• Matt Beaney

#131 – ‘TOGETHER WITH’… EACH OTHER (22/6/20)

Updated: Jun 23

If you missed Sunday's broadcast, please catch up by following the link below. (For the foreseeable future, we be running our Sunday morning services digitally. Please go to our website on Sundays at 10:30 to join in)



‘Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus. To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons’ (Philippians 1:1)

The members of the church are called ‘God’s holy people’. We have been chosen by God. We belong to Him, but we also belong to one another. We are a ‘people’.


In a world that divides into many tribes. In a world of divisions. The church should pursue unity. Firstly, by removing all ‘us and them’ attitudes. We are God’s holy people. God loves us equally.


Paul also wrote,

‘Through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.’ (Ephesians 3:6)

Through Jesus, racial divides - such as Jew and Gentile (non-Jew) were healed. We may label our racial divisions differently: Black and white for example, But in Christ, Paul says that we are one body - we are all important and are to work together; we are all heirs - God’s children and share the hope of that eternal kingdom.


The church is to be like a beautiful meal. Her beauty comes from diversity (of ingredients) in unity. Together, we are to be a beautiful aroma to the world around us and to God Himself who hates division.


RESPONSE

Today, let’s pray for the unity of the church. Pray for your local church and any other church that you have any links with.


Perhaps you might like to pray out of Psalm 133,

‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.’ (Psalm 133:1-3)



COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – A LIFE WORTH LIVING IS...'TOGETHER WITH'.

Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Quiz Night




We are planning to hold an online quiz night on Tuesday 7th July starting at 8pm.

This therefore means that Community Groups won't be meeting for that week.

More details to follow!




Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Please share from your experience, what has been the greatest lesson you've learned about the importance of working in a team?

Introduction - please share in your group

‘Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus. To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons’ (Philippians 1:1)

Sunday's message was entitled 'together with'. A key theme of Philippians is pursuing unity. There was relational tensions that were threatening the health of the church. The phrase 'all of you' occurs 5 times in the first 11 verses. The author Lightfoot writes, 'there is a “studied repetition” of “all” in the letter '.

The church is like a good meal - it has different ingredients that, in unity, create something that is beautiful.

There are four relationships that we are 'together with':

1. Together with...Apostles - This means that we seek to live under the teaching of the Apostles in the New Testament.

2. Together with... one another – Our unity is based on being 'God's holy people in Christ Jesus'. We were equally sinful, equally needing forgiveness and grace.

3. Together with... overseers - Overseer is a term interchangeable with elders. These are the spiritual leadership team in a local church.

4. Together with... deacons - Deacon, means 'to serve'. These are ministry team leaders. A Community Group leader is a good example of a deacon.


In what ways can we seek to improve our 'together with' relationships in each of these four relationships?


Finally, read Paul's encouragement to us,

‘Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.’ (Philippians 1:27).

Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:

1. What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message or your bible reading this week)?

2. What will you do in response?

3. How can we pray for you?

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