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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

Today we are continuing our new series titled “The Church and the Modern Family”

Today is part 2 The Church in Your House.

Text

Philemon 1-3 (ESV)

Greeting

1 Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,

To Philemon our beloved fellow worker 

2 and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture Reading

Romans 16:1-5 (ESV)

Personal Greetings

16 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, 

2 that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.

3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 

4 who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. 

5 Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia.

Prayer

Holy Father, we thank you for your beautiful love and gracious purpose for us.

We rejoice in this good day you have made.

We will be glad in it and serve with enthusiasm. 

We come to worship you by offering the adoration of our hearts and the praise of our lips.

We come brining our energy and our efforts in the form of our time, our finances, and most of all Lord our lives for use in furthering your kingdoms work.

Bless these gifts that we place on the alter for you today as expressions of our desire to be completely at your disposal.

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Introduction

Is there a church in your house?

Has the church ever met at your home?

Would the church be welcome in your house?

Various statements in the New Testament indicate that house churches were numerous in the early days of Christianity.

We find Aquila and Priscilla and the church that met at their house sending greetings along with Paul to the church in Corinth.

When Paul sent his letter to the church in Rome, he sent special greetings to the church that met in Aquila and Priscilla’s home.

The Greek word ekklesia has at least three meanings in the New Testament .

It is used to refer to all Christians in a house in Romans 16:5 (ESV)

5 Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia.

All Christians in a city in 1 Corinthians 1:2 (ESV)

2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

And all Christians in the world in Colossians 1:24 Version (ESV)

Paul’s Ministry to the Church

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

It is used mostly to refer to a local congregation of baptised believers.

The New Testament records five different instances in which a whole household experienced conversion and baptism.

  1. The household of Cornelius ( Acts 10:44-48 )

2. The household of Lydia ( Acts 16:15 )

3. The household of the Philippian jailer ( Acts 16:30-34 )

4. The household of Crispus ( Acts 18:8 )

5. The household of Stephanas ( 1 Corinthians 1:16 )

In our day we have emphasised the personal responsibility of each individual to put faith in God.

Perhaps we have neglected to appeal to a whole family about accepting Christ in order for them to become Christians as a unit.

Where is the church?

In answering that question, do you automatically think of a street address or a place where a building has been constructed for purposes of worship and Bible study?

The New Testament never focusses on a place, but instead on people.

Have we secularised our homes and isolated them from the living and powerful presence of Jesus Christ so that we never visualise the church as being in our house?

Some people see their homes as nothing more than service stations where they drive in, fill up their tanks, and leave.

Some people treat their homes like they are restaurants or bars.

They are places to eat and drink and renew the physical energy necessary to carry oil daily activities.

Some picture their homes as nothing more than motels where they sleep.

Some think of their houses as hospitals where those who are ill or hurting receive care.

Some people manage their homes as if they were recreation centres.

They are places to have a good time.

Others use their homes as if they  are offices or factories.

They see them as places where they work and do what they must to earn a living.

None of these are wrong!

But have you ever stopped to think about your house as being a place of worship, where the church meets to carry on God’s work and to experience His blessings?

The church is not simply a structure, street address, or a place.

  1. The church is where God’s people are.

The church is wherever God’s people are.

When I meet with Marc at the coffee shop or Robyn at the markets we can say the church is there.

If you recognise and respond to the implications of being the people of God, your home will become a dwelling place of the church.

2. The church is where biblical teaching is conducted

In New Testament days the church was not a building there people went to hear a sermon.

The church was the church when people met together to study the teachings of Jesus Christ and the instructions of His apostles.

Believers were following the great tradition of their spiritual forefathers.

Moses had said to the Israelites in, Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (ESV)

6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 

7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Every believer needs to see his or her home as a place where biblical truths should be taught and studied and implemented.

In that sense your house can become as sacred and as important for spiritual education as any building that has been specifically designated to that purpose.

3. The church is where Christian fellowship is enjoyed.

In the early church, food was shared between the early disciples as they visited the temple.

They broke bread from house to house, eating and sharing together.

Acts 2:42 (ESV)

The Fellowship of the Believers

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Acts 2:46 (ESV)

46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,

These early disciples shared not only their food, but also their experiences and insights into the purposes of God.

They shared a common faith in Jesus Christ and a common experience of being indwell by the Holy Spirit.

They shared the momentous task of telling others about God’s wonderful work in their hearts and lives.

4. The church is where prayers are offered.

Acts 2:42 (ESV)

The Fellowship of the Believers

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Acts 12:5 (ESV)

5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.

Acts 12:12 (ESV)

12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.

Jesus had quoted the Old Testament, declaring that God’s house was to be a house of prayer.

Do you pray to the heavenly Father and listen as He speaks to your heart?

Do you invite friends into your home for prayer, that you might join together in intercessory prayer for others?

5. The church is where praise is given to God.

Acts 2:47 (ESV)

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.

Parents should constantly praise God for His many blessings while their children are present.

Likewise Christians should not hesitate to tell visitors in their home how much they appreciate God’s goodness.

How long has it been since you offered praises to God in the presence of your visitors?

6. The church is where conversions take place.

Has anyone been saved in your home besides one of your children?

Have you ever used your home as a place to share with someone what Jesus Christ means to you?

A conversion can take place in your home just as it can take place in someone else’s home or in the church if the good news of God’s love is presented to those who need it.

Conclusion.

What about the church in your house?

Will you let your home become a place where the church meets and functions?

Will you make it a place where the people of God are welcome?

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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