not to be done randomly, but I also believe that the day to day operation of ministry need to be done decently well. We see that the OT is full of order, direction, intentionality and structure. However, at the end of the day to look to Business men to be the primary ones we look toward, at the neglect of Scripture is a recipe for certain disaster. Many have looked to programs and marketing to “grow their churches.”

    2. Country club (What’s in it for me? What programs do you have to offer my family? What kind of music do you have) are the overarching questions for many visiting churches today. Gauging services by “I liked that song” or “I liked that message” is a wrong compass to use. Because this reflects the mindset of self-worship, these families will be challenged patiently to re-evaluate their thinking or eventually be asked to be quiet or leave if they do not recalibrate their views.  

    3. Rock Show with a nice little self esteem, Moralistic, Therapeutic  message or chat to make congregants feel “comfortable.” Far too many churches are marketing Jesus to the wishes, wants and desires of the masses, and in so doing are actually worshiping their congregation, fearing their congregations, bending to their congregations and allow the whole service to be nothing but resurrecting countless Golden Calves of self worship. Many are claiming to worship God on Sundays while they are allowed to commit idolatry and often times led to worship self.

      1. Scriptural Support?: 1 Cor 10:11 “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.” This reminds us that these things were done as examples for us. It says vs. 7 “Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” It is referring to this scene of the Golden Calf in  Exodus 32:7-9 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, "Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8"They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, 'This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!'" 9The LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people.… R.C. Sproul in “What is Reformed Theology” notes on page 19 “What follows is an unprecedented act of apostasy: the making and worshiping of a Golden Calf...By making their own Bull-idol, Israel conformed their religion to the world around them. They made it and they could discard it or destroy it. The cow gave no law and demanded no obedience. It had no wrath or justice or holiness to be feared. It was deaf, dumb and impotent. But at least it could not intrude on their fun and call them to judgment.” And this is precisely what so many “churches” have done and are doing today. “This was a religion designed by men, practiced by men, and ultimately useless for men. Also we note that Aaron, the leader, catered to what these Israelites wanted which leads us to this next point…

      2. God’s promised outcome?… Those who have heaped unto themselves teachers who will do whatever the people demand and want, are not True Churches. 2 Timothy 4:2-5 “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” We are in that day today, full of churches who refuse to be the Ecclesia. They refuse to truly be “the called out ones”, rather they are disconnecting themselves from their true purposes and are guilty of worshiping self while they claim to worship God.  They are continuing on a trajectory to damnation. As in the case of the Golden Calf in Exodus 32 it says that about 3000 died that day. But here in 2 Timothy, a few verses later, we read about Demas and Alexandria…. men whom we understand to be blatant apostates. The eternal outcome is no different than those who had apostatized in Exodus.

  4. What we Do Need is True Churches who simply follow Christ and lead people to Christ through the Word  

 

What to Expect at Twin Lakes Bible Church

Vision: Follow Christ into Newness of Life.

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.”

Romans 6:4 “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

Following Christ as a disciple means that we, through faith and repentance of sins, pictured in the ordinance of Baptism must walk in Newness of Life meaning we lovingly submit to Jesus as Lord and Savior, entering into Covenant Community to walk in simple obedience until That Day.

Method: Christ-led, Word-centered, following God in faithful covenant where He promises to lead us.

John 1:1-5 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Psalm 119:11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:16  I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.

Hebrews 4: 11-13 “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

2 Timothy 3: 16-17

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Revelation 19: 13
He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.”

The Method for ministry will be through rich teaching and preaching in the Word of God in order that we may enjoy a relationship with the Father through Christ by the Spirit.

 

Mission: Glorify God by making disciples who walk in Newness of Life.

Matthew 28:18-20 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

God is glorified in His called out ones walking in obedience, exercising the rightful authority to preach the Gospel so that disciples are equipped through baptism, church membership, and faithful teaching of His Word which leads to walking in newness of life.

Our Growth “Philosophy”:Life Touching Life” through the Word of God into an active, real Faith.

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

2  Timothy 2:2 “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

Ephesians 4:11-17 “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 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, 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. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,”

 

Summary Expectation:

At Twin Lakes Bible Church, we don’t just stress membership - we emphasize what membership is, which is active-submissive participation. We are not a collection of consumers and we encourage all who attend to join and thereby actively participate in what God is doing at Twin Lakes Bible Church. The areas of involvement would include learning God’s Word, inviting friends and family to follow Christ, volunteering, creating community in a Life Group, and giving back to God through tithes and offerings. We call these categories of involvement the 4G’s.

 

The 4G’s

GROWTH

Our church would exist to walk in Newness of Life, and we want you to invite people in your life to experience the life-changing transformation that the message of Jesus Christ our Lord brings through faith, and repentance of sins which gives Newness of Life.

GIFTS

God has equipped each of us with gifts of the Spirit, all which has to do with knowing, sharing, showing and teaching the Word of God. At Twin Lakes Bible Church, we want to stress the importance of using your gifts to serve God's vision through the local church. We call this “every member missional.”

GIVING

At Twin Lakes we consider it a privilege to give back to God what He has so freely given to us. We celebrate generosity and the work God does through a Biblical view of sacrificial giving. The Biblical standard for the Church is to give at least 10% of our gross income back to God through the local assembly.

GROUPS

Participating in a Life Group is the best way to build community and foster spiritual growth at Twin Lakes. Through our Life Group(s), you can connect with others as you grow in covenant relationship with Christ the Word.

 

What to Expect in the Weekly Worship Gatherings

“It is expected that members will submit to a Biblical view of the Lord’s Day. Unless one is providentially hindered from Sunday Gatherings through being victimized by life’s circumstances, or taking R&R with vacations and holidays, it is the expectation that families will faithfully Gather together for Christian Education, the main Gathering and any Life Groups or formal prayer group time. Through the use of passionate worship with Biblical Historical Protestant preaching, passionate singing and proper prayer (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplications), we strive to present the Word of God in a clear and systematic way through series of expository messages which will aggressively cover whole books of the Bible. Twin Lakes chooses to have passionate, Biblically sound music program, and we believe in and maintain a conservative Biblical.Historical.Protestant theological position. Please prayerfully consider joining the cause of Christ here with us at Twin Lakes Bible Church.”

 

At Twin Lakes we also must summarize our Gathering as a Faith Family with the Three Pillars in a True Protestant Church as administering the Word, offer the ordinances regularly, and offering proper oversight (discipline and encouragement).

Let’s briefly examine the three marks of a True Church which Twin Lakes desires to practice:

Mark 1: Sound Doctrine The first mark of the church is the pure preaching of the Word of God and sound doctrine, for without this, the church could not possibly exist.(John 8:31, 47; 14:23; Gal. 1:8-9; 2 Thess. 2:15; 2 Tim. 3:16-4:4; 1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 9-11) John 8:31-32 states, “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The opposite is equally true, for if they do not abide in His Word, then He will not be in the midst of the them. In John 8:47 the same is said of those who hear, “He who is of God hears God’s words.” In John 14:23 the promise extends to the fellowship of Christ with the believer, “Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”

 

Mark 2: Right Administration of the ordinances (Sacraments) (1 Cor. 10:14-17, 21; 11:23-30)

1 Corinthians 11:23-30 “23For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.”

 

The second distinguishing mark of the true church is the right administration of the sacraments, which begins with sound doctrine and automatically should result in the unity of faith family. It is certainly true that where right doctrine is found, there will be a necessary overflow of that right doctrine into the teaching of the sacraments. Berkhof says, “The sacraments should never be divorced from the Word, for they have no content of their own, but derive their content from the Word of God; they are in fact, a visible preaching of the Word.” (Systematic Theology p. 577-78)  

 

Mark 3: The Right Administration of Discipline (Matthew 18:17; Acts 20:28-31a;Rom. 16:17-18a; 1 Cor. 5:1-5, 13; 14:33, 40; Gal. 6:1; Eph. 5:6, 11; 2 Thess. 3:14-15; 1 Tim. 1:20; 5:20; Titus 1:10-11; 3:10; Rev. 2:14-16a; 2:20).

The third distinguishing mark of the true church is the holiness of her members which is directly related to the right administration of church censure and discipline. This is exceedingly important for the maintaining of sound doctrine and for the proper administration of the sacraments. This has also become known as the “power of the keys” by which the officers of the church of Christ who have been given such Spirit transferred authority in ordination, may exercise the divine right to include or exclude those whom Christ has commanded to include or exclude. The keys, in this regard, are a visible Gospel proclamation of the Word of God, just as the sacraments are a visible preaching of it.



Philosophy of Ministry Continued

 

Our Upward Commitment: Praise and Glory to God… True Worship

The Importance of Worship that Pleases God (John 4:21-24)

God’s Purpose: “The Father Seeks” This was the purpose of His Creation, to seek worship.

John 4:23-”Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”

Psalm 19:1-6 “The heavens declare the glory of God;the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.

3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other, nothing is deprived of its warmth.

3. Isaiah 43:6-7 “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

4. Romans 1- Mankind rebelled from bearing that image of God, resisting their part to acknowledge the glory and greatness of their maker.

5. Ephesians 1: 11-12 “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

a) This was the purpose of creation

b) This was the purpose of redemption - that we would be to the praise of his glorious grace-Ephesians 1:6 says. We were created and redeemed that He would be glorified... not us.   Our worship is upward... it is all about the glory of God! God’s purpose in worship is that He is worshipped... that He alone is glorified, magnified and lifted up. Truly, the Father seeks worshippers.   

God’s Provision: “the hour is coming”

John 4:21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.” 23- Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth,” We celebrate the Spirit today on Pentecost Sunday! We worship because of the Spirit. We have full access to God now _The vail was rent from top to bottom.... Jesus obliterated the idea of a ‘sacred temple’. We now worship freely as the church to God through the Spirit of God. This building is not the church... YOU ARE THE CHURCH> So as I have been brought here to help stir some revitalization... who must be revitalized? Every single one of YOU must be revitalized and moved, YOU as the church, must be changed! Church is not a place... It is a people! You are that people in need of fresh worship with the fresh renewing of this Spirit! Indeed, the hour has come for all the people of God to be moved. God has provided for worship, we must accept it and partake in it.

The Identification of Worship that Pleases God

It is Spiritual Worship, John 4:24 “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit”

We cannot reduce our worship to external form... We already talked about how in vs. 23 that tabernacle worship and external rituals were to be carefully guarded against. He obliterated that kind of worship.

We cannot worship apart from the stirring in our souls. For God is not material but spirit. So we cannot reduce our worship to merely external form. We have a hard time disconnecting ourselves from the Physical. But we must worship internally from the heart. We must be STIRRED, CONVICTED, MOVED, FEEL JOY and SORROW! COMFORTED when we worship! Do these words describe you when you worship? Again, we cannot reduce our worship to mere motion and formality. It is Spiritual Worship! Do we worship in Spirit!

It is Scriptural Worship John 4:22 “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know” We see a difference between ignorant worship and true worship. In order to worship it has to be about “seeking truth about the object of worship... God!” Again, the focus is not on self but God. He is the object of worship. We are to be truth seekers concerning God! So, in order to worship God, we must know Him, and in order to know Him, we must worship Him. Therefore the worship is centered around His Word. In Matthew 15  Christ quotes Isaiah and says “Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:8 “‘These people honor me with their lips  but their hearts are far from me.9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’”Christ came to free us from man-centered worship, instead he offers us the opportunity to worship as we ought. Worship in Truth. It is Scriptural Worship.

It is Sincere Worship. “it is to be done in Spirit and Truth” In Short Worship must engage our external being, our thoughts and mind and emotions, from an inward disposition or attitude full of humility before God.

In short, what is your barometer concerning worship at the end of the day?

Is it concerned mainly with “I like it today!” I like that sermon, or I didn’t like that sermon, or I liked that song, or I didn’t like that song?

Or is it “I pray that God is pleased with our worship today! And we came to do what we were supposed to do and I gave Him my all today!” What is your focus, yourself, or God? The first concern is one that God is not pleased with, the second concern toward God is what He desires of His children....

Consider your children... What would please you? Does it please you when your children are self-absorbed and don’t care about others or you?

Consider your children when they seek to please you? now imagine How God feels when His children gather together to worship Him and are self absorbed in the process. Has worship of God happened? Or worship of self? The one who says “I like this or that” is concerned with self. The one who says “I hope God accepts our worship today because we came to do what we were supposed to do” is spot on. That is one who is concerned with worshipping the father in Spirit and Truth.

The Ingredients of Worship that Pleases God

***Worship is the gathering of God’s people in God’s presence in order to exalt Him through prayer, praise, the presentation of ourselves and our gifts, participation in the sacraments and the proclamation of His Word.

The People-

Be faithful in Gathering. Hebrews 10:25 “ Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

In His Name Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

As a Church (Not divided) I Corinthians 11: 18, 20 “when you come together as a church”

The Place- You are the Temple and you gather as the Temple- It is about the people, not place.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 6 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. I Cor. 14:24-26 “24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. We see here too that only those who profess Christ and have repented of their sins are apart of worship. Not until that stranger repents and see Christ among you, will they be apart of worship.

I Timothy 3:15 “you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” The church is wherever the people are.

The Purpose-

Ephesians 3:21 “21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” We exist to glorify God! We are to gather and Glorify God the Father with one another and to magnify His Name forever! From generation to generation, as I talked about last Sunday, we are to teach the next generation to Glorify God by our teaching and example!

1 Peter 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

The Pattern

Prayer

1 Timothy 2:1-4, 8 “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

Praise-

Ephesians 5:19 “speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,”

Col 3:16 “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

 

Presentation of ourselves and our gifts to the Lord,

Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

1 Corinthians 8:1-5 “And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.”

Participation in the Sacraments, Acts 2:41, 1 Corinthians 11:17-32 We see examples of the early church regularly participating in the two sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism.

Proclamation of His Word, 1 Timothy 4: 13 ;16 “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.”

 

Our Inward Commitment: Fellowship and Edification (Eph 2:14-18)

 

Importance: Understanding Biblical Fellowship will deter Christians from an exclusively individualistic approach to church.

 

God’s Purpose for Redemption is Communal

We are added to the body of Christ at Salvation

He established a people (Church) for Himself through which He shows his glory (Eph 3:8)

 

2. God’s Plan for Sanctification is Communal (Eph 4:11-16)

     a)God’s Will for the growth of believers is in the body of Christ.

     b)Each member serves in the church to see that all members grow in Christlikeness.

     c)No one member is important than another member, and the church must guard itself from any of that thinking. It is about the body. Growth is to take place in the church.

The Spirit must be working

The Word must be taught

Church functions to teach and give accountability

 

3. God’s Plan for Evangelism is Communal (I Peter 2; Eph 3:8-10; Rom 15)

     a)God is saving people to build His Church to glorify Himself(Eph 2:10)

     b)This rules out “easy-believism” and a selfish approach to the Word of God

     c)He saves that we may serve Him

 

*1 Peter 2:9-10-The list he gives is communal, We are a list of “Communal ideas” so that we may proclaim the excellency of God. Why?because we once were not in Him but now we are in Him. So, now we can proclaim the Gospel of Christ. This is to show in our love one for another. Evangelism has not produced long-term commitment to Christ. It has not produced genuine disciples of Christ.

     d)The Proclamation of the Message must be clear

     e)We must build spiritual relationships that display Christ’s love.

*The Nature of Spiritual Relationships-It is the out-flowing of God’s grace in and through his people because they share the Spirit of God. The Church is not a Social Club. It is different from any other human institution.

*Spiritual Relationships- It involves the Spirit changing a person to become like our Lord Jesus Christ. We are to be Spirit controlled and led. Relationships then must be spirit filled and led. We are to submit to one another in love and in the fear of God. We must recognize that they are indwelled by the Spirit of God and we must not harm those that are indwelled as we are. I John-If there is no love being exhibited then we are liars and do not the Truth.

1. We must have a love for God and His Truth

2. We must have  a love for God’s People

*The bond of Love: Seeks our brother’s Spiritual betterment by:

1.serving

2.sacrificing

3.sanctifying

 

*We must seek to help each other to grow in Godliness.

 

**Application question: How much of our conversation involves the very person for why we exist as a church?

Our Outward Commitment: Evangelism (Phil 1)

Accepting the Gospel makes us partners of the Gospel

We as a follower and disciple of Christ must engage in the Great Commission.

1 Thess 1:2 Paul is thankful that the believers had been so changed by the Gospel that they were indeed imitators and began spreading the Word all around. They gave evidence of a Spirit changed life.

     B. Advancing the Gospel is more important than our lives

1. Phil 1:12,19-21, Paul is imprisoned and is concerned that through his imprisonment that the Gospel would be spread and go forth for the Glory of God.

2. Paul measures the Gospel more important than his life.

*2 gifts are given

i) belief

ii ) suffer for His sake

*Application-anything short of dying for the Gospel is included in the package.

-Job

-vacation

-money

       *any resource should be considered expendable and sacrificial for the sake of the Gospel. If the Gospel is more important than my life, then it is to be more important than anything in my life. Therefore our life is to be for the advancement of the Gospel for the Glory of our God.

 

*We are to boldly proclaim the Gospel while living like we truly believe it.

The message Phil 1:12- The Message IS Christ (2 Cor 4:5)

The means -We must proclaim. It is verbal (vs.16-18) It is far more than just living it. They must be saved by hearing the Word. We must be ready to defend the Gospel and give answers in defense of our God. We must claim Him. If we know God then we must proclaim that He is our God.

The manner-Acts 4, Acts 14- We must proclaim Him boldly. Not timidly and without apology. We must practice courage and confidence and show our faith in our God. The Glory of God is on the line. Acts 4:31- The Spirit is at work and must be coupled with faith. This also requires consecration. We must be worthy of the Gospel. We must live like we truly believe it. The standard of my actions must no longer be what I  want but what about the Gospel. It must be credible because of a changed life.

*Sin must be taken very seriously and dealt with. We are to be blameless in our character and integrity. Phil 3:20-21 We must live for Eternity. The Gospel is not to feed my self-esteem.

*Our selfishness and our focus is to be not on me or my desires or this earth. The Gospel is not for making my life better now or to feed my self-esteem.

Application: Reality for the Church

*The Gospel must be reflected in our lives and in our verbal communication

It is the content of our worship

It is the strength of our fellowship

It is the zeal of our mission-This is the weakest aspect of the American Church.