The church composed of true Christians who have been converted and placed into the body of Christ.
• God who gives life to the dead, sight to the blind, and the gifts of faith and repentance calls us to respond in obedience to the Gospel by repentance and belief (Eph. 2:5; 2 Cor. 4:3-6; Acts 11:18; Romans 1:5).
• True Christians have believed and repented in response to the words of the Gospel (Mark 1:15).
• They are born-again (John 3:1-8) and know God (1 Peter 3:18; John 17:3).
• There are evidences that they have been truly born-again: confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9; Mark 8:38; 2 Timothy 1:8; 2:12; 1 John 4:15), is shown in the witness of the Spirit (Romans 5:5; 8:15-16; 1 John 4:13), a changed life (2 Cor. 13:5), a life of repentance (2 Cor. 7:9-10), trust in Christ as Savior (1 John 5:11-12; James 2), love for Christians (John 13:34-35; 1 John 4:20), burden for the lost (Matthew 9:34-36; 28:16-20), gathering with other Christians (Hebrews 10:24-25), perseverance (Matt. 10:22). They exibit Gospel wakefulness in all of life.
• Being a Christian is not the same as going to church meetings (Matthew 13:24-30).
• The church is the people, not the building (1 Peter 2:9-10).
• Christians, simply by coverting, are placed into the Body of Christ, the church (1 Cor. 12:13), are unified (Philippians 1:27; 2:1-4), committed/bound to their church to worship, attend, love, serve and submit (Matt. 16:16-19; 18:17-19; 1 Cor. 5:12-13; 2 Cor. 2:6).
• The believers are openly and unashamedly spiritually transparent and authentic.
• Cell and house churches are the predominant church models in the world (Acts 2:42-27; 5:42; 8:3; 10:24-27; 12:12; 16:40; 20:20; 28:30-31; Rom. 16:3-5; I Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:5; Phil. 2)
Questions to investigate:
a. What are some common misunderstandings of what it means to become a Christian?
b. Why is saying a prayer not consistent with the Bible’s teaching on becoming a Christian?
c. What are the four elements of the Gospel? [ God, Sin, Jesus, Response. ] Why are they all essential?
d. Is it more dangerous to think you are a Christian and not be one, or to not be a Christian and know you are not one? Why?
e. Which of the following words and phrases are appropriate when sharing the Gospel? Why or why not? ask Jesus into your heart, believe, receive, trust, repent, pray this prayer, come forward and pray with me
f. Why do some people confuse the church with the church building?
g. What is the glue that holds the church together (1 John 1:1-5; John 17; Ephesians 4)?
What aspects of American culture make the glue not work very well? How is community built?
h. How do you know you are a Christian?
i. How are believing and repenting related?
j. What does this mean, “The faith that saves is the faith that works”?
k. What is Gospel wakefulness?
l. Why is our highest priority of service to the other people in our fellowship assurance of salvation? How do we go about this practically?
m. How does God personally establish each individual church?