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8. A Living Church

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In Your Bible Read This

1 Corinthians chapters 12 to 14

Here Is Your Memory Verse

I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16, 18-19

Afterwards Talk About This

Next time you go to church why will you go, and what will you expect?

Something To Do Before Next Time

Next time you go to church be sure that you seek God for a gift to take to someone who will be there, and make sure they receive it before you go home.

Written Diploma Work

Write a page respectfully suggesting changes that would bring about positive progress in church life.

Meditate Word By Word On This Verse

2 Timothy 1, 6-7

Spend a Minute to Change the World

Pray For American Native Indians – 2,000,000 people, 266 groups. Poverty, disease, unemployment, small but growing response to Jesus.

Be sure to teach this lesson to others. Always pray and prepare well adding your own verses and stories to bring it to life.

Why Do You Go To Church?

Some people go to church out of a sense of duty or because it is Sunday morning. For some it is a good place to find business or they like the feeling they get. Others go because their friends go and it is the centre of social life. People go to be entertained on Sundays or to be enlightened, or to hear great speakers. Some go to please their spouse, or to find a wife or husband and some even go to get away from their wife or husband. Hopefully some go to learn the Bible as well.

What Is The Church?

Whether it is the Church universal which is the worldwide gathering of millions of believers or the local church round the corner, a 'church' is always the people and never the building. We are the Church, the 'House of the Lord.'

A New Community

The Church is a radical alternative society that is supernaturally enabled by the Holy Spirit. A community that is united in faith, bears each others burdens, and offers disciplined living with close fellowship, accountability and action.

A People Focused On God

Church means joy, prayer and worship to celebrate our Heavenly father's daily goodness. More grace is received through baptism, the Lord's Table and the presence of God.

Destined To Triumph

Jesus promised to build his church and that the gates of hell would not prevail as the Church advances against them. Matthew 16.18.

Think about these pictures too from the Bible. The Church is the family of God, a building with Jesus as the Builder and the Cornerstone, a living body with Jesus as the head, a flock with Jesus as the shepherd, a bride with Jesus the bride-groom, a casket of jewels, branches of the vine, a temple with Jesus being the high priest, an army and as a powerhouse of prayer.

Want To Know More?

Use your concordance to find the Bible verses for these references to church.

What Happens At Church?

We Meet With Jesus

Jesus is present even when just two or three are met together in his name, offering forgiveness, acceptance and eternal life. Matthew 18.20

We Hear From Jesus

Through his word and his Spirit.

We Are Healed By Jesus

Jesus, the same yesterday, today and forever is still our healer.

We Worship God Together

God dwells in the praises of his people.

We Strengthen Each Other

Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 14.26 that when the church meets, everyone should come with a gift from God for someone else. Paul mentions five gifts here but there are many more that meet the needs of the people in church.

Let’s Unwrap God's Gifts

1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 explains God's gifts and shows us how to use the different gifts, properly 12.4.

Communication Gifts

Tongues, let you speak in languages that you have never learned. Interpretation, to know what is said. Prophecy, which should always be welcomed, reviewed and tested.

Revelation Gifts

Words of knowledge, from God's eternal store of information. Word of wisdom, to know what to do. Discernment of evil (not human) spirits.

Power Gifts

His faith, that moves mountains. Healings are God's gifts for sick people. Miracles, literally, deeds of power.

Gifts That Make Leaders

Ephesians 4,11 and 1 Cor. 12, 27-31.

Gifts For All God's People

Romans 12, 6-8 and 1 Peter 4, 8-11.

Prophesying, not being a Prophet, but bringing God's word to strengthen, comfort and encourage people, 14.3.

Serving, means happily helping others!

Teaching, but this does not mean you must have the gift of the Teacher.

Encouraging, like Barnabas, Acts 11.23

Giving, being willing to share God's blessings with others, is a great gift.

Governing, is the elder's gift.

Mercy, is to help you to help the weak.

Administration is a vital gift that organises the church activities.

Other gifts include the intercessor, elder, deacon, singer, teacher of songs, door-keeper and priest. No wonder Paul says to stir up the gift in us, 2 Tim. 1.6; 1 Tim. 4.14. There are different things to do with the gifts and different ways of working with the same gift, but God is in them all. All are given by the Holy Spirit as he wishes. We neither choose our gifts, nor can we switch gifts on and off, rather we use them in love. 1 Cor. 12, 5-6 and all Chapter 13.

Is There Any Ranking?

The Bible says that apostles and prophets lead the way and then come teachers to keep us straight. After that all the gifts are important, so discover the gift that God has given you and develop it by serving others.

Philip began as an administrator but became an evangelist and Paul began as a teacher and grew into an apostle. Ephesians 2.20, 1 Corinthians 12,28.

If another brother or sister is more gifted than us in a certain area, we should bring people to them who we cannot help. Together we are God's team, the complete body of Jesus in today's world. See 1 Cor. 12.12-27

To Close Pray for the World's Most Unreached Peoples by Name

Taken from the Joshua Project Unreached Peoples List these people have no church and as yet no cell, church or mission has committed themselves to prayer, adoption or church planting among this people


People Name Language Population
Parsee Parsi (Parsee) 50,000
Shughni (Shugnan-Rush) Shugni 35,000
Tatar Tatar 75,000
Turkmen (Turkoman) Turkmen 14,000
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