Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Gathering with Family

And a multitude was sitting around Jesus; and they said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You." But Jesus answered them, saying, "Who is My mother, or My brothers?" And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother." Mark 3:32-35

Last Sunday evening, as we were meeting for prayer, one of the men said, "I thank God that I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my family." After a pause, he continued, "God has given me a wonderful family in Christ, and I thank Him that I was able to spend time with all of you."

As several of us were comparing notes, we learned that various parts of our "family" met together Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of last week. It seems that God is continuing to teach us what it means to "share in the life."

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, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sunday, November 27, 2005

On Sunday morning, November 27, we gathered once more as the body of Christ. Stan M. taught from 1 Cor. 9:19-27. The passage can be summarized with Galatians 5:13: For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

God has freed us through Jesus Christ, but we must always use our liberty to serve others, even giving up our own rights for others. What a strange concept! Americans are proud of their rights, but Christians gladly give up their rights.

Next Sunday, December 4, Stan will continue the series in 1 Corinthians by teaching 1 Cor. 10:1-13.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

December Service Opportunities

During the month of December, we will have several opportunities to interact with and serve our community.

On the first three Saturdays in December, we will meet at the home of one of our members around 6:30 p.m. Then, around 7:00 p.m. we will leave from that home to sing carols to the other homes in the neighborhood. We will return to our host's home for desserts and fellowship. Please bring a dessert and drink. For more information, please contact one of the pastors, or email us.

December 3 in Jones Dairy Farm.
December 10 on South Main Street.
December 17 in Edgeford Park.

Special Christmas Eve Gathering
On Saturday, December 24, we will have a special gathering at 6:30 p.m. at the Stone Chapel on South Main Street in Wake Forest.

Christmas Day Gathering
We will have our normal weekly gathering on Sunday, December 25, Christmas Day, at 2:00 p.m.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Unleashing the Church

A big Thanksgiving "Thank you!" to Bro. David Black for mentioning us on his blog.

For those interested in learning more about what it means to "be the church" instead of "going to church" or "doing church," check out Unleashing the Church on Bro. Black's web site.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sharing in the Life!

Back in the summer of 2004, when we first met together, Tracy M. taught us from 1 John 1:1-4. In v. 3 of this passage, the Apostle John writes that our fellowship with one another is truly fellowship with God the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

But, what is fellowship? There are several dictionary definitions for the Greek word koinonia: fellowship, communion, participation, association, close relationship, sharing. In this context, John has been writing about the intimate, physical realities of association with Jesus Christ - an association that he says continues to the day he is writing. From this, we all agreed that "fellowship" = "sharing in the life."

Sharing in the Life! This idea encompasses far more than the word koinonia, and it is certainly more than a regular pot-luck meal. It includes the many "one another" passages in Scripture, and the instructions to do everything for the purpose of "edification" (1 Cor 14:26; Eph 4:11-16). It means we are a family. And, like a family, we live life together - but our life is empowered by the Holy Spirit, in order to bring glory to God. We are not limited by cultural, ethnic, economic, or even geographic boundaries. We share life with those who share life with God the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.

Our first comment and link!

A huge "Thank you!" to Matthew McDill for posting the first comment on our blog and for mentioning us on his blog. Grace and Peace to our brothers and sisters who are part of Highland Christian Fellowship in Boone, NC.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sunday morning, November 20, Messiah Baptist Church gathered again at the Stone Chapel. Maƫl D. taught us from God's Word from 1 Corinthians 9:1-18. In this passage, Paul illustrates 1 Corinthians 8, where he teaches believers to give up their rights for the sake of others. In 1 Cor. 9:1-18, Paul reminds the Corinthians that while he had the right to receive compensation for his work among them, he did not exercise this right. Instead, he chose to work without compensation in order that he would not hinder the work of the gospel among them.

The pastors of Messiah Baptist have also elected not to exercise this right. God has provided jobs for each of our pastors, so they have asked the church not to pay them. This not only frees the church to participate in other service opportunities, but it is an example to the body: one does not have to be paid to serve God. All believers are ministers (servants), and God calls all believers to "full-time ministry."

After our morning meeting, we gathered at the home of David and Debbie F. to celebrate the Lord's Supper. We share the bread and cup at least monthly as part of a meal which is then followed by corporate prayer and further fellowship.

Our next Lord's Supper/Fellowship will be on December 11.

Next Sunday, November 27, Stan M. will be teaching us from 1 Corinthians 9:19-27.

Who is your pastor?

One of the questions we are usually asked is, "Who is your pastor?" Just as there are two answers to the question, "Where is your church?" there are also two answers to this question.

Our Pastors:
Most of the people who ask the question, "Who is your pastor?" expect us to answer with the name of one man. The members of Messiah Baptist Church - after studying Scripture and spending much time in corporate and personal prayer - decided that Scripture models a plurality of men to be pastors or elders (we consider these terms to describe the same individuals). The members looked among themselves and recognized four men as qualified to be pastors according to Scripture (1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). Therefore, we currently have four pastor/elders. There is no hierarchy among the pastors.

Our Senior Pastor:
Messiah Baptist Church does have a Senior Pastor. That person is the most qualified to lead the church. He is also the most effective in making decisions for the body. He consistently teaches us Scripture by the Holy Spirit. He loves the people of the church more than anyone else. He also models perfectly what it means to be a child of God. Finally, He holds us to a higher standard than anyone else is capable of doing. His name is Jesus Christ. He is our Chief Shepherd and our Overseer (1 Pet. 2:25; 5:4).

Where is your church?

One of the first questions we are asked is, "Where is your church?" There are two possible answers to this question: the one expected, and the one we live by.

The answer expected:
When people ask us, "Where is your church?" they usually want to know where we meet or where our building is located. We do not own a building. We currently meet at the Stone Chapel on South Main Street in Wake Forest, NC on Sunday mornings and evenings in order to hold our weekly gathering and prayer meeting respectively. [UPDATE: Beginning Sunday, May 6, 2007 we will begin meeting in the upstairs "Reception Room" of the Cotton Company, located at 306 South Main Street in downtown Wake Forest.] We also meet at the homes of members during the week for Family Bible Studies and for our Lord's Supper/Fellowship. Occasionally, we have also met at various parks and community locations for the Lord's Supper/Fellowship and baptism.

The answer we live by:
Messiah Baptist Church cannot be found in a place. Instead, the church is a group of people. Therefore, the church can be found wherever the people live, work, play, study, or gather. This is not a flippant answer. Nor is it a sarcastic answer. It is, however, a scriptural answer. We do not want to associate the church with a meeting location nor with a meeting time.

Introduction to Messiah Baptist Church

The members of Messiah Baptist Church in Wake Forst, NC, welcome you. We are a group of believers in Jesus Christ who exist to bring glory to God, by encouraging one another to grow in maturity in Christ, through the study of the word of God, fellowship in the Spirit, and prayer.

Meeting Times and Location:

Sunday, 10:30 a.m.
Weekly gathering at the Stone Chapel on South Main Street

Sunday, 6:00 p.m.
Prayer meeting at the Stone Chapel on South Main Street

We also host Family Home Bible Studies on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.