Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Welcome to the Family
Pastor Scott Dungan
• Many people today are looking for meaningful relationships but don’t know where to turn
- Many families are distorted, unhealthy
- Many people have been hurt in relationships, rejected by others
- It is hard to make friends, and develop trusted relationships
• But Christianity is more than just having a relationship with Christ
- Christianity is also having a relationship with His people
- We need each other to grow in the faith
- We are dependant upon one another to fulfill the work of the Lord
- We need each other in order to live a fulfilling life

God’s Answer: The Family of God
Romans 8:16 – The Spirit Himself testifies with our Spirit that we are children of God

Scripture [The Resurrection of Tabitha, Dorcas – Acts 9:36-42]
• Woman abounded with deeds of kindness & charity which she continually did
• She fell sick & died, they sent two men to get Peter (make room for a miracle)
• Peter went with them, they stood & showed him the garments she made
• Peter seeks the Lord, God raises her up from the dead, he gives her back to the saints
• Fellowship restored
• Principles:
- Faith, mutual love, service, care, unity, affection = a miracle

• A unified body of individuals, people with a common interest, people with a common history or spiritual interest
• To have a common purpose or goal, common interests, activities, experiences
- Christ is the center and origin of all fellowship
- Communion with God is essential to have communion with each other
- Communion with each other is empowered by the Holy Spirit
• 5 aspects of New Testament Fellowship (Ac 2:42-47)
- Observance of the Lord’s supper – celebrating what the Lord had done for them
- Sharing their possessions with each other – out of love
- The interchange of spiritual experiences – worship, prayer, teaching, ministry
- Giving to support the work of the church (1Co 16:1)
- Cooperation in christian work: Php 1:5 = participation in the Gospel
• A group of people with common ancestry
• A group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation
• The New Testament transformed the traditional family by seeing the Christian community as the new family unit

The Christian Family
The Union with the Family
• The moment a person is born again they become part of the family of God
- But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name (Jn 1:12)
• Jesus says whoever does the will of God is His family member (Mt 12:49-50)
The Benefits of the Family
• Unity, equality “that they may be one just as We are one” (Jn 17:22)
• Love, support “love one another even as I have loved you” (Jn 17:22)
• Give and receive ministry: “when you assemble each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation, let all be done for edification” (1Co 14:26)
The Duties of the Family
• Stimulate one another to love & good deeds (Heb 10:24)
• Encourage one another, bear each others burdens (Heb 3:13; Gal 6:2)
• To love one another (Ro 13:8)
• To forgive each other (Eph 5:32)
The Family Gatherings
• The community life of the believers
- Share all things in common,
- Devoted to the Apostles teachings, to fellowship, breaking of bread, prayer
• Family gatherings (early church meetings)
- One-on-one meetings (“two or three gather in my name I am in the midst” Mt 18:20)
- House-to-house meetings (small groups) (Ac 2:46 – breaking bread from house to house)
- Temple (large assembly) (Ac 2:46 – continuing with one mind in the temple)

Application (The Need for Family)
• We were designed for relationship, with the Lord and with His people
• God has placed us into the family of God, with all of its benefits & responsibilities
• Spiritual growth occurs best in a caring community, giving and receiving ministry
• Involvement in the family of God brings true fulfillment in our personal lives

The Challenge
• Develop relationships – move into a smaller group of people, and get to know them
- Let them get to know you, share your life
• Get involved – Find an area of ministry you would like to serve and begin to bless others
- Do it in a team, it is a lot of fun
• Lean on the body – stop being independent, and become interdependent
- Share your struggles and hardships with others, let them minister to you
- Minister to them when they are facing challenges

Discussion Questions
• What is to take place in any normal christian gathering?
• Why do we find it hard to gather in smaller groups and share our lives with each other?

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