12. A People’s Church

In Your Bible Read This

Acts, Chapter 22

Here Is Your Memory Verse

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

Afterwards Talk About This

In what practical ways could you all as a royal priesthood offer the costly spiritual sacrifices that we have found in the Bible in this lesson?

Something To Do Before Next Time

Ask the Lord to direct you into a situation between now and next time where you can do something that Jesus did. Then when it happens, remember this lesson, make no excuses but step out in faith and in his mighty name.

Written Diploma Work

Write down an explanation of what Jesus asked when he went to the Father to make it possible for you minister in the same way that he did. John 14:12

Meditate Word By Word On This Verse

John 14.12

Spend a Minute to Change the World

Pray For Thailand – 60,000,000 people in Asia. Much corruption, immorality, drugs, 93% Buddhist, only 1% Christians

Be sure to teach this lesson to others. Always pray and prepare well adding your own verses and stories to bring it to life.

Who Are You, Lord?

This was the first question on Saul's lips when he unexpectedly walked into God's glory as he was travelling to Damascus, Acts 22,8-10. As soon as Saul, later to be called Paul, understood that he was in the presence of the risen Lord Jesus, he asked a second question ~

What Shall I Do?

That same question is still upon the lips of many believers today who want to serve the Lord rather than follow worldly ambitions. Sadly, not everyone finds a way of expressing their faith because in some churches everything is done by the professional clergy or the paid leaders, leaving the people little to do except attend platform-led Sunday meetings and pay tithes and offerings without explanation of where it all goes. Instead of being mobilised the church is all too often paralysed.

On the other hand, many pastors complain that there is no one to help them but fail to see the provision of God before them.

The Missions Force Is In The Pews

The missions force may well be in the pews but an army that does not march never conquers. In the history of the Church there are two clear peaks of amazing growth. You can find them in the first century and in the sixteenth century, in what is called the Reformation.

At those times many of God's people not just the leaders were especially motivated and mobilised and went far and wide telling the good news even under fiery persecution. The army of God marched on in power and the world was shaken.

At some other times in history the clergy even refused to allow the people to read the Scriptures let alone express their gifts and faith. Even today God's very capable people can feel deeply frustrated if they are kept as onlookers, uncertain as how they might serve God as the sermons they frequently hear tell them to.

History also teaches us that if that frustration boils over, or if an alternative presents itself, then an established church can quickly suffer loss. However the Bible teaches us about a better way altogether.

Every Member A Minister

The apostle Peter writes, " you also…like living stones are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God." 1 Peter 2. 5; and see 9 too. The New Testament standard is the priesthood of all believers, not a professional priesthood and that unbiblical word – laity. And have you ever seen what Jesus said that believers can do, in Mark 16, 16-18?

Does This Mean That We Should Not Have Any Church Leaders?

No, not at all. The Bible is very clear that God places leaders in the church, Ephesians 4.11,12, but their chief responsibility is to prepare and release the whole church into the 'priesthood' of service that God has planned in advance for each believer. Eph. 2.10.

What Then Does A Priest Do?

  • He reflects the holiness of both God and of his High Priest, Jesus. 1 Peter 1.15; Hebrews 7.26; 10.10
  • He intercedes before God for man.
  • He represents God before man.

Yes, of course that is the job of the clergy, but you can, and should still do, all of these things every day, being a priest to the people just where they are.

What Else Can We Do As Priests?

We can and should offer 'spiritual sacrifices.' 1 Peter 2.5

The Bible says that they are –

  • Sacrifices of praise to God. Heb. 13.15
  • Sacrifices of money or material goods. Philippians 4.18; Hebrews 13.16
  • Sacrifice of our body offered to God. Romans 12.1
  • Sacrifices of doing good. Hebrews 13.16, Acts 10.38

A well loved missionary was disappointed because he did not see many people healed or delivered when he prayed for them. When he prayed about this the Lord pointed out Acts 10.38 to him and suggested that if he did the first part first as Jesus did – that is going about doing good, then the second part about healing all the oppressed of the devil would follow. Sure enough when he gave himself to do simple acts of kindness then the Lord fulfilled his word with miracles.

Everyone Can At Least Do Good

Jesus did countless acts of kindness and Paul told Titus to tell the people to learn to devote themselves to doing what is good. Titus 3, 8,14. See also Eph. 6.8; 2.10, 4.12; Matthew 5.16 and James 2.14-26

Do You Have Faith In Jesus?

Then read what Jesus said in John 14.12. Jesus taught that whatever he did is exactly what anyone of us who has faith in him can do today, in his name.

What Did Jesus Do?

Jesus spoke the truth and did ~

  • Twenty-three miracles of healing,
  • Three times he raised the dead,
  • Twice he fed thousands of people,
  • He commanded nature,
  • He paid taxes miraculously,
  • Twice he provided catches of fish for food and for sale and storage,
  • He provided wine for celebration.

A wise church leader will help himself and bring great blessing and satisfaction to his people by making sure that every man and woman is trained to be like Jesus and then released under supervision to be a 'minister' either at home or a missionary further away. If he will do so then the whole army of God will surely march on in love and conquer all before, and the pastor will no longer have to everything himself.

To Close Pray for the World's Most Unreached Peoples by Name

Taken from the Joshua Project Unreached Peoples List these people have no church and as yet no cell, church or mission has committed themselves to prayer, adoption or church planting among this people.

Turkmenistan

People Name Language Population
Baluch, Western Baluchi, Western 34,000
Tatar Tatar 41,000

 

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