Lesson 7: The Church and its Ordinances

Be sure to let them lead as much as possible in all aspects of your “participatory” worship. Make sure you keep them accountable to do the things they need to do in order to obey and to share the lesson with someone else.

In the last lesson, we learned that believers in Christ join together to form His body, the church.  This is a special lesson on the church and its ordinances.  It is designed to help the leader ensure that a new church will be formed that is fulfilling the 6 functions of a true church.

The items for accountability are:

Did you read your Bible at least 5 min/day?
Did you listen for God to speak during QT?  Have them show journal or share 1 insight from their reading and their obedience to what God showed them.
Did you share the Hand Presentation with at least 3 people?  Tell me their names?
Did you share the last teaching/lesson with 5 people?  Tell me their names.

Spiritual Emphasis:  There are only 2 ordinances for the church: the Lord’s Supper and Baptism.  These are not sacraments to obtain grace or to save a person.

Lesson:
(*Last meeting I also asked you to think about “church” and “worship.”  In our worship/church what is biblical? And what is from tradition?  (Wait for their answers.  Discuss.) Remember, just because something is based on tradition doesn’t mean its wrong.  Most things that are tradition now started for good reasons.  But sometimes, man’s thoughts start going astray, until they are far from the original thought and intent.  We must realize the difference if something is biblical or not, — what things could be done differently and what things need to not be changed.)

Do you remember what the 6 functions of a church are as we discovered from God’s word in Acts 2?  (Teaching, Fellowship, Worship, Prayer, Ministry and Evangelism)

2.    God has given only 2 ordinances (or orders) to the church for their regular observance: the Lord’s Supper and Baptism. Baptism is a symbol of our death to sin and self, and resurrection to a new life.  The Lord’s Supper is a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, how his body was broken and his blood was shed.

3.    Read Luke 22: 17-19.  How did Jesus say to eat the bread and drink the wine?  (in  remembrance of  Him)

4.    Read 1 Cor. 11: 23-26.  How did Paul say we are to do the Lord’s Supper?  (to do it in remembrance of Him)

5.    Read Heb. 9:25-28  How many times did Christ have to die?  (Once and for all – not many times)

6.    So we can see that the Lord’s Supper is a service to remember Christ’s sacrifice, not repeat it.  The bread does NOT become the actual body of Christ.  The wine or juice does NOT become the actual blood of Christ.

7.    And the Bible does not specify how often we are to observe the Lord’s Supper.  It just says, “…whenever,” you eat or drink of it.  Read 1 Cor. 11:25-26.

8.    And concerning Baptism, we see that the Lord is again using symbols to remind us of important spiritual truths.   Read Rom. 6: 3-4.  What symbol or picture is God giving to us through baptism?  (Death, Burial, and Resurrection)

9.    In the original Greek language the word for baptism was “Baptidzo.”  And it meant to immerse, like a ship that was sunk in a war.  It went all the way under the water.  Can sprinkling then give a good picture of burial, like immersion does?  (Expected answer – No.)

10.    And as we saw in our last lesson in the example of Philip (Acts 8:35-38), the Philippian jailer (Acts 16:30-33) and even Peter’s preaching at Pentecost (Acts 2:36-38), baptism is the proper and expected next step after a person believes and trusts Jesus as his personal savior and Lord.  Read Acts 2:41. So, the ones who were added to the church, what did they do before they were added to the church?  (They were baptized.)  It is therefore a witness to others of what has happened already in your life and an entrance or requirement to church membership.

11.    But baptism doesn’t save you.  Read Eph. 2:8-9.  What are we saved by?  (Grace through faith) What are we NOT saved by and why?  (Not of works – so no one can boast.) So who gets the glory?  (God)

Do you understand this lesson?  Are there any questions?

Have them practice the story, then…

Verse to Memorize:
“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about 3,000 were added to their number that day.” Acts 2:41

How to Obey:  Lead any in the group who have not yet been baptized to set a date/schedule when they will be baptized.  Lead the entire group to commit to God and to each other to be a local expression of the body of Christ. Ask your mentor to help you learn how to baptize, but don’t let him do it all for you.  There is no reason you cannot baptize the ones you led to the Lord.  And later you will be teaching them the same. There are many different styles or ways to baptize.  The important thing is to keep the picture of death, burial and resurrection through total immersion in water.

Regular Assignment:

Read your Bible at least 5 min/day.

Listen for God to speak to you during your QT.  Write any special insights He shows you and especially write how you obeyed this insight.

Share the Hand Presentation 3 x with people this week.  List their names.

Share this lesson 5 x with different people this week.  List the names of the ones you share with.

Prayer – Pray for needs in group and ask for God to make them a light in their community through Spirit’s witness.

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