6 Reasons The Group Thing is a God ThingBy
THE GROUP THING IS A GOD THING
by Eddie Lawrence
Intro- Let me share with you a stick of small group dynamite in the form of a Bible verse.
Matthew 18:19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
This verse shows us the power of a small group getting together in Jesus name. Let me share with you….
6 REASONS THE GROUP THING IS A GOD THING
1. God’s Essence Demonstrates It
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Notice God said, “Let Us “ and “in Our image”. We do not believe in three gods but in One God who has revealed Himself to us in three persons. This in itself demonstrates to us that God is into communion and community. His very essence shows us His heart about people getting together in love and purpose.
2. Creation Demonstrates It
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
His command to humanity is to multiply. He desires for us to be in relationships with other people. The very act of reproduction shows God’s heart is to be surrounded by people who love Him and serve Him and whom He can love.
3. Jesus Demonstrates It
The 12 – Jesus invested himself in small group ministry with 12 men.
The 3 – He invested even more time into a smaller group of three.
The 70 – In another place he sent out seventy.
His Teaching on Prayer (2 or 3) – We have already seen the promise he gives to a small group who meets in his name.
His High Priestly Prayer- His prayer in John 17 reveals his heart for his followers to know the communion and love together that He and the Father had. He prays for the glory of that union to be upon them as well.
4. The Early Church Demonstrates It
Acts 2:46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
-Note they met house to house. There were 2000 saved and then 3000 saved. There was no house for 5000 to meet. This was small group meetings and probably more organized than we might think.
Acts 5:41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
-Note house to house teaching and preaching about Jesus. Another example of Christ centered small group meetings.
Acts 20: 20 how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, 21 testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
-Paul shows us in this verse that Ephesus knew about the public and private smaller gatherings.
5. Satan’s Strategy Demonstrates It
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
-We all know the enemy knows the power or working a small group of people to bring about his plans. A small group that spreads rumors, gossips, or complains has brought many a ministry to a halt. The enemy works through small groups because he knows small groups work to tear down. He is a thief because the truth is that small groups are powerful in building up the church as well as we have seen.
-The enemy like a lion also preys upon that person who becomes isolated from the herd. He hits the weak one, the struggling one, the alone one. Small groups allow us to be more intimately connected and protected because we have allowed people to have a deeper access to our personal lives.
6. The New Testament Demonstrates It
There are 59 “one another passages” in the New Testament. Here is a list of them I ran across. They are proof in point of our need to not only gather publicly as a corporate group of believers but to be connected to a smaller group with which we can share our lives. We need both to be strong as we can be.
1. “…Be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50)
2. “…Wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
3. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
4. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
5. “…Love one another…” (John 13:35)
6. “…Love one another…” (John 15:12)
7. “…Love one another” (John 15:17)
8. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” (Romans 12:10)
9. “…Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
10. “Live in harmony with one another…” (Romans 12:16)
11. “…Love one another…” (Romans 13:8)
12. “…Stop passing judgment on one another.” (Romans 14:13)
13. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…” (Romans 15:7)
14. “…Instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14)
15. “Greet one another with a holy kiss…” (Romans 16:16)
16. “…When you come together to eat, wait for each other.” (I Cor. 11:33)
17. “…Have equal concern for each other.” (I Corinthians 12:25)
18. “…Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (I Corinthians 16:20)
19. “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (II Corinthians 13:12)
20. “…Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
21. “If you keep on biting and devouring each other…you will be destroyed by each other.”
22. “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:26)
23. “Carry each other’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2)
24. “…Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
25. “Be kind and compassionate to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32)
26. “…Forgiving each other…” (Ephesians 4:32)
27. “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:19)
28. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
29. “…In humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)30. “Do not lie to each other…” (Colossians 3:9)
31. “Bear with each other…” (Colossians 3:13)
32. “…Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” (Colossians 3:13)
33. “Teach…[one another]” (Colossians 3:16)
34. “…Admonish one another (Colossians 3:16)
35. “…Make your love increase and overflow for each other.” (I Thessalonians 3:12)
36. “…Love each other.” (I Thessalonians 4:9)
37. “…Encourage each other…”(I Thessalonians 4:18)
38. “…Encourage each other…” I Thessalonians 5:11)
39. “…Build each other up…” (I Thessalonians 5:11)
40. “Encourage one another daily…” Hebrews 3:13)
41. “…Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
42. “…Encourage one another.” (Hebrews 10:25)
43. “…Do not slander one another.” (James 4:11)
44. “Don’t grumble against each other…” (James 5:9)
45. “Confess your sins to each other…” (James 5:16)
46. “…Pray for each other.” (James 5:16)
47. “…Love one another deeply, from the heart.” (I Peter 3:8)
48. “…Live in harmony with one another…” (I Peter 3:8)
49. “…Love each other deeply…” (I Peter 4:8)
50. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (I Peter 4:9)
51. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…” (I Peter 4:10)
52. “…Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…”(I Peter 5:5)
53. “Greet one another with a kiss of love.” (I Peter 5:14)
54. “…Love one another.” (I John 3:11)
55. “…Love one another.” (I John 3:23)
56. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:7)
57. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:11)
58. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:12)
59. “…Love one another.” (II John 5)
*This list of 59 verses came from Carl F. George, Prepare Your Church for the Future (Tarrytown: Revell, 1991), 129-131.
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