Class I – Keeping the essence of what the church is
Mega Zoe Christian Church
Theme: Keeping the essence of what the Church is.
For the children to learn that:
1) We are the Church; we are most precious and loved by God on earth.
2) We must take good care of our testimony so others could know the greatness of God.
3) We must watch over and look after this essence, so no one could harm the church.
II Biblical Lecture: Acts 2:42-47
III Verse to remember: 2 Timothy 2:19
IV Class Development:
Church – What do you understand by this word? Or what does it mean to you? (Let the children express themselves what they think it mean, “church”). Church means: Assembly, congregation, reunion. In essence, church is the community of all the believers of the New Testament which are united by the bond of faith and the regenerated action of the Holy Spirit, in a vital way, to Jesus Christ.
(Teacher) Does anyone know where and when the church was established? Let’s travel through the Bible: Those who were evangelized after Jesus’ death and resurrection were Jesus’ disciples. They have the teachings fresh in their beings and went out evangelizing others; they did it verbally, we have the Bible.
But something happens; today’s church is not the church God wants. Do you know why?
Today’s church has taken a wrong turn from the one established in Acts.
Some churches nowadays have images, idols; they were made according to man theories. (From their thoughts).
All this is away from the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.
That’s why we must watch over and look after the essence, of what is pure of what the church is.
The gospel is simple, is living a holy life; but man has complicated it.
To know if we are a Church according to what God wants, we must fulfill 4 steps.
Four main practices of the primitive Church. (Read vers. 42)
1. Perseverance – is the proof of reality
They taught others the Word, they evangelized, and they talked about what Jesus did for us so they could follow our Teacher’s steps. Now we have the Bible, and we must read the New Testament.
The communion is the wish of the new born believers; it is the feeling of being separated from the world and being closer to God and the believers.
The communion is with those who have the same purpose.
Nowadays the real communion has been lost because many people impose their own thoughts and to be in communion you need to be at peace. The communion has been changed for the gossip and struggle; they have enmity instead of communion.
The communion has been lost because people live for themselves, the ego and their satisfaction. Those who have communion do not want attention, they want to serve, love and protect others.
If I have communion with God, I am loyal to my church, to my shepherdess. (Mega Zoe)
3. The breaking of bread –
It is the common supper or holy supper of the church.
4. Prayer –
Worship and service.
It is told in the Bible that there is a doctrine which we must not cast aside. Sometimes is cast aside by our pride and because we have not died to ourselves.
The church is not the place to clean our conscience; it is the place of the saints who are preparing to go with Him.
A deep sense of awe came over them all … (vers.43)
When the church was built a great fear fell over all Jerusalem, for the wonders and reverence to what is the church.
The church is what moves the fear in others, by our testimony. A fear of being disqualified for not doing what we are supposed to.
Nowadays, what’s happening? Unfortunately this fear does not move because of the testimony of the people who congregate. (Bad testimony, bad conduct).
Of every word that we say, we would be accounted for. When we convert we must silence our heart and submit to God. But the Holy Spirit has to be in us in order to do this.
Those people saw the disciples making miracles; those who saw them felt wonder and astonishment.
Many miraculous signs and wonders. (ver.43)
As the church we must tell others of the signs and prodigies. These signs guide and teach.
They congregated constantly because they were thirsty, they wanted signs and wonders. They also have everything in common. (vers.44)
Unfortunately today’s church (2010) is not interested in the continuous congregation and less has their things in a common fund.
They sold their properties and possessions (ver.45)
They converted in a way that they did not care for anything, they sold their things and they helped the needy.
It is a shame that those who talk today do not wish to have communion with one another.
We must keep the essence of this gospel.
That communion was not that they took advantage of the people, because they showed a heart unity and a beautiful interest for one another.
Today they work for themselves, they can’t live in communion with others because they are overworked; for that reason this gospel has stopped.
What will be of our descent? We must work for our descent to keep the essence (the true) of this gospel.
That natural selfishness of the man’s downfall condition in them was absorbed by the abundance love conceived by the feeling of divine love.
When you love God’s work, you love although no one understands. What are we as a church?
They sold their properties and possessions and they distributed them to the needy.
They have all things in common, they did not take advantage; there was trust, purity.
This was not written; it was not by any external obligation, but for the conscience of what they were; completely to Christ.
When we know God we do not make crazy things, for His fear is in us.
He enriches us with a great blessing. We have God’s favor in our miserable lives because we were sinners.
We must love our neighbor as we love ourselves, only that way we would not see their faults.
When we are filled of the Holy Spirit we give what we must, not leftovers.
Greediness does not come from the Holy Spirit.
A real Christian could not bear to have too much when others have too little.
They worshiped together (vers. 46)
We love to be in the temple and we love the same outside. In Acts we could see how the church of our Lord Jesus Christ was formed. They gathered at the homes of pious men.
The conversion is that we are transformed and our houses are transformed, too.
Sometimes God is in someone’s life but not in their houses, because they cursed, or say bad words.
The good testimony of our conversion to Christ is in our house also.
Their domestic life was in the breaking of the bread, they shared their meals with great joy and generosity of heart.
Unfortunately today’s churches have reached the point where nobody shares their bread with the needy. WE CAN’T DO THAT!
The joy of their salvation (our brothers from Acts) overflowed in every life detail, even in the earthly things, filling everything.
Even in the domestic life the glory of God should move, because we are believers.
We were pulled out and delivered from the power of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of love of God’s Son.
Those who know they were transferred share; but the one who doesn’t is still in darkness.
Today I have to say: “I’m going to detach from the meanness and I’m going to stop whining saying that I don’t have.”
And because they don’t want to give, they say: I don’t have money; I don’t have; that’s why they are very far from the essence of the church.
It is so impossible that the hate for others exists in the nature of the Christian faith, because we have been converted. (Luke 6:26)
Being popular does not get you to more people, that interrupts what we must do. (Matthew 10:22-23)
We must persevere till the end to be saved.
The disciples began to be abhorred and pursued by the people and they had to run away to other cities.
The church was dispersed but to wherever they went they took the essence of what the church was. (vers.42)
There was conversion and God added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
The good testimony in a person is when you see the holiness, integrity and the search for God.
The Christians of those days had good testimony and when they made the call, the people were forced to convert too. We need that boldness.
That addition and election of the Lord Jesus Christ to these men’s lives (to us) did not take away the human responsibility.
In the way of thinking, the church is a divine institution, not human; the holy is divine.
The church was established and controlled by God. Its citizenship was in heaven not on earth; knowing that its principles and laws proceeded from up above.
Nowadays some live to work and possess and have forgotten these principles.
The believers’ reunions were for the believers not the unbelievers.
How did they do it? They reunited for the teachings and for their good testimony the unbelievers were converted and when they arrived to the church they were converted already.
Today it is evangelize that way, or by invitation but because there is no good testimony in some Christians, no essence, they do not convert.
The effect has been lost; I must love the new convert and I have to take care of them.
If they convert they are a part of me, so I must love them.
If God is in all our being, when we meet the people we testify with our face, existences, testifying with love. Then others will want that, they will convert.
The congregation is the unity divinely ordered on earth, by God.
The apostles were the founders and establishers of the church.
Then, how could we define church?
It is the one who rises up with power and strength, the one who love, testify and take the brother as a part of it.
Let’s keep the essence of the real church that the Lord Jesus wants us to be. Then our descent will not perish.
Suggestions: This class will last at least 2 days so it could be a good learning.
Task: Color a drawing of a church and to draw a congregation (the brothers).