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Church Fellowship

Introduction: We are told to honor God. IT is important that we honor God in all we do for what we do in this life matters. People respond to our actions more than our words. IF our actions do not line up with our words no one will listen to our words. We need to have a fellowship we go to. The name of our church is Word of Grace Fellowship for the desire is to honor the Word of Grace among us. We teach the word of grace as the Apostle Paul taught. So it is important to learn how to honor God with words and deeds! Somehow things are not what they once were. We get upset with our life and so we no longer fellowship with those that represent God so we stop going to church justifying it in our mind. This is why it is called a WALK and in church circles it is called a love WALK, so as to live day by day WALK to honor the Lord above all things.

Focus Scripture John 13:34-35 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

The command that God gave us here is not the 10 commands but the command to love one another. The Bible says that the greatest command is love God and then to love your neighbor as yourself. Here Jesus says to love one another is how people will know we belong to the Lord. God is a God of love. When we love others and demonstrate that love to others then people will see that love and want to know God.

Week by Week Honor God Make a commitment to honor your Father – God Almighty. Honor the Lord with your words and with your actions. Do not do this to be made right with God but do this because you have been made right with God. Your love for God is demonstrated through your actions but is expressed by your words! God’s love saved you. You honor God by loving his creation! When you love his saints you love the Father so honor God with your showing up at Church!

1 Cor 10:29-33 29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

This tells me to honor God every day and every week for we need to honor God when things do not go our way. Honor God when people upset us. IN word or deed honor God, for as Christians we do everything to honor God. When we do things for God and we do not honor the people that we are serving for God we are not honoring God. Honor the people God put in your life and God will honor you! IF you want to be blessed then honor the people God put in your life and when you do that God will promote you!

Col 3:15-17 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

To honor God we must let peace rule in our hearts. We can honor him with our singing no matter how good or bad it is f or to God our praise is welcome. The songs that come from our heart are songs of praise. Then all of our deeds and words are also part of our praise. When we honor the ones over us, then that is also part of our praise. When we dishonor those over us we are not honoring the Lord! The word and deeds honor the Lord when we season it with it with peace and thanksgiving. Then our praise will also be seasoned with grace which comes from the heart!

Heb 13:15-17 15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

We can give a sacrifice of praise which offers thanks because of him which gives thanks to the Lord. God is pleased when we obey those who have rule over us. The pastors and deacons have rule over us and we must obey them. They are responsible for your souls. You cause them much trouble when you do not obey them. IT is unprofitable for them and for you. To see things change then change your attitude toward them for God exalts leaders and if there is a problem for both you and them. When you give the sacrifice of praise it opens your heart to receive from the Lord what you need!

Attend Church - The early church went to church in some cases daily and at the least every Sunday. Church going was part of the accepted practice for the early church. They would meet in the synagogues or homes of saints because the fellowship of the saints was so important to them. It was practiced in every church that was started according to the book of Acts and also in history!

Ps 84:1-5 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.3 Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.

King David called it tabernacles for there was no temple then. We should want to dwell in the house of God. Where you meet should not matter for it is still God’s house. The Lord dwells there for he meets with you there. The praise and words of God come there. You may not feel it there but God does and the devil knows the presence of God is there. So focus on the heart of God and be strengthened in the Lord. God pronounces a blessing on you! Do you have the same feeling for going to church as King David did? We should all feel this!

Ps 150 Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.

We can praise God in the sanctuary but we can also praise God at home. This lists several places. We can praise God with instruments and with dance. We are told we should praise God with our breath for God is worthy of praise. Notice that the first place is in the church. When we praise God at church it carries out into every other place and with every other instrument. The Blessing from church oversees the blessing we get in the rest of our life. So we must go to church and that is why we need church!

Acts 2:42-47 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Here they shared all they had so they were one people and one group. Many people came to the Lord because of the love shown by the people. They had favor with people. We have lost much of the favor the early church with the people. The church was an organization that was giving to others and did great miracles. They had one mind among them. They were constantly at church so church attendance was something that all these thousands took part of in the early church. Maybe they went to church to get the benefits of being part of the church or maybe they went just for fellowship but they went to church and worshipped there.

Love one Another Jesus lived a life of love and told us to love others. He said things if a man hits you turn the other cheek. He practiced love and said that God so loved the world he sent Jesus. The Bible says that God loves you and loved you before you were born. God wants you to share with others what He put inside you. IT is easy to love when things are going good but when things are going bad then it is hard. Do you love one another as Christ loved you!

John 3:14-16 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus spoke to Nicodemus here who was a ruler of Israel and he knew nothing about the new birth. This verse 16 is so well known that even if you are not born again you have heard or perhaps know this verse from heart. We know God loves you because of Jesus and that we need to believe on Him. The term perish here means do not go to hell! God loves you and wants you to live with Him. God wants to live inside you so that you can live with him. The terms life and death refer to eternal life and eternal death. God speaks in light of eternity for God is an eternal being! So either you live with God forever or you are separate from him forever. The choice is yours!

1 John 4:7-15 7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

There is so much about the love of God and how much God loves us in this passage. We see that God demonstrated that love to us at Calvary and that we should love one another because of that love. We know that love is in us because of the Holy Spirit inside of us. We want to know that love so we can walk in that love. God loved us before we could ever love Him. We respond to that love and accept it or reject it. Accept it and go to Heaven but reject it and go to hell!

1 Cor 13:2-8 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

This is commonly called the love chapter because it helps to give us one of the definitions of love. It ls listed in between the use of the gifts of the Spirit in 12 and 14 so that tells us to do ministry we need to walk in love. God is love and wants us to love people. This says that we never think evil and seeks other people and bears, believes and hopes well for others. Endures all things! From this definition how many people can say we love one another. Do you love others according to the definition given here! I cannot say that I love one another like Jesus loved!

Kinship One of the most important reasons we need to fellowship with others at church is because the church membership is rightly called a family. IT is hard to have problems in your family. These people are more than just friends they are family. They are God’s family for you. They are brothers and sisters to you. We have one Father- God yet we are related to each other because of Jesus Christ. IT is not the same when you do not spend time with your family each week!

John 17:20-24 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Here are you in the Bible! Jesus prayed for you and said that he prayed that we would be in Him just as He is in the Father. He wants us to share the glory that he has. We share in Him because HE is the Lord. We are perfect in Christ and Christ is perfect in the Father. So we have a kinship with the Lord, thus all the ones in Christ are our brothers and sisters for we are all one in Christ. We need then to treat each other as family!

Rom 12:1-5 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

We are all part of each other. We are in this verse called members of each other. I am part of you as much as my arm as my arm is part of my body! There is only one body and we call it the body of Christ. All in that body are called the body of which Christ is the head and we are the body. Many members one body! So I need you and you need me! We all need each other so we need to spend time with each other! We need to be part of each other for we are made to interact with each other and live as one body! That is why you are put in the church you are in to interact and be part of that church! That is why a church split is so harmful and why going to church is so important! Without you going to that church the church suffers when you are not there!

1 Cor 12:12-14 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.14 For the body is not one member, but many.

Christ and you perfect together! You are one with Him and nothing can separate us from him. We are one body and when we do not help each other then we are not living to the fulfillment we have in Christ. In Christ we are now all free. The Spirit is what lets us become part of Christ. The Spirit was sent by Christ to help us be his representatives in this earth. So be strong in Him.

Conclusion: We need to walk in love so that we can imitate Christ. Christ in you the hope of glory! We are able to walk in Him for he is in us and we are in Him. The more we focus on Him the more we allow His Spirit to move within each of us. So allow the Spirit to move in each of us. As we move further along we will find more reasons why we need more of church and why it is important we dedicate ourselves to Him!

Next week: Mother’s Day

This sermon is copyrighted @2019 and is the property of our Pastor- Rev. Dr. Don Carson. Used by permission and for more information or questions call Pastor Don during the day at 732-297-7794.

Rev. Dr. Don W. Carson
Word of Grace Fellowship

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