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This morning we kick off "Council Month". We will celebrate the life and ministry of Faith Community over the next 4 weeks with 4 brief video presentations. Here at Faith we want to be a church that follows well, loves well, and serves well. This morning we take a look at what the Bible says about the Church. The Bible sets a high bar because people are worth it.

TODAY'S SCRIPTURES

1 Timothy 3.15
But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth. 

Acts 2.36-47
Acts 2.36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ — this Jesus whom you crucified.

Acts 2.37   Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Acts 2.43   Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. 

SERMON NOTES

Click here to view/download this morning's sermon notes/slides.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

One of the challenges in recommending books on the Church is that there is so few titles in print. The best and most frequently published titles come from the Catholic Church because of their high regard for the Church. Most non-Catholic titles about the church deal with crowds, cash, criticism, curriculum, and leadership. But very little reflection on who and what the Church is that we are doing all this planning for. Here are 3 titles:

The Church by Hans Kung is quite simply the finest book about the Church in print. Don't let the $55 price scare you off... it can be purchased quite inexpensively through some of the other sites listed on this Amazon page or check out Abe Books. This book will require your effort but Mark thinks that if you put in the time and effort you will grow in your love for Jesus, His Church, and your calling.

The Church: A Theological and Historical Account looks at the four classic marks of the church--its oneness, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity--and illustrates how each of these marks has been understood by different Christian traditions

Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church introduces you to the Churches Fathers - the leaders who succeeded the Apostles. While the church today looks quite different than it did two thousand years ago, Christians share the same faith with the church fathers. Although separated by time and culture, we have much to learn from their lives and teaching.

Check out these studies of religious attitudes and identification from Pew Research and Public Religion Research Institute. Here are 7 startling facts on church attendance in America. 

ONLINE GIVING:

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