The EndQuestions and Discussion
a) We are Created for communityi) Its not good for man the be alone Gen. 2:18ii) No barriers between God, Adam & Eveb) Rebelling from communityi) Alienation with God and othersii) Continue tension between breaking out & seeking for relationshipc) Restored to communityi) From a family come a nation, come an ultimate promise, tod) We are Recreated in communityi) Jesus gather a community of disciples (1) Committed to Him(2) Committed to His authority (Mark 8, after realizing who he was, they also need to recognize His/their destiny)(3) Commit to each other (Mark 9, if you want to be first, you need to be last)ii) His death reconnect the human community back to Gode) Reconciled into communityi) Taking people who are alienated from God and each other; building them into a community, which deeply cares for each other and allows God to care for them.ii)These community preserve the truth of the Gospel from the pagan invasion in the middle ages and spreading it during the recent years
What are these people now have in common?Shared-experiences: a) Accepted Peters message, b) Baptized, c) devoted to the teaching+fellowship+break_bread+prayer d) filled with aweWhat are their attitudes?Self-disclosure/risk/sacrificing: Selling possession, give to the needy, has everything in commonWhat work/effort did they put in?Effort/commitment/accountability: every day meet in the temple courts and in the home, break bread, eating, etc.Who is at the core of these experiences, attitudes and efforts?All was done in Christ
1: Shared-experiences: Bonding is what happened when spent time together, early and often.2: Self-disclosures: Remember the barriers and alienation effects from the Fall? It carried with us, and it will take time to get there, but it needs to get there. Without it, all we would have is shallow acquaintances and no deep support at all.3: Commitment/Accountability: because all of us expecting deeper fellowship, we will need to put our effort in to build it. Community cannot be build from a single side, it requires both sides. Without that, its similar to a one sided relationship, say a couple date together, have self-disclosures and shared-experiences, but not willing to commit to marriage, to work things out through thick and thin (think: Divorce!)
4: Unity in Christ: this is the substance! Without that, we are just a gang! No power to change, to impactIf we believe the gospel, we believe that the deepest communities are spiritual in connection, and the deepest spiritual connection with each other is ultimately only available in our relationship with Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Lord. In him is recognition of our sin and profound need for forgiveness and healing; in him is restoration and regeneration; in him is the call to link arms as brothers and sisters to reach the world with the gospel.Long, J. 1997, c1995. Small group leaders' handbook : The next generation. InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, Ill.
Heres the problem of unhealthy from off-balance:Big head (teaching too much, people dont do anything about what they heard, too objective)Oversized Heart (too much upward motion, become so emotional dependent, too subjective)Selfish Fat (focus on self too much, lose sight of the mission to the lost)Big Hand (focus on tasks too much, martha syndrome, legalistic)EMPHASIZE the problem we had!
Ephesus: losing heart, no more love, lack APergamum: losing mind, bad teaching TThyatira: Lots of service, bad teaching TSardis: Lack of deeds (service?)Philadelphia: little strengthLaodicea: community lacking!Emphasize the key idea of result is making disciples, not just to have a fruitless dead weight.