1. To explain what the church is.
2. To explain why the church is needed.
3. To stimulate the new Christian to develop meaningful relationships within the body.
A. Matthew 16:16-18
1. The church belongs to Christ.
2. "Church" simply means assembly. It is comprised of those who have been called out of darkness to live a holy life.
3. Church may be used in a local sense or a universal sense.
B. I Corinthians 12:12-27 / Romans 12:1-8
1. The church is often called the "body of Christ." (Col. 1:18)
2. When did you become a part of the body?
3. What kind of concern should you have for those in the body?
4. There should be no division in the body! (Psalm 133)
5. We all belong to each other. No one should try to be a "Lone Ranger" Christian.
6. What do you have to offer to the body?
C. Hebrews 3:12-13 / Hebrews 10:24-25
1. Why do you need encouragement?
2. Why would a Christian want "daily" contact with other Christians?
3. What should you take into consideration concerning fellow Christians?
4. How may you do that?
5. Why is it discouraging for someone to miss meetings without communicating why they are not there?
6. Just as a log taken from a fire will die out more quickly, so will a Christian removed from relationships within the body.
7. When it comes to assemblies, it is not so much a matter of "have to" as "want to". (Psalm 122:1)
8. Benefits of the local congregation:
a. It provides organization for the believers.
b. It facilitates fellowship and encouragement.
c. It provides for the teaching of believers.
d. It gives opportunity for group worship of God.
e. It provides opportunities for service.
1. Memory verse: Hebrews 10:24-25
2. Continue Foundations.
3. Continue books of Old Testament: Ezra-Song of Songs
4. Contact a different Christian each day this week and encourage them some way.
5. Suggested reading:
a. Our Life Together by James Thompson (SPC)
b. Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Harper & Row)
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