Who We Are
"And you shall be my people, and I will be your God."
~ JEREMIAH 30:22
1. We are God's people
A. Many Christians reject the church because they think that their personal relationship with God is all they need. However, Adam had God all to himself in the Garden of Eden and God said this was not good for him to be alone.
i. Gen. 2:18, “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
B. God chose Abram and promised to multiply his family. God was not satisfied to call only one man to follow Him.
i. Gen. 12:1–3, “Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’”
C. Heaven will be full of the people God called to Himself.
i. Rev. 7:9–10, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”
2. God’s People Need Each Other
A. The people of God do not all have the same giftings or background, but they are all part of the same Spiritual body. Every part of Christ’s body need one another.
i. 1 Cor. 12:12–26, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ."
B. The way Christians treat one another shows whether they are true followers of Jesus. To show love to our fellow Christians we must 1) live our lives together, 2) know and meet each other’s needs, 3) build loving relationships with one another.
i. John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
3. God’s People Live and Worship Together
A. The early church provides a model that Christians across the ages should follow. There are many activities that individual Christians can do to serve the Lord, but the gathered Church has a spiritual mission and must prioritize her activities.
B. Acts 2:42–47, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved."
i. Devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching – God’s people want to know about God and His Word, and they learn about Him together. The Bible (i.e., the apostle’s teaching) is the sole source of special revelation about God.
ii. Fellowship – God’s people know one another and share their lives together. It is hard to love well when we do not know each other well.
iii. Breaking of bread & attending the temple, praising God – The phrase “breaking bread” could mean sharing a meal, but it is more likely that this refers to the Lord’s Supper. God’s people worship and celebrate the Lord’s Supper and baptism together. Worship is at the heart of the church’s mission and reason for existing.
iv. Prayer – God’s people know how to pray for one another and spend time praying together to God.
v. Distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need – God’s people take care of one another’s physical needs. The love God’s people have for one another manifests itself in ministries of mercy.
4. God’s People Commit and Submit
A. The people of God commit to one another through church membership. Individuals are either part of God’s people or they are not. One of the ways we commit to one another is through membership vows.
i. 1 John 2:18–19, “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.”
B. God’s people submit to godly leaders who act as spiritual shepherds.
i. Hebrews 13:17, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”
ii. 1 Peter 5:1–3, “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.”
iii. 1 Timothy 5:17, “The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.”
5. God’s People Have A Mission
A. God uses His people to expand His kingdom. As the church fulfills her mission, the Holy Spirit brings spiritual fruit.
B. Matthew 28:18–20, “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”
i. Go – God’s people are on the move and are willing go into the world to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Some Christians are called to go in to foreign lands, while other Christians are to go to their relatives and neighbors.
ii. Make disciples of all nations – No matter where someone is from, God’s people want others to follow Jesus and make Him their Lord.
iii. Baptizing them – God’s people desire to plant churches and bring outsider into the people of God.
iv. Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you – Out of thankfulness for God’s saving grace, God’s people teach others how they can live a life that pleases God. God is not only our Maker and Savior, but also our Ruler.
v. I am with you always – God’s people are never alone in their mission. The Holy Spirit guides and empowers the mission of God’s people.