Formed for God's Family.
The Purpose Driven Life - Part 3
Sermon Outline Notes
- God is the one who made all things, and all things
are for His glory. He wanted to have many children share
His glory... Heb. 2:10a (NCV)
- His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us
into His own family by bringing us to Himself through
Jesus Christ. Eph. 1:5 (NLT)
- Love your spiritual family! 1 Pet. 2:17b
My second purpose in life is fellowship.
- The person who loves God must also love other
believers.1 John 4:21 (GW)
FELLOWSHIP is loving Gods Family.
- Im writing
so youll know how to
live in the family of God. That family is the
church...1 Tim. 3:14-15 (NCV)
Four Levels of Fellowship
Level 1: Membership: Choosing to Belong
- ...You are members of God's very own family... and
you belong in God's household with every other
Christian. Eph. 2:19 (LB)
- In Christ we who are many form one Body, and each
member belongs to all the others. Rom. 12:5 (NIV)
- This is what we proclaimed in word and action when
we were baptized. Each of us is now a part of His
resurrection Body. 1 Cor. 12:13 (Msg)
- That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means.
When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial
of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is
like the resurrection of Jesus. Rom. 6:3 (Msg)
Level 2: Friendship: Learning to Share
- All the believers met together constantly and
shared everything with each other. Acts 2:44 (LB)
- People learn from one another, just as iron
sharpens iron. Prov. 27:17 (TEV)
- Open your homes to each other. 1 Peter 4:9
- Share each other's troubles and problems.
Gal. 6:2 (NLT)
- Let us not give up the habit of meeting together.
Instead, let us encourage one another... Heb. 10:25
Level 3: Partnership: Doing My Part
- We are partners working together for God. 1
Cor. 3:9a (TEV)
- The whole Body is fitted together perfectly. As
each part does its own special work, it helps the other
parts grow, so that the whole Body is healthy and growing
and full of love. Eph. 4:16 (NLT)
- Just as you did it to one of the least of these who
are members of my family, you did it to Me. Matt.
Level 4: Kinship: Loving Believers Like Family
- ...they were like family to each other. Acts
- Be devoted to each other like a loving
family. Rom. 12:10 (GW)
- We know what real love is because Christ gave up
His life for us. And so we also ought to give up our
lives for our Christian brothers and sisters.1 John
- Your strong love for each other will prove to the
world that you are My disciples. John 13:35 (LB)
- You are all children of God through faith in Christ
Jesus. Gal. 3:26 (NLT)
Today we are continuing on the series called 40 days of
Last week, we looked at Gods first purpose for our
lives, which is to get to know Him and to love Him.
We can summarize last weeks sermon this way.
Rather than spending our time planning our lives, we should
instead spend our time being available for God. Being available
allows God to move in our lives regardless of where we are, or
what we are doing. So when God comes calling, all your plans will
probably go out the window. When God moves, flexibility is the
key to your relationship with him.
Now let us look at the second purpose God created us for.
You are formed for God's family.
The top of your outline quotes Hebrews 2:10
"God is the one who made all things, and all things
are for His glory. He wanted to have many children share His
God wanted a family. That's why we're here. He wanted
children. And the Bible says He planned everything in the
entire universe so we could be born, so we could share in His
glory, so we could be part of His family.
The next verse in your outline says this.
His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into
His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus
Christ." Eph. 4:16 (NLT)
The entire Bible is the story of God building a family. That's
what it is all about. God is building a family for Himself that
is going to last not just here on earth, but forever and ever and
ever in eternity. It is an eternal family. You were made to last
Last week we heard about Gods first purpose in your
Once you start getting to know God and making yourself
available for God to move actively in your life, then you can
begin to focus on His second purpose for your life.
This is what I Peter 2:17 says. "Love your spiritual
That's what God wants you to do. That's the second
purpose of your life. God says that He wants you to learn to love
the people in your family.
Why is that?
One reason is this. You will be spending an eternity with your
spiritual family. God wants you to learn to love them.
God is Love, and learning to love one another teaches us how
God works. We are practicing for eternity. When you are in
heaven, you will be loving God, and you will be loving one
another. It will be a place of Love. And God says this
The person who loves God must also love other believers.
(1 John 4:21)
We are here to begin doing what we will be doing forever.
In your outline we now come to the first fill in the
My second purpose in life is Fellowship.
That's the word that the Bible uses to describe loving each
What does that mean?
I have already quoted the verse you see in your notes.
So lets fill in the next blank.
Fellowship is loving God's family.
Who on earth then is Gods family?
Paul wrote this "I am writing so that you will know
how to live in the family of God. That family is the
Have a look around. The people you see around you are the
family of God. You will be spending eternity with them.
The church is not a building. Long after this building is
replaced, or rebuilt, or torn down, you will still be spending
time with the people you see here. Church is not a place you go
to. Church is a family you belong to. It's more than this
building, more than a service.
As a matter of fact, Church is not more than a building; it is
not this building at all. This building just happens to be the
place where this part of Gods family meets on a Sunday
So, what does it mean to be in the Church of God? What does it
mean to be in Gods family?
The Bible describes four levels of Fellowship
Lets go to your outline and fill in the next blank.
The first level is Membership. "Choosing to
This is the most basic level. This happens when you find a
church family and you choose to get connected to it.
Ephesians 2:19 says this "You are members of God's
very own family and you belong in God's household with every
The key thought in this verse is this You belong.
The Christian life is not just a matter of believing. It is
matter of belonging, and you and I must choose to belong.
Fellowship begins with belonging, with making that choice. God
wants you to make the choice to be a part of His family. When you
were born, you automatically became a part of the human race. But
you have to choose to belong to the family of God, the church. It
is a choice. It is a membership choice.
This next week in the Purpose Driven Life book, we will be
reading six reasons why all of us need to be a part of a church
family, why it meets your needs and why you meet other people's
The Bible tells us this in Romans 12, verse 5, In
Christ we who are many form one Body, and each member belongs
to all the others."
As a Christian, you belong to every other Christian. We are
members together. Just like your hand is a member of your body,
that's how tightly we're tied to each other. This isn't about
being a part of a club, or a society. This is about belonging to
each other, making the choice to belong to a family.
If you want to grow, if you want to see God at work in your
life, you have to join a body. Floating from church to church is
not an option. Growth happens when you are attached to the Body.
We need to attach ourselves to a group of believers, where we
say, I want to be a part of what's going on there.
Jesus loves the church. And you and I need to have the same
kind of love. Jesus calls the church the body. The
church is Jesus' body. He loves the church.
The Bible uses another term to describe the church. It is
called the bride of Christ. Jesus loves the church, this group of
believers that is growing together, and you and I need to have
that same kind of love for this body by deciding, choosing to
belong. There is a symbol of that, of the fact that we belong
together -- a picture that God gives us. It is called
"baptism." Baptism is the picture that we belong
together in the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:13 says this. "This is what we
proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.
Each of us is now a part of His resurrection Body."
It is a public way of saying, I am part of a group of
believers and I am excited to belong to this group of
Romans 6:3 says it this way: "That's what baptism
into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the
water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up
out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus."
Baptism is a public proclamation that we died to something;
and that we live to something. We died to an old way of life;
we're living to a new way of life.
Thats why Baptism is so important. It is visible symbol
of the commitment of a person's heart, saying Im not
ashamed to tell the world that I believe in Jesus Christ. And
that is why the baptism service is so important in this
particular church, and in so many other churches. It is a time
when we as a group of believers welcome new believers into the
Now, lets look at the second level of Fellowship.
Your notes call this the friendship level or Learning
You were created in God's image. You were made for
relationships. Life is not a solo act. And you need friends.
The Bible says this in Acts 2:44. "All the believers
met together constantly and shared everything with each
Notice two things:
- One, you can't develop friendships without meeting
- And two, you can't develop friendships without sharing.
Do you know why most people are lonely? They don't make time
for friendships. They are too busy achieving; they are too busy
working; they are too busy doing other things. They are not
willing to put time into it.
So, You have to meet together. You have to get together. And
until you start saying that this is going to be a priority in my
life, you're not going to develop any deep friends. They don't
just happen. They happen because you choose to make the time for
them. It is not luck. It is a choice. And you can't develop
friendships without sharing. It says, they shared
What are some of the things we share?
This is another one of those fill in the blanks places.
Number 1, the Bible says we're to share our experiences.
The Bible says, people learn from one other just as
iron sharpens iron."Prov. 27:17 (TEV)
As Christians, we see that God deals with us as we go through
life. As we fellowship together, we can tell each other how God
has dealt with us on a particular situation. We are here to tell
each other the lessons God has taught us throughout our life. If
we are wise, we will take these lessons to heart.
Second, the Bible says we're to share our homes.
The Bible says in I Peter 4:9, "open up your homes to
We come to church to worship. Because of the way we conduct
this service, and because of time constraints, we are not able to
get to know each other as well as God wants us to. We cannot
fellowship in a crowd. You can only do that in a
small group or one on one.
Right now we can celebrate together; we can worship together.
But no fellowship will take place in this service. You're going
to walk out of here not knowing anybody better than you do right
Fellowship only takes place in a small group. And that's why
the Bible says open up your homes to each other. That's where you
really get to know people. Jesus is our example in this. He
taught the crowds. He performed miracles in crowds. But he
explained his teachings over dinner.
To a small group of friends.
And thats why we as a church are stressing the home
groups during this time. Thats when you can ask your
questions. Thats when you can get to know the other people
that come to this church.
Thirdly, the Bible says we're to share our problems.
We're not meant to face our problems alone. The Bible
says, Share each other's troubles and problems.
Gal. 6:2 (NLT)
The Bible says, Weep with those who weep and rejoice
with those who rejoice. Sometimes in a small group you die
of laughter and sometimes you're all shedding a tear. Why?
Depends on what is going on in your group during the week. You
don't have to fix everybody's problem. God hasn't told you to do
that. It just says share them. This means lend a listening ear.
You don't have to fix. In fact, a lot of times, trying to fix
a problem doesn't help. Its just sitting there and going,
Boy I feel for you, Been there, I
understand, That's tough. You know, and it is
just sharing sympathy and experience.
Now, you're never going to go to this second level of
fellowship until you get into a small group. That's why the Bible
says this in Hebrews 10:25, Let us not give up the habit of
meeting together. Instead, let us encourage one another.
The primary purpose of a group is to encourage each other. And
it says, Don't give up the habit.
Now, lets look at the third level of Fellowship.
Your notes call this the Partnership level, or doing my part.
Partnership is realizing that you have a contribution to make.
Partnership is realizing that God has put you here in order to
do something that will help the family around you.
God wants to make a difference through your life. In every
family there are family responsibilities. Every member of that
family has a role to play.
This is a Christian family, God's family. The Bible is filled
with the fact that you and I are to work with one another in
order to get the job done. There are 58 times in the New
Testament the Bible says we do things together. We serve one
another. We love one another. We pray with one another. The Bible
even says we have to put up with one another as we're doing all
of this. That's how God works. This is love in action.
It is great to share your heart, that's level two. But it is
even greater to do your part. That is what level three is all
Lets read your notes again.
"We are partners working together for God 1
Corinthians 3: 9.
We're partners working together for God.
Paul once wrote to some people and said "we're partners
spreading the good news of Christ everywhere." In the
original Greek, the word "fellowship" is often
translated partnership. Not only are we in fellowship
with each other, we are also in partnership with God as he
accomplishes His work through us.
So, How do you fit in? What part can you play?
Here is another verse in your notes.
The whole Body is fitted together perfectly. As each
part does its own special work, it helps the other parts
grow, so that the whole Body is healthy and growing and full
of love. Ephesians 4:16.
This is God's job; he does this. Each Part is working together
in order to get things done.
Bear in mind that you have a part to play. And when we
cooperate, we get more done together than we could ever do by
But remember this
We may be doing things together, But the key to it all is
We are doing it for Jesus Christ. Because it is Jesus Christ
who is the key to our fellowship. It is Jesus that binds us
together into one family.
Do you want to experience this level of fellowship?
First, remember the key to worship. Dont make big plans.
Just be available. And then learn to be flexible.
And then look around and look for a need.
Remember this verse in your notes.
Matthew chapter 25, verse 40, Just as you did it to
one of the least of these who are the members of my family,
you did it to Me.
Now, lets look at the final and deepest level of
Your notes call this the kinship level or Loving
Believers like Family.
Kinship literally means your closest relationships. It means
your closest family.
When you ask someone who their next of kin, they are asking
you, who is the person you care about most, the person who
is closest to you, the one you hold most dearly.
Your notes say this They were like family to each
other. Acts 2:42.
We're not just like a family; we are a family.
Your next verse Be devoted to each other like a
loving family. Romans 12:10.
The word the New Testament uses fellowship is the Greek word
koinonia." The meaning of word is this.
To be bound together because you have something, or someone in
The Bible tells us that we are bound together, because we are
all bound together with Jesus Christ.
Your next verse describes this relationship.
We know what real love is because Christ gave up His
life for us. And we ought to give up our lives for our
Christian brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16 (NLT)
This is the deepest level of fellowship; sacrificing for each
other. It's the kind of love Jesus Christ had for you. He died
The next verse says it in a slightly different way.
Your strong love for each other will prove to the
world that you are my disciples. John 13:35 (LB)
So how do you do that?
The best example we have is Jesus Christ as He walked this
While he was ministering those three and a half years he spent
most of his time praying with his father, and in fellowship with
his disciples. All the preaching, all the miracles, all the moves
of God, flowed from that.
Let me deal with that for a moment.
Luke 6:12-13 (not in your notes), says this.
And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a
mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of
them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;
Jesus Christ chose his apostles only with Gods
And even then, He had an inner core of three disciples,
(Peter, James and John) with whom he developed an even deeper
- It is with these people he traveled around the country.
- It is with these people that he shared time with.
- It is with these people that he shared his thoughts and
I have the privilege of knowing several people who God has
called to a great work. Some of them I have gotten to know more
than most people.
One thing that I have learned from them is this.
Those that are the most effectively used by God, those whose
ministry impacts the world around them most powerfully, are the
ones who concentrate on developing a close relationship with a
few choice people.
They gather together a small group of likeminded people and
develop friendships. They learn to be accountable to God and to
When that structure is in place. When those relationships are
at healthy and working well, then God shows up in all that they
Heres the lesson
- Good teaching ministries do not teach you how to teach.
First they develop relationships and then God shows up
and inspires the teaching.
- Effective Healing ministries do not teach you how to
heal. What they do is develop relationships and then God
shows up and empowers the prayers with signs and
- Effective prophetic ministries do not teach you how to
prophesy. Rather, they develop relationships and then God
shows up and reveals His heart.
- Effective visitation or counseling ministries do not
teach you how to ease peoples emotional pain. What
they do is develop relationships and then God shows up in
their midst; and then God bears the pain and carries it
So lets review.
- Worship stresses flexibility over certainty.
- Fellowship stresses relationship over achievement.
God may have called you to accomplish great things, But a
proper reading of that should be this.
God has called you as a vehicle for Him to accomplish great
things through you.
If you choose your friends wisely, and work on strengthening
your friendship and relationship, God WILL show up.
Jesus is the best example of this. He chose is friends based
on the work God had called Him to.
But remember too that his betrayer came from that same group
of friends. So dont expect the fellowship that God is
calling you into to be easy. But it will bear fruit!
The reference material used here can be found at the "on
line bible" site.