16Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Through a revelation of the Holy Spirit, Peter confessed the true identity of Jesus, the Son of the living God. Jesus said this truth would be the foundation stone that His church would be built on. He also described the type of church He would build, a victorious church that would overcome the kingdom of darkness. Jesus and Paul used the word church in reference to the people of God. Church never referred to a religious building.
Following are four benefits of being part of a local church.
Real friends. Everyone needs them. Few find them. The best place to look for a real friend is in the church, the people of God. True friends are those who have our best interest in mind. They stick with us through thick and thin. Real friends never lead us away from God. Instead, they provoke us to godliness.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
There are “friends” who destroy each other
but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. (NLT)
What kind of friend are you?
There’s a vast difference between knowing someone well and being a true friend.
The greatest evidence of genuine friendship is LOYALTY - being there to help in times of distress or personal struggles
If a piece of burning coal is removed from the fire, it will cool off. If it is put back in the middle of a pile of red-hot coals, it will burn again. The same is true of Christians. If a Christian is removed from fellowship with other red-hot Christians, he will cool off spiritually. If a Christian stays in fellowship, he will stay on fire for God.
42And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. . . . 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts...
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner wickedness. How can light live with darkness? (NLT)
2 Corinthians 6:14
As part of God’s spiritual family, we should find every way possible to help one another.
Believers should do everything in their power to avoid situations that could force them to divide their loyalties.
We should the one to be of influence the most.
issue - marriage bet believer and unbeliever - lack of unity
God is looking for sincere worshipers. Worship is simply the expression of our love, devotion, and commitment to God.
23"But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
verse 24 “God is Spirit”
- means that He is present everywhere, and he can be worshipped anywhere and at any time.
where we worship is not what counts but how we worship.
**before they worship in Jerusalem or in mountains. Mount Gerizim
The last command Jesus gave His followers before He ascended to heaven was to go and make disciples, to baptize these disciples, and to teach them how to obey God's Word. Therefore, we should first be disciples or followers of Jesus, then we should teach others to follow Him.
19"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
. . . and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them to others. (NLT)
- 2 TIMOTHY 2:2
So if us / the church were to consistently follow this advice - passing the word to others, imagine how the community would be if everyone is transformed to a
Us disciples need to be equipped - so that we’ll be able to pass on our faith effectively.
Are you being discipled, either one-to-one or in a small group setting? Are you making disciples? Who are you teaching to obey God's Word? Are you an active member of a local church? Name three Christians you can call for help in case of a spiritual emergency.