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Sermon No: 117494-THE BIBLICAL CHURCH - Part 2



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SERMON TOPIC: THE BIBLICAL CHURCH - Part 2

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 31 October 2021

Topic Groups: KOINONIA, THE CHURCH, FELLOWSHIP

Sermon synopsis: Let’s briefly consider a modern congregational church and what a typical structure could look like.

There are 4 areas of the local church which can be represented by 4 relationships the church has. They are:
1) Up-Reach: The church reaching up by communicating and giving to God.
2) Down-Reach: God reaching down by communicating and giving to the church.
3) Out-Reach: The church reaching out to those outside the church.
4) In-Reach: The church reaching in to those inside the church.

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THE BIBLICAL CHURCH – PART 2

While in English, the word “church” is used of both a building and a group of people, this was not the case in the Greek NT.

The English word “church” derives from the Greek “kyriake” and means Lord’s house. This refers to a building.

The Greek word “ecclesia” translated as “church” in the NT means “a called-out assembly or congregation”.

ECCLESIA & KYRIAKE

WHAT DOES THE CHURCH (ECCLESSIA: “CALLED-OUT ONES”) DO?

LOCAL CHURCH STRUCTURE

Let’s briefly consider a modern congregational church and what a typical structure could look like.

There are 4 areas of the local church which can be represented by 4 directional words.

THE WORLD

UP

GOD

THE CHURCH

DOWN

IN

OUT

LOCAL CHURCH STRUCTURE

Up-Reach: The church reaching up by communicating and giving to God.

Down-Reach: God reaching down by communicating and giving to the church.

Out-Reach: The church reaching out to those outside the church.

In-Reach: The church reaching in to those inside the church.

THE WORLD

UP

GOD

THE CHURCH

DOWN

IN

OUT

JESUS

GROUP MINISTRIES

Youth

Children

Senior Citizens

Women

Men

Singles

Families-marriages

Foreign Language

AREA MINISTRIES

UP-REACH

(Worship, Prayer)

DOWN-REACH

(Bible Study, Teaching, Preaching)

OUT-REACH

(Evangelism, Missions)

IN-REACH

(Gifts, Communion, Fellowship, Visitation)

SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP

(Elders, Pastors)

PHYSICAL LEADERSHIP (Deacons)

Phil 1:1 … together with the overseers and deacons

Eph 5:23… Christ also is the head of the church…

God requires worship. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24, NIV)

WORSHIP

Like prayer, worship can be private:

Col 3:16 (ESV) … singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

or corporate:

1 Cor 14:26 (NIV) What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn…

We see that the Antioch church was a worshiping church:

Acts 13:2 (NIV) While they were worshiping the Lord …

PRAYING & FASTING

Jesus said that, “My house shall be a house of prayer” (John 19:46).

The Antioch church fasted and prayed after receiving a word from God to send Paul and Barnabas on the first-ever foreign mission trip.

Acts 13:3 (NIV) So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

The first local church – the Jerusalem church – was “devoted … to prayer” (Acts 2:42).

Acts 4:24,29 (NIV) When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God… Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders…”

When Peter was imprisoned by Herod, the Jerusalem church gathered at the house of Mary (John Mark’s mother) to pray – most likely for his release – a specific need.

Acts 12:12 (NIV) … he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.

But besides impromptu prayer meetings like these may have been, they also practiced scheduled prayer.

Acts 3:1 (NIV) One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon.

JESUS

GROUP MINISTRIES

Youth

Children

Senior Citizens

Women

Men

Singles

Families-marriages

Foreign Language

AREA MINISTRIES

UP-REACH

(Worship, Prayer)

DOWN-REACH

(Bible Study, Teaching, Preaching)

OUT-REACH

(Evangelism, Missions)

IN-REACH

(Gifts, Communion, Fellowship, Visitation)

SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP

(Elders, Pastors)

PHYSICAL LEADERSHIP (Deacons)

Phil 1:1 … together with the overseers and deacons

Eph 5:23… Christ also is the head of the church…

Along with evangelism and baptism, teaching is one of the directives contained in the Great Commission.

Matt 28:19-20 (ESV) “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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The church in Antioch was a teaching and preaching church:

Acts 11:26 (ESV) … he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people …

Acts 15:35 (NIV) But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.

TEACHING

It was the practice of the Jerusalem church:

Acts 2:42 (NIV) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching …

Acts 5:42 (NIV) Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching …

Likewise Paul, when he planted the Corinthian church:

Acts 18:11 (ESV) And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

In AD 400 the Roman Mass included a sermon, but by AD 1000 it was no longer mandatory. The liturgy included a lot of ceremony, but preaching was no longer the central focus of the service.

Before the Council of Trent, the Mass had the following format:

Entrance ceremonies

Service of readings

Sermon (optional)

Credo (either as a prayer, a spoken text, or sung as Gregorian chant)

Sacrifice-Mass

Offertory rites

Eucharistic prayers

Communion cycle

Benediction

THE SERMON MUST BE THE FOCUS

With the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, Martin Luther’s reforms included making the proclamation of the gospel the focus of the service.

He based the centrality of preaching on:

Rom 10:17 (ESV) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

THE SERMON MUST BE THE FOCUS

At the time, the central part of the service was the Sacrifice-Mass – a ritual by the priest, reminiscent of the OT sacrifices, whereby the sacrifice at Calvary is constantly revisited.

Luther argued that the sacrifice did not have to be repeated as was done in the Old Covenant - the work is finished by Christ’s sacrifice. There are no other sacrifices that need to be made.

Heb 10:14 (NIV) For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

THE SERMON MUST BE THE FOCUS

This renewed emphasis on the sermon became a hallmark of the Protestant churches that subsequently sprung up in the wake of the Reformation.

Even worship, though remaining important, was seen as bolstering the proclamation of the Word in the sermon – by being in line with the theme of the preaching.

PREACH SERMONS, NOT SELF-HELP MOTIVATIONAL TALKS

Sadly, with the advent of modern “seeker-sensitive” churches, the importance of the sermon is again being minimised with the message being made shorter and shorter.

In fact, often the sermon has been replaced with a 20-minute self-help motivational talk.

To produce disciples who obey the commandments of Jesus.

Matt 28:20 (ESV) “… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…”

To equip God’s people for works of service.

Eph 4:11-16 (NIV) So Christ himself gave the … teachers, to equip his people for works of service

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF TEACHING?

2 Tim 3:16-17 (ESV) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF TEACHING?

To train God’s people in righteousness and to make competent Christians.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF TEACHING?

To correct, rebuke, encourage.

2 Tim 4:2-4 (NIV) Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage…

To build the church up:

1 Cor 14:26 (NIV) What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.

Eph 4:11-12 (NIV) So Christ himself gave the … teachers … so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God …

To produce mature Christians.

Col 1:28 (ESV) Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

Eph 4:11-16 (NIV) So Christ himself gave the … teachers… so that the body of Christ may … become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF TEACHING?

WHO MUST TEACH & PREACH?

Those who are gifted in this area.

Rom 12:6-7 (NIV) We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith … if it is teaching, then teach …

Not only gifted, but faithful.

2 Tim (2:2 ESV) 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.

WHO MUST TEACH & PREACH?

Elders i.e., spiritual leaders in the church.

1 Tim 5:17 (ESV) Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labour in preaching and teaching. (cf. Titus 1:9)

Mature Christian women.

Titus 2:3-5 (ESV) Older women … are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

HOW MUST WE TEACH?

The teacher must have integrity, dignity and sound speech.

Titus 2:7-8 (ESV) Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

Exercise great patience when teaching and use careful instruction (be thorough and meticulous).

2 Tim 4:2 (NIV) Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

Teaching must be based on Scripture not worldly wisdom.

2 Tim 3:16 (ESV) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness...

Col 3:16 (ESV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom…

Worldly wisdom includes:

self-help

secular psychology

Christian Science positive confession

Western materialism and consumerism

HOW MUST WE TEACH?

HOW MUST WE TEACH?

A teacher must be competent to answer objections from those who oppose the teaching.

Titus 1:9 (ESV) He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

Their life must back up their message.

1 Tim 4:16 (NIV) Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

But they must also watch their doctrine closely.

People must be taught sound doctrine – and not necessarily what that want to hear.

2 Tim 4:2-4 (NIV) Preach the Word… For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

DOCTRINAL ACCURACY

The Antioch church was concerned with doctrinal accuracy. When some Christians from Judea came to this predominantly Gentile church, they tried to force them to adopt the OT laws - specifically circumcision - and claimed it was necessary for salvation. Paul and Barnabas - themselves Jewish Christians - opposed this teaching. *

* Acts 15:1-2 (NIV) Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them.

DOCTRINAL ACCURACY

The leadership of the Jerusalem church was also concerned about doctrinal accuracy. They upheld the decision of the Antioch church to refrain from preaching a legalistic gospel. (Acts 15:2)

DOCTRINAL ACCURACY

The leadership of the Jerusalem church was also concerned about doctrinal accuracy. They upheld the decision of the Antioch church to refrain from preaching a legalistic gospel. (Acts 15:2)

JESUS

GROUP MINISTRIES

Youth

Children

Senior Citizens

Women

Men

Singles

Families-marriages

Foreign Language

AREA MINISTRIES

UP-REACH

(Worship, Prayer)

DOWN-REACH

(Bible Study, Teaching, Preaching)

OUT-REACH

(Evangelism, Missions)

IN-REACH

(Gifts, Communion, Fellowship, Visitation)

SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP

(Elders, Pastors)

PHYSICAL LEADERSHIP (Deacons)

Phil 1:1 … together with the overseers and deacons

Eph 5:23… Christ also is the head of the church…

EVANGELISM

Jesus directed his church to evangelise.

Matt 28:19 (ESV) “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations

If something is alive, it should grow.

The Jerusalem church – was a growing church.

Acts 2:47 (ESV) … And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

EVANGELISM

Acts 2:41 (NIV) Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Acts 4:4 (NIV) But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.

Acts 6:7 (NIV) So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

The Antioch church was also a growing church due to evangelism.

Acts 11:20-21 (NIV) … The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

THE CHURCH HAS HOLY SPIRIT ENABLED POWER TO EVANGELISE

The Church Age began at Pentecost. Jesus instructed his disciples to go and wait for the promised Holy Spirit who would empower them to preach the gospel.

Acts 1:8 (ESV) “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

This is still applicable today – we must be empowered by the Holy Spirit to BOLDLY go into all the world and make disciples.

Acts 4:29-31 (NIV) Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. … And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Evangelism should be a regular activity.

Acts 5:42 (NIV) Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

Then the church will grow - despite opposition.

Acts 5:14 (NIV) Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.

FIRST MISSION CHURCH

Antioch was the first mission church. The gospel spread from the Jerusalem church because of persecution, but at Antioch they sought God’s face and obeyed his mission call.

Acts 13:2 (NIV) … the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY

Oswald J. Smith: “Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfil the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist.”

Despite Jesus’ command to evangelize, almost one third of the world’s population – have never even heard of his name.

We have been given a Great Commission, but for many Christians it is the Great Omission.

Jesus has not commanded us to go into “most of the world”, but into “all the world”. In Rev 7:9-10 we are told that the redeemed gathered before God’s throne consist of “every nation, tribe, people and language.”

STATISTICS ON US PROTESTANT CHRISTIANS

99.5% have never led anyone to Christ.

99% have no passion for the lost. They don’t really care.

86% have never handed out a gospel tract.

68% Could not define “The Great Commission.” 1

1 www.kicksforchrist.com

95% of Christian ministers focus on their own people. 1

There are also some churches which teach a self-centred gospel and although they have access to resources – they use all these resources on themselves – to build more extravagant church buildings, buy private jets and lavish mansions for the pastor - when others don’t even have the gospel in their language or someone to preach to them.

1 SOURCE: Stan Park, Ethne ’06

SELF-CENTRED GOSPEL

No church would dream of having a mission statement stating “Our goal is to be a self-absorbed, self-serving church, focusing only on our own needs while ignoring the needs of those around us and in the rest of the world.”

Yet although no church would say this in their mission statement document, many churches say something very close to this in another document that reveals their true priorities - the budget.

97% of money given to the church is spent on the people (directly or indirectly) who give it.

CHRISTIAN GIVING BEHAVIOUR

The average Christian gives 1.8% of their income to Christian causes. 1

Christians spend more money on dog food than on missions. 2

1 Stan Park, Ethne ’06 2 Leonard Ravenhill

HYPER-CALVINISM

Hyper-Calvinists fatalistically assert that God’s intention to destroy some is equal to his intention to save others. This view holds that it is pointless to tell the ‘non-elect’ to repent and believe the gospel. They believe that an altar call or even Sunday School is unscriptural.

A typical Hyper-Calvinist website misapplies the Scripture in Ephesians 2:1 and says the following:

A dead man can’t do anything… He’s “dead in trespasses and sins”. He has no spiritual life. All the evangelising in the world will do him no good!

We may ask then why Jesus gave his disciples a Commission if it was unnecessary or fruitless? Why too did the early church bother to go out and evangelise the known world?

HYPER-CALVINISM

This kind of attitude is the same as the lazy servant who buried the talent his master gave him instead of investing it.

Matt 25:26-27 (NIV) “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! … you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.”

IS THE TASK TOO GREAT?

The task set before us is much more attainable than it was for the early church in AD 100?

In AD 100 there were 360 people for every believer. Now there are 7.3 people for every believer. 1

In AD 100 there were 12 unreached people groups for every congregation of believers. Now there is 1 unreached people group for every 1000 congregations. 1

Robert Speer (leader in Student Volunteer Movement): “There is nothing in the world or the Church - except the church’s disobedience - to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility.”

1 aboutmissions.org/ statistics.html

JESUS

GROUP MINISTRIES

Youth

Children

Senior Citizens

Women

Men

Singles

Families-marriages

Foreign Language

AREA MINISTRIES

UP-REACH

(Worship, Prayer)

DOWN-REACH

(Bible Study, Teaching, Preaching)

OUT-REACH

(Evangelism, Missions)

IN-REACH

(Gifts, Communion, Fellowship, Visitation)

SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP

(Elders, Pastors)

PHYSICAL LEADERSHIP (Deacons)

Phil 1:1 … together with the overseers and deacons

Eph 5:23… Christ also is the head of the church…

WHY SHOULD I FELLOWSHIP?

Why should I fellowship?

It is a command

To receive teaching

For mutual encouragement

For protection

For discipline

MUTUAL ENCOURAGE-MENT

It is a place of encouragement

Heb 10:24-25 (ESV) And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

SPIRITUAL PROTECTION

The church is a place of spiritual protection.

Act 20:28-29 (NIV) Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.

DISCIPLINE

It also provides discipline. If a Christian engages in habitual sin, the members of his Christian community must lovingly rebuke him.

Matt 18:15-17 (NIV) “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you… But if they will not listen, take one or two others along… If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

If they refuse to repent, the entire church is involved and excommunication occurs (with the aim of rehabilitation – i.e., restorative not punitive.

1 Cor 5:5 (ESV) … you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

THE GIFTS

The church (ecclesia) or assembly of called-out ones, have been given spiritual and natural gifts.

1 Cor 12:28 (ESV) And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.

The church (kyriake - the meeting place) is a place where spiritual gifts can be exercised:

1 Cor 14:26 (NIV) What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.

The gifts were evident in the Jerusalem church

Acts 4:24,30 (NIV) … they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord … Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

Antioch had a church with verifiable prophetic gifts:

Acts 11:28 (NIV) Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happenedduring the reign of Claudius.)

THE GIFTS

Gifts are used for the benefit of others:

1 Pet 4:10 (ESV) As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.

As a body, we have different giftings and we use them in proportion to our faith:

Rom 12:6-8 (ESV) Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

THE GIFTS

KOINONIA

Thayer's Greek Lexicon says of “koinonia”:

the share which one has in anything, participation…

contact, fellowship, intimacy …

a benefaction jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, as exhibiting an embodiment and proof of fellowship…

KOINONIA

“Koinonia” is used in this sense in:

Rom 15:26 (ESV) For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution [koinōnian] for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem.

2 Cor 9:13 (ESV) By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution [koinōnias] for them and for all others,

2 Cor 8:3-4 (NIV) For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing [koinōnian] in this service to the Lord’s people.

Heb 13:16 (NIV) And do not forget to do good and to share [koinōnias] with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

GIVING

The church is not only a place for teaching, fellowship, breaking bread, prayer and worship – but also for assisting needy brothers and sisters.

Acts 2:42-47 (ESV) And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers ... And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need … praising God …

In the Jerusalem church, “All the believers were together and had everything in common.” (Acts 2:44, NIV)

Acts 4:32-35 (NIV) All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had ... And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

GIVING

Antioch also had a giving, generous church. While Jerusalem had given Antioch a spiritual gift by sending Barnabas, Antioch reciprocated by sending a financial gift to Jerusalemwhen Judea was facing a famine.

Acts 11:29-30 (NIV) The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

HOSPITALITY

Paul instructs us to, “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality [philoxenia].” (Rom 12:13, NIV).

The Greek word ‘philoxenia’ literally means “love to strangers”.

Matt 25:35 (ESV) For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…

HOSPITALITY

Hospitable is defined as being friendly and welcoming to visitors or guests.

Hospitality is important and it is expected of Christians, particularly leaders (1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:7-8).

We should show hospitality to God’s workers. John writes to a man named Gaius:

3 John 5-8 (NIV) Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.

Interestingly Paul writes of a hospitable man in Corinth called Gaius, who was baptized by Paul (1 Cor 1:14), possibly the same man.

Rom 16:23 (NIV) Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings.

HOSPITALITY

We should show hospitality to God’s workers. John writes to a man named Gaius:

3 John 5-8 (NIV) Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.

Interestingly Paul writes of a hospitable man in Corinth called Gaius, who was baptized by Paul (1 Cor 1:14), possibly the same man.

Rom 16:23 (NIV) Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings.

Do you offer to help when God’s workers and other Christians are in need of hospitality? If so, do it without grumbling:

1 Pet 4:9 (NIV) Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

AUTHOR: Gavin Paynter

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Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. ( Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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