Hope & Grace International


Table of Contents


Everyone---please turn off your cell phones.

The church is not man’s invention, Jesus said, “I will build my Church.”  The church is God’s; He has given the church its place and importance.  We, the people, are the church, not buildings or organizations but God’s people formed together in the way Scripture calls for, makes the church. Church is a group of people who meet together for fellowship, worship, encouragement, empowerment, equipping and outreach. When we leave our weekly gathering it is the time for God’s people to do the work of the church in their community. Begin, thinking of this group as your church.                                                     

  • The word for church means the ‘called out ones,’ ‘the gathering.’  The church is PEOPLE not a building.
  • Another important way to view the church is: The Church is to be a demonstration of the love of the Father, the presence of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • The local church is composed of believers who have voluntarily committed themselves to join together in a unified community for the purpose of worship, study and obedience of God’s Word, fellowship, prayer, meeting other’s needs and the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Acts 2:41-42
  • The local church is composed of believing people, not buildings, organizations or traditions. As a matter of fact, some organizations that call themselves a church are not churches at all according to what the Bible calls a church.

Say with me: “The church is the people who gather together not a building.”

  • Jesus said I will build my church and it will prevail.

Matthew 16:18 … I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. NLT

  • Paul said the church will make known God’s wisdom to spiritual powers.

Ephesians 3:10 Through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and          authorities in the heavenly places.ESV

  • The church is the support and foundation of the truth.

1 Timothy. 3:15 I wrote so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of   God, which            the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth, NASU

Say with me: “The church is the people who gather together, not an organization.”

  • Not all who call themselves “Church” are really biblical churches. If a church doesn’t require its members to be born again or encourage them to live as the Bible teaches us then they are not a true church.

Revelation 3:14-16, 14 “To the messenger of the church in Laodicea, write: The amen, the witness who is faithful and        true, the source of God’s creation, says: 15 I know what you have done, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. 16 But since you are lukewarm …, I’m going to spit you out of my mouth. GWT

Discussion Question:  Have you ever been a part of a church that didn’t follow the Bible?  Describe what that was like.

  • In the home of Nymphas Colossians 4:15, in the home of Priscilla and Aquila, Romans 16:3, 5 and Philemon 2.
  • Where can churches meet? They can meet in homes, in schools, in halls, in restaurants; they can meet anywhere because the building is not the church. 1 Corinthians 16:19b  Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. ESV

Discussion Question:  How do you feel about being in a church that meets in someone’s home?               

  • One that teaches people they should read, believe and obey the Bible.

Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.  NIV

  • One that tells people that Jesus taught, “You must be born again.”

John 3:3 Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.

  • One that seems to be spiritually alive and the music and singing are joyful.

Ephesians 5:18-20, 18 Be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves,    and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord   Jesus Christ.  NLT

  • A church that calls its members to a godly life.

1 Peter 3:8-12, 8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.  11 He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.”  NIV

  • A church where the power of God is demonstrated by salvation, physical and emotional healing and where the gifts of the Holy Spirit are in use.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5, 1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.   2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. NIV

  • A church where fulfilling the great commission by equipping and empowering every believer to evangelize, train and begin multiplying new groups is a priority.

Say with me: “The church is the people who gather together, not a building.”                             

  • The church is the place where you will learn to walk in the truth.

1 Timothy 3:14-15 I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 … you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. NIV

  • The church is the place where we are trained to minister to others. 4:11-12

Ephesians 4:11-12, 11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. NLT

  • Give of your finances, it’s a sign that you have surrendered control to God.

2 Corinthians 9:7-8, You should each give, then, as you have decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly. GNT

  • Willingly involve yourself in any area of ministry you are called upon to perform.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. NIV

Discussion Question:  How do you feel about helping this group become your church home?

  • Because it is important to fellowship regularly.

Acts 2:42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. NLT

Romans 1:11-12, 11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. NIV

  • To receive and give encouragement for Christian living.

1 Corinthians 12:24b-26, 24 …So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. NLT

Jeremiah 3:15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. NIV

  • To be equipped for ministry.

Ephesians 4:11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church.                                                      

The Bible talks a lot about the church, and we should realize that it is not talking about brick buildings.  When the Bible uses the term church it is talking about a group of people who meet together regularly for fellowship, prayer worshiping God and ministering to one another and to the people in the community who do not yet have a relationship with God.

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