Sep 1st, 2019
Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 41 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House. This is Pastor Bill and over the next 8 minutes or so we are going to talk about fellowship.
I’ve said it before, and this probably won’t be the last time I say it, small groups are the greatest thing to ever happen to the modern church. Whether that takes the form of home groups or adult Sunday school, that one on one intimate interaction and connection, that fellowship, is the backbone of our faith. What was the command Jesus gave as he ascended into Heaven? Go and make converts of all nations, but keep each other at arm's length? No, it was Matthew 28:19a, “ Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,” or the King James reads, “teach.” In the Greek it’s the word;
G3100 μαθητεύω mathēteuō math-ayt-yoo'-o From G3101; intransitively to become a pupil; transitively to disciple, that is, enrol as scholar: - be disciple, instruct, teach.
Think the relationship the Disciples had with Christ, this is an intimate word. I once heard it explained something along the lines of that if you aren’t willing to take a phone call in the middle of the night from someone that you’ve led to the Lord, then you’re not making disciples at all.
What if we rebuilt church culture from the ground up valuing the intimacy of discipleship as priority number one, instead of a side program, and gave up the extra-Biblical fluff we’ve added over the years to make ourselves feel religious and spiritual? For instance, we’ve elevated the buildings we have corporate worship in and call them “The House of the Lord.” While there is some Old Testament Biblical precedent there, it hasn’t been a valid correlation since the veil in the temple was torn in two at the death of Christ. Since then, it’s just a building, just a place.
Let’s look at the conversation Jesus has with the Samaritan woman in John 4:20-24, “ Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem."  Jesus told her, "Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews.  But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him.  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth." Jesus is talking about the decentralization of religion that was going to take place upon His death when the veil is ripped in two. I can see how one could argue that our modern churches represent this decentralization, but there’s more here than just that, He’s talking about religion being replaced by relationship in the hearts of mankind.
To follow through with confirmation of this thought process, let’s take a look at 1 Corinthians 6:19a, “ Don't you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?” That word, “temple” is the greek word:
G3485 ναός naos nah-os' From a primary word ναίω naiō (to dwell); a fane, shrine, temple: - shrine, temple. Compare G2411.
This is the second time in 147 episodes that it’s been pertinent to highlight the “Compare” note that James Strong has included in the definition of a word. G2411 reads:
G2411 ἱερόν hieron hee-er-on' Neuter of G2413; a sacred place, that is, the entire precincts (whereas G3485 (the word Paul used in 1 Corinthians 6:19) denotes the central sanctuary itself) of the Temple (at Jerusalem or elsewhere): - temple.
The point here is that in 1 Corinthians 6:19 Paul has chosen a word that doesn’t paint a picture of a little white church by itself, on a hill, in the middle of a field as the temple of the Holy Spirit, as the House of the Lord.
On the contrary, I want to take a moment to try and paint a picture for you as to the scope of the implication of using this word. After I graduated from High School I entered into a year-long internship in East Texas at a ministry that ran youth conferences almost every weekend all over the United States and organized youth mission trips every summer and winter to countries all over the world. During this year I lived with other members of this internship on the ministries 400-acre property that was, by and large, considered a “sacred place.” There were dorms, a cafeteria, offices, a pool, a basketball court, a football field, and a mile-long running path. Amongst all of these was an auditorium where we would meet for corporate worship, religious teaching, and classes where we’d learn about missions, methods of evangelization, ect… It was, in essence, our church building.
Now imagine everything on the property was an auditorium. The dorms - an auditorium, the cafeteria - an auditorium, the offices - an auditorium, the pool, a wet, - auditorium, the basketball court - an auditorium, the football field - an auditorium, and the running path - an auditorium. The Church, as a whole, is this sacred place, and we, the body of The Church, are its auditoriums. We may have started as dorms and cafeterias, offices and pools, basketball courts, football fields, and running paths, but when we attained salvation we became auditoriums. We are The Churches nah-os’, its temples. We are the House of The Lord, not some building where we meet.
As such, we should be living lifestyles of worship and biblical study, coming together for service or weekly meetings, or whatever you want to call them, to minister one to another, motivating each-other to acts of love and good works, and encouraging each other.
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”