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The Fruit Of The Spirit – Goodness

Goodness (Agathōsunē)

Introduction

  • Today we will Discuss Goodness.
  • Definitions
    • KJV & NIV translates it as “goodness;” NRS, “generosity.”
    • In English “good” is a wide and general term.
    • Greek – Agathōsunē, “goodness,” is similar to Chrēstotēs, “kindness.” It is generosity that springs from a heart that is kind

Use in the LXX (Greek Old Testament)

Use in the New Testament

  • Three Other Occurrences – “goodness” (2 Th 1:11; Ep 5:9; Ro 15:14)
  • “Goodness” is often Paired with “Justice.”
    • Matthew 20:15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
    • Justice concerns itself with accurate payment (for good or ill); goodness concerns itself with generosity.
  • “Good” is often contrasted with “evil” or “bad.” In Mt 20:15 “evil eye” (envious) is contrasted with “good” (generous).
  • One who is characterized by Agathōsunē does not just give what is due, but good that was never deserved. It reflects the quality of generosity that is contrasted with grudging, stingy giving.

Applications:

  • A Good Person is a Generous Person, a stingy person is not good.
  • A Kind, Generous Heart Expresses itself in Action.
  • God’s Generous Character is Seen in the Way He Treats Us.
  • Are you a Generous Person?

Goodness, Agathōsunē, is similar to Chrēstotēs, kindness. It is generosity that springs from a heart that is kind.  It is used in both the Greek OT and the NT to describe the “good” that God bestows on his people (prosperity, joy, pleasure, etc.).  In Matthew 20:15 we find a definite comparison between generosity (good) and greed or stinginess (evil).

Matthew 20:15  Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’  (KJV, “Or is your eye evil because I am good?”).

More than that, goodness is often paired or contrasted with justice.  Justice concerns itself with accurate payment (for good or ill); goodness concerns itself with generosity. God is generous with us; he gives us what we need instead of what we deserve.  God’s generosity (goodness) is an example for us to be generous to others with our praise, good works, and finances.

Are you generous?  Are you trying to be more like God?  I’ll say more in my lesson!

Have a Great Week!  Joey

By | 2021-10-23T21:34:03-06:00 October 23rd, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Fruit Of The Spirit – Kindness

Kindness (Chrēstotēs)

Introduction

  • Today we will Discuss Kindness.
  • Definitions
    • KJV translates it as “gentleness;” NIV, et.al., “kindness.”
    • Greek – Chrēstotēs, “kindness”
    • The sympathetic kindliness or sweetness of temper which puts others at ease, and shrinks from giving pain” -Plummer.
    • In the Greek Old Testament it is used most commonly for God; it is often translated as “good” (Ps 106:1; 25:7).

I.  God Is Kind. He Expresses His Kindness…

II.  God’s Kindness Motivates Humans to Be Kind.

  • Kindness is Not a Part of the Sinful Nature (Ps 14:1-3; 53:3).
  • Kindness Can be Corrupted through Bad Company (1 Co 15:33).
  • Kindness is Commanded (Ps 37:3; Co 3:12).
  • Kindness is Possible Because of God’s Kindness (Ep 4:32).

Applications:

  • Kindness Reflects a Quality of Character (Ez 27:22, “precious stones”; Je 24:1-5, “good figs”) – valued, useful, precious.
  • Kindness Reflect a Mellow Graciousness of Character Contrasted with Harshness and Roughness (Luke 5:39, “old wine is better”).
  • Kindness Means Treating Others the Way God Treats Us.

Psalm 14:1-3  The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good2 The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.  3 All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

In Psalm 14, fool refers to the morally deficient person (as opposed to mentally deficient). The Psalmist is describing humanity in their sinful nature.  The description continues, there is no one who does good.”  In the LXX (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible), good is translated as chrēstotē (kindness), “there is no one doing kindness.”  My point here is that kindness is a defining characteristic of the regenerated nature (new birth, new creation, humanity 2.0). Children of God are kind. The Spirit is responsible for developing this trait in our lives, but we must cooperate.  Plummer describes kindness as “The sympathetic kindliness or sweetness of temper which puts others at ease, and shrinks from giving pain.”

Are you kind?  Is God living in you?  I’ll say more in my lesson!

Have a Great Week!  Joey

By | 2021-10-16T22:30:49-06:00 October 16th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Fruit Of The Spirit – Patience

Patience (Makrothumia)

Introduction

  • Today we will Discuss Patience.
  • Definitions
    • Greek – Makrothumia – , “long-tempered”
    • KJV translates it as “long-suffering;” NIV, et.al., “patience.”
    • Expresses attitude toward people & events – never loses patience, hope, etc.; never admits defeat.

I.  Patience in the Greek Old Testament & Apocropha

  • Patience with Events (1 Macc. 8:4; Rome’s Greatness Attributed to her Policy of never Admitting Defeat)
  • Patience with People (Never Loses Hope or Grows Bitter)
    • It is the Basis of Forgiveness (Pr 19:11).
    • It is the Basis of Humility (Ec 7:8).
    • It is the Basis of all good Relationships (Pr 15:18)
    • It is the Basis of True Wisdom (Pr 14:29)
    • It is the Basis of all True Power (Pr 16:32)
  • Patience Describes the Character of God (Ex 34:6; Ne 9:17)

II.  Patience in the New Testament

Applications:

  • Patience with Others is a Mark of the Indwelling Spirit.
  • Patience in Difficult Circumstances is a Mark of the Holy Spirit.
  • God is Patient with Us, but His Patience will Not Last Forever.

I like the old KJV translation of patience – “long-suffering.” It expresses the meaning of makrothumia succinctly; it is the willingness to suffer long in regard to people and circumstances.  People can be so exhausting!  They take your time, consume your resources, get on your nerves, irritate you, interrupt your day, work against you, hurt your feelings – do I even have to go on?  You know what I mean. The same is true with trying circumstances. Life has a way of doling out aggravation, difficulty, and suffering. We either choose to lose our cool or “suffer long” through it.

This quality of choosing to suffer long is called patience and is the fourth virtue Paul lists in Galatians 5:16-23.  Patience is a fruit of the Spirit which means, like the others, it is produced by the Spirit in our lives as a part of his transforming work.  Remember though, we have to cooperate with his work by following his lead. This is one of the virtues in which it is so easy to give up and “grieve the Spirit.” The next time you are faced with trying people or circumstances pray that God would fill you with his patience and help you to endure.

Have a Great Week!  Joey

By | 2021-10-09T20:19:13-06:00 October 9th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Fruit Of The Spirit – Peace

Peace (Eirēnē)

Introduction

  • Today we will Discuss Peace (Eirēnē, Used 88 Times).
  • Definitions
    • English – Peace: “The absence of war/trouble.
    • Hebrew – Shalōm: “Everything that Makes for a Person’s Highest Good.” It is translated “Soundness of Body,” “Welfare,” “Prosperity.”
    • Greek – Eirēnē: “Serenity,” “Tranquility,” “The Perfect Contentment of a Life which is Completely Happy & Secure.”

I.  Peace is Most Commonly Used as a Greeting

  • Grace and Peace to You (Ro 1:7)
  • Combining of Greek and Jewish Greetings

II.  Peace Has Recognizable Sources

  • Trust (Ro 15:13)
  • Faith which Has Turned to Action (Ro 2:9-10)
  • God (Ph 4:6-9)
  • Jesus Christ (Jo 14:27)

III.  Peace is Right Relationships in Every Sphere of Life

  • Within the Home (1 Co 7:15)
  • Between Jew and Gentile (Ep 2:13-18)
  • Within the Church (Ep 4:3; Co 3:15)
  • Between our Fellow Human Beings (He 12:14)
  • Between Humans and God (Ro 5:1; Co 1:19-22)

Applications:

  • Peace is the Expression of Perfect Welfare.
  • Peace is a Gift from God, but we Must Seek and Pursue it (1 Pe. 3:11; 2 Pe 3:14).
  • Peace within our Relationships does not Come Easy, but when we Pursue it with our Whole Hearts, God Provides.
  • Peace with God is our Greatest Blessing.

Peace is the third virtue produced by Spirit, as he works to create within us the character of Jesus, listed by Paul in Galatians 5:16-23. Peace in the Greek is Eirēnē; it means Serenity,” “Tranquility,” “The Perfect Contentment of a Life which is Completely Happy & Secure.” Eirēnē is the equivalent of the Hebrew Shalōm which means “Everything that Makes for a Person’s Highest Good.” Shalōm can translated “Soundness of Body,” “Welfare,” “Prosperity.” As you can see, both of these roughly equivalent terms mean much more than our English use of peace, “The absence of war/trouble.

As with all the other fruit in this list, peace is the product of God’s activity in our lives.  This includes peace within, peace in the midst of circumstances, and peace within our relationships.  We all need peace in our lives.  This is especially true in our conflict laden world.  Just think of what we have experienced over the last two years – war and the threat of war; political and social unrest; economic uncertainty; and sickness, death, and fear from the pandemic. These circumstances along with the doom, gloom, and discord from the various media – including social media – erode our sense of well-being and mental health.  Thank God that he has an endless supply of peace for those who seek to be more like Jesus!

By | 2021-10-02T18:03:01-06:00 October 2nd, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Fruit Of The Spirit – Joy

Joy (Chara)

Introduction

  • Today we will Discuss Joy.
  • Charein (rejoice, 72 times); Chara (joy, 60 times)
  • Joy Must be Distinguished from Happiness.

I.  There is Joy in Christian Fellowship

  • Fellowship (Phm 7; Ph 4:10)
  • Fellowship Restored (2 Co 7:6-7, 13)
  • Fellowship Reunited (2 Jo 12)

II.  There is Joy in the Gospel

  • The Joy of the New Discovery (Lk 2:10; Mt 28:8; Lk 24:52)
  • The Joy of Receiving the Gospel (1Th 1:6; Ac 8:8; 39)
  • The Joy of Believing (Ro 15:13; Ph 1:25)
  • The Sternness of Christian Joy
  • Joy in Discipline and Testing (Ja 1:2 ; Jo 16:21, 22)
  • Joy in Persecution (Ac 13:50-52; 2 Co 6:4-10; 1 Th 1:6)

III.  There is Joy in the Christian Work and Witness

  • The Joy of Seeing God in Action (Lk 10:17; 13:17; 19:37)
  • The Joy of Seeing the Spread of the Gospel (Ac 15:3)
  • The Joy of a Teacher in the Progress of his People  (Co 2:5; 2 Jo 4; 3 Jo 4)
  • The Joy of Giving Others Joy (Jo 15:11; 17:3; 1 Jo 1:4)
  • The Joy of Seeing Our Converts Saved (Ph 4:1; 1 Th 2:19-20)
  • The Joy of God (Lk 15:7, 10, 32)

Applications:

  • The Fruit of Joy is a Distinguishing Characteristic of the Christian Life (Ph 4:4; 1 Th 5:16; Ro 14:17).
  • The Fruit of Joy is a Byproduct of Christian Living Derived from fellowship, the gospel, and ministry.
  • The Fruit of Joy is Available even in trials and persecution.
  • The Fruit of Joy is Produced by the Spirit.

Christian joy is to be distinguished from happiness.  Generally speaking, happiness is dependent upon circumstances, but joy is a blessing imparted by the Holy Spirit as a part of the fruit he produces in the lives of believers. If we don’t make this distinction, we risk allowing the disap­pointments, sorrows, and tragedies of life to steal away that joy. The Holy Spirit opens our eyes (Ephesians 1:17-20) to the tremendous love and faithfulness of God as expressed in Christ.  This love produces trust in his faithful transformation of our character into the image of Christ and hope in our eternal glory. The end result is joy—even in the midst of suffering.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.  5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us (Romans 5:1-5).

This week we will be studying the joy produced by the Spirit.  I’ll say more in the lesson. Be sure to print out your bulletin or pick up a copy in the foyer so you can complete the fill-in-the-blank outline.

By | 2021-09-25T11:41:06-06:00 September 25th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Fruit Of The Spirit – Love

            Love (Agape)

Introduction
A.  Our New Series is Based on Galatians 5:13-26.
B.  Today we will Discuss Love (5:22-26).
I.  Love Defined (The Greeks Had a Word for It):
A.  Eros – Sexual Love (Strawberry Shortcake)
B.  Philia – Friendship Love (Bowling Buddy)
C.  Storge – Family Love (Aunt Mabel)
D.  Agape – Unselfish Love (Self-Sacrificing)
II.  Love (Agape) Demonstrated – God
A.  A Completely Undeserved Love (Ro 5:8)
B.  A Productive and Transforming Love (Ro 5:3-8)
C.  An Inseparable Love (Ro 8:35-39)
D.  A Great Love (Ep 2:4-7)
III.  Love (Agape) Demonstrated – Jesus
A.  A Love that Surpasses Knowledge (Ep 3:19)
B.  The Pattern for Christians (Ep 5:2; 1 Jo 3:16)
C.  The Controlling Dynamic of Christians (2 Co 5:14)
IV.  Love (Agape) Commanded for Christians
A.  The Atmosphere of the Christian Life (Ep 5:1; Co 3:14)
B.  The Universal Motive of the Christian Life (1 Co 16:14)
Applications:
A.  The Spirit Produces the Fruit of Love but we Must Cooperate.
B.  The Spirit Produces the Fruit of Love in our Relationships.
1.  Saints (Ep 1:15; Ro 12:9-10) / Leaders (1 Th 5:12-13)
2.  All Men (1 Th 3:12; Ga 6:10)
3.  Enemies (Mt 5:44)
C.  The Spirit Produces the Fruit of Love in Action.
1.  Practical Generosity (2 Co 8:8, 24; 1 Jo 3:17-18)
2.  Forgiveness (2 Co 2:7-8)

Love

Those who allow the Holy Spirit to lead them in their Christian walk will exhibit certain behaviors. Paul calls these behaviors The Fruit of the Spirit. As I mentioned in last week’s lesson these characteristics are not so much things we “do” as they are traits that are produced in us as the Spirit transforms us into the image of Christ.  This is not to say we have no part in the transformation (see Romans 12:1-2); we must cooperate with the Spirit’s work.  This is what is meant by “walking in the Spirit” or being “led by the Spirit.

This week we will be studying love (agape). This is the self-sacrificing, active good will that is demonstrated in God’s benevolent faithfulness to humankind and Jesus’ self-sacrificing death on our behalf.  Love is the crowing virtue of the Christian life in that is surpasses all other forms of piety.  It is the universal motive of everything we do. It is expressed to friends and enemies alike.  A love like this does not come naturally for human beings due to our sinful nature (flesh); that is why it has to be created in us by God.  I’ll say more in the lesson.

Be sure to print out your bulletin or pick up a copy in the foyer so you can complete the fill-in-the-blank outline. We provide a completed outline in our weekly blog.
Links to the life group lesson for the week of 9/19/2021 can be found here.

Have a Great Week!  Joey

By | 2021-09-18T22:55:39-06:00 September 18th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Fruit Of The Spirit – The Works Of The Flesh

Introduction

A.  Our New Series is Based on Galatians 5:13-26.
 B.  Today we will Discuss the Works of the Flesh (5:19-21).

I.  Works/Deeds vs. Fruit (5:19, 22)

Works/Deeds are Produced by Us; Fruit is Produced in Us.

II.  Corrupted Sexuality

A.  Porneia – Sexual Immorality (All Forms)
B.  Akatharsia – Impurity (Defilement of the Personality)
C.  Aselgeia – Debauchery (Shameless Behavior)

III.  Corrupted Religion

A.  Eidololatreia – Idolatry (Usurping God’s Place)
B.  Pharmakeia – Witchcraft (Use of Drugs to Poison, Curse, or Kill)

IV.  Corrupted Relationships

A.  Echthrai – Hatred (Class, Racial, Interpersonal Enmity)
B.  Eris – Discord (The Disruption of Life that Comes from Hatred)
C.  Zelos – Jealousy (Admiration turned to Ambition)
D.  Thumos – Fits of Rage (Anger, Angry Outbursts)
 E.  Eritheia – Selfish Ambition (Self-promotion)
F.  Dichostasia – Dissensions (Divisions)
G.  Hairesis – Factions (Divisions into Cliques, Parties)
H.  Phthonos – Envy (Bitter Envy, Hatred, Resentment)

V.  Corrupted Blessings (Food & Drink)

A.  Methe – Drunkeness (Uncontrolled Drinking)
B.  Komos – Orgies (Gluttonous or Drunken Parties)

Lessons:

A.  Sin + Human Nature Corrupts all God Intended for Good.
B.  The Indwelling Spirit is our Only Recourse in this Struggle.
C.  Those Who Live Like this Will NOT Enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

We have just begun a sermon series entitled, The Fruit of the Spirit.  These lessons are based on Galatians 5:13-26.  I will be providing fill-in-the-blank outlines for these lessons each week in the bulletin.  I encourage you to print out a copy of the bulletin before you come to services or pick one up in the foyer when you arrive.

These messages will also provide the basis of our Life Group lessons for many of our small groups.  We are emphasizing group building and life application in these lessons. I will have lesson sheets available for group leaders each Sunday.  Also Dropbox links  to these Life Group lessons can be found here.

Have a Great Week!  Joey

By | 2021-09-11T21:30:18-06:00 September 11th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Fruit Of The Spirit – Spirit vs. Flesh

Introduction

A.  Our New Series is Based on Galatians 5:13-26.
B.  Today we will Discuss the Conflict between Flesh and Spirit (5:16-18).

I.  What is Flesh?

A.  The Flesh is NOT the Physical Body or its Passions/Desires.
B.  The Flesh is The Opposite of Being Christian (Ro 8:9).
C.  The Flesh is an Enemy of God (Ro 8:7-8).
D.  The Flesh is Human Nature as it has Become through Sin; the Old Man/Nature, Humanity 1.0 (5:24; 6:8, 15; Co 3:9-10).
E.  The Flesh refers to Humankind in Sin apart from the Grace of God and the Power of the Spirit.

II.  What is Spirit?

A.  The Holy Spirit of God, NOT the Human Spirit.
B.  The Agent of the New Birth (Jo 3:3-7; 2 Co 5:17).
C.  The Lifegiving Force of God (2 Co 4:17; Ro 8:10-11).
D.  The Transforming Power of God (2 Co 3:18; Ro 12:2).
E.  The Down payment & Guarantee of Our Salvation (Ep 1:13-14).

III.  The Conflict Between Flesh and Spirit

A.  Galatians 5 Context: How do We Control the Flesh?
B.  The Indwelling Spirit Wars Against the Flesh (5:16-19).
C.  The Flesh can be Subdued by the Spirit (5:24).

Lessons:

A.  Christian Freedom from Torah, cannot be used as a Means for Indulging the Flesh.
B.  The Holy Spirit’s Renewing, Lifegiving, Transforming Power Frees us from our Bondage to the Flesh & its Desires.
C.  Walking in the Spirit is a Conscious Choice (Ga 6:8).

New Sermon Series

Sunday, I will begin a new sermon series entitled, The Fruit of the Spirit.  These lessons are based on Galatians 5:13-26.  After two introductory lessons, we will look at the fruit of the Spirit one by one for a total of eleven lessons.

I will be providing fill-in-the-blank outlines for these lessons each week in the bulletin.  Many have found it helpful to complete these outlines as they listen.  I encourage you to print out a copy of the bulletin before you come to services or pick one up in the foyer when you arrive.  You can also print one out at home for viewing via our live stream. I will provide a completed outline, if you miss anything, on our blog page.

These lessons will also provide the discussion material for our Life Groups during this first cycle. I will have lessons available for group leaders each Sunday.  Click HERE for a Drop Box link to this week’s lesson (https://www.dropbox.com/s/err04lnlu7js9bh/21-0905%20The%20Fruit%20of%20the%20Spirit%20-%20Spirit%20vs%20Flesh.pdf?dl=0).

Sunday, we will discuss the conflict between Flesh (sinful nature) and Spirit.  This will lay the foundation for what follows!

Have a Great Week!  Joey

 

By | 2021-09-03T14:08:43-06:00 September 3rd, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Life Group Kick-Off is This Sunday!

This Sunday, August 29, is the kick-off for our 2021-2022 Life Group Ministry! We will have an abbreviated worship service and a fellowship meal following. You will have opportunity to sign up for a life group in the foyer before services and at the fellowship meal. We will have brief group meetings following/during our meal. Please plan on coming and participating in our life groups.

This is an all-church fellowship whether you are signing up of Life Groups or not. This is not restricted to new groups. It is for everyone including our legacy life groups and those who have not made up their minds yet. The church is providing the meat and potato side dish. Please bring a green salad/veggie tray, or deviled eggs, or watermelon/fruit, or dessert to share.

Life Groups are a vital part of our discipleship strategy at the Boise Church! We believe in the “three-legged stool” approach to discipleship with regard to our assemblies 1) large groups (worship assemblies); 2) medium size groups (Bible classes and fellowships); and 3) small groups (1:1 mentoring, Evangelistic Bible studies, and Life Groups). All three are vital because of their goals, function, and group dynamics.

Life Groups are a powerful way to grow! The assemblies of the early church (Acts 2:42-47), public and private, produced three kinds of growth: 1) Spiritual “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship,” 2) Relational – “All the believers were together and had everything in common,” and 3) Numerical“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Life Groups are a way we can S.H.A.R.E our Christian walk together.  Life groups allow us to:
S – Serve One Another (Galatians 5:13 Serve one another in love);
H – Heal Life’s Hurts (2 Corinthians 1:7 Because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort);
A – Apply God’s Word (Luke 11:28 Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it);
R – Relate to Others (Acts 2:44 All the believers were together and had everything in common); and
E – Evangelize (Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you).
I’ll say more in my lesson Sunday.

We are always on the lookout for Life Group leaders and hosts to open their homes to a group. The latter requires no training at all – only willingness to fellowship with other Christians. Life group leader orientation is archived on the website. If you did not get to come to our training, I can provide you with my notes and schedule a time for you to participate in a small group Bible study where you can see firsthand the Serendipity method of group dynamics.

Please plan on staying for our fellowship Sunday and learning more about our Life Group program.

God Bless! Joey

By | 2021-08-29T00:34:50-06:00 August 29th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Power Of Life Groups

Next Sunday, August 29, is the kick-off for our 2021-2022 Life Group Ministry! We will have an abbreviated worship service and a finger food fellowship following. We will have opportunity to sign up for a life group and will have brief group meetings following/during our meal. Please plan on coming and participating in our life groups.

Last week we discussed how vital life groups are to our discipleship program. We learned that Christian growth occurs with the help of community. At the Boise church, we employ a three-legged approach to discipleship. In the lesson we used the analogy of a three-legged stool. Each leg represents a different kind of group: the worship assemblies, fellowship groups (Bible classes, potlucks, etc.), and small groups (life groups, 1:1 mentoring, and evangelistic Bible studies). Each group is differentiated by size, purpose, interaction, and depth. All three are essential!

In this Sunday’s lesson, I will focus on the power of life groups to facilitate spiritual, relational, and numerical growth. My primary text will be Acts 2:42-47.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

In these verses, Luke is summarizing the work and growth of the early church. Notice they had two venues for assembly: 1) public – the temple courts and 2) private – in their homes. Their assemblies, public and private, produced three kinds of growth: 1) Spiritual“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship,” 2) Relational“All the believers were together and had everything in common,” and 3) Numerical“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Rick Warren explains why small groups were so necessary in the early church and today.

Scriptures such as Acts 1:15, 2:41, 47, 4:4, 5:14, 28, 6:1, 7, 21:20 record the amazing growth of the first church. It is believed that during its first 25 years the Jerusalem church grew from 120 people to over 50,000 people! Where did they put all those people? The answer is small groups. Acts 5:42 tells us that “they met day after day, in the Temple courts and from house to house…” In the first church, the small groups were the base for all ministry and fellowship.

It is paradoxical that the way we grow “larger” is by assembling in “smaller” groups. I’ll say more in my message.

Life group leader training is scheduled for Saturday, August 21 from nine to noon in the church library. This is open to all – male, female, current leaders, novices, hosts, etc.  If you can’t attend this session, I will announce make-up dates on Sunday.

God Bless! Joey

By | 2021-08-21T23:26:16-06:00 August 21st, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments