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Center of My Church

Center of My Church

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Center of My Church

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  1. Center of My Church 1:24 – 2:7

  2. Amiens Cathedral • Located 80 miles north of Paris, it is the tallest and largest cathedral in France. • Built in the 13th century, the townspeople decided to build a cathedral that could hold their entire population of 20,000. • But, their desire for impressive height and size came at a steep structural price. • Today, the large bays have a huge structural problem…lots of cracks which threaten the structural integrity of the entire cathedral.

  3. Avoiding Collapse Do you think an effort to impress is still causing churches to be in danger of collapse today? While the very heart of the cathedral may be in danger of collapse, we know that the true heart of the church is Jesus, and He never fails. However, churches are in danger of collapsing when they lose their heart. This lesson examines how churches can avoid collapse by staying centered on Jesus.

  4. An essential step in making Christ central in our church is evaluating the message we’re communicating. What is Our Message?Colossians 1:24-27

  5. What is Our Message? Colossians 1:24-27 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for His body, that is, the church. 25 I have become its minister, according to God's administration that was given to me for you, to make God's message fully known, 26the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints. 27 God wanted to make known to those among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which isChrist in you, the hope of glory.

  6. “Mystery” Conveys the idea of something once hidden but now revealed – an open secret. Familiar to the people of Colossae – numerous pagan religions were known as “mystery religions” (e.g. Gnosticism) They emphasized secret teachings and rituals they held to be necessary for salvation and spiritual power. Paul used this word 21 times but he gave it new meaning. Rather than something hidden from many and only available to a few, God’s message (mystery) was revealed openly: salvation in Christ is available to all people. In Christ, God has demonstrated He wants to redeem all people.

  7. What is Lacking? Christ's meritorious sufferings in expiation for sin were once for all completely filled up on the cross, and need not supplementing; but His Church (His second Self) has her complete measure of afflictions fixed, which He regards as His. The more Paul, a member, endured, the less remain for the rest of the Church. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary

  8. God Stuff Good Stuff or God Stuff? Good Stuff What are some of the positive ministries ClearView is doing in our community? “The content of [the church’s] catechesis…must always be Christ-obsessed.” J.I. Packer According to verse 27, what is THE message of the church? How do we avoid losing sight of the primary message, even as we continue to provide good programs? Whose responsibility is it to keep the message of the church Christ-obsessed: the members, the staff, or both?

  9. Staying on Message God commissions every believer to share with others the good news of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Unfortunately, many believers and churches keep that message an unrevealed mystery. We need to evaluate our priorities to ensure we keep Jesus at the center of what we learn and apply.

  10. Paul went on to describe the methods and purpose of his Christ-centered ministry. Are We Growing Spiritually?Colossians 1:28 – 2:3

  11. Are We Growing Spiritually? Colossians 1:28 - 2:3 28 We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me. 1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you, for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me in person. 2 I want their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding, and have the knowledge of God's mystery—Christ. 3 In Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.

  12. Spiritual Maturity What was Paul’s overarching goal? One study revealed that 17 percent of Protestants could be described as mature Christians. Would Paul have been willing to settle for that number? What percentage was he shooting for? How does Colossians 2:2 describe a mature believer?

  13. Labor or In Labor? The word “labor” in verse 29 is kopio. It is related to a root word meaning a striking or a beating. Paul used itthroughout his letters to describe the “toil resulting in weariness” he undertook for the churches. What actions did Paul take to help people reach the goal of spiritual maturity? When Paul labored so intensely, was it by his own strength? How do you think that made a difference? Are you laboring over any baby Christians right now? What is the most difficult aspect of that work?

  14. If these are the three targets, do you believe our church is hitting the bulls eye? The Bulls Eye In the first two points of today’s lesson, Scripture outlines three targets every church needs to be centered upon: the message, the method, and the purpose.

  15. Encouraged & Assured Disciples Churches that keep Christ at the center produce encouraged and assured disciples. The church is strong when believers are encouraged and assured of their salvation and spiritual growth. Since discouraged people will always look elsewhere for fulfillment, Paul wanted the Colossian believers to be encouraged in Christ so they wouldn’t fall prey to the false teachings that had been sneaking into their city.

  16. For the first time, Paul began to allude to the false teachings that had prompted him to write this letter in the first place. Are We Walking in Him?Colossians 2:4-7

  17. Are We Walking in Him? Colossians 2:4-7 4 I am saying this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive arguments. 5 For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the strength of your faith in Christ. 6Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, 7rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

  18. Walking the Walk What did Paul urge the Colossians to do? If they were so well-ordered and strong, why did Paul feel the need to write them this letter? What four metaphors did Paul use to describe a life that walks the walk? What does it mean to walk in Jesus?

  19. Well Ordered The term “well ordered” in verse 5 comes from a military term for an unbroken line of soldiers that remained steadfast under attack. If “well-ordered” described soldiers in battle formation, then is it really possible for one Christian to be “well-ordered” on his or her own? How important is the Christian community in helping you discern false teaching and stand strong against attack? Have you ever been deceived by a persuasive argument?

  20. Digging Deep Before You Build Chicago is a tough place to build a tall building. But the 1,450’ Sears Tower is built on a foundation 100 feed deep with concrete pilings going down another 100 feet to the bedrock. Without such a deep foundation, the building could never withstand the high winds and sandy soil of the area. How deep is your foundation?

  21. A Christ-Centered Walk • Unlike a building that is completed and then left alone, Christians are more like trees that keep on growing. • Our roots grow continually deeper. • We’re always connected, growing, serving, and going. • All these actions God does to us – we don’t root, build up, or establish ourselves. • God gives us the power to connect, grow, serve, and go.

  22. What makes a church Christ-centered? • On message – Christ in you, the hope of glory • On mission – making & growing disciples • On target – expanding the Kingdom • What can you do to contribute to keeping ClearView a Christ-centered church?