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Made Able: Building Great Friendships with Christians and non-Christians

Jan 9, 2022
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Building Great Friendships with Christians and non-Christians

We learned last week that a disciple is a follower of Christ in learning and living. One that is a disciple will follow Jesus no matter what! Abiding is not just resting, but also obedience in doing the things that He has called us to do. From that overflow, we can build relationships with others.
This is such a needed reminder to us in a culture that really celebrates isolation. You can shop online, date online, bank online, etc… We must remember that the gospel informs everything, and there is a theology to why relationships matter:
  • Our relationships are under the banner of the Trinity
  • We are made in His image – body, soul, and spirit
  • We need to be with other people
  • Common-unity through Jesus
  • When we live in healthy community with others, we reflect Jesus to a lost world
We are challenged to build relationships with the LOST and the FOUND.
The Lost (Luke 15)
In Luke 15:1-2, we are introduced to 4 groups of people:
The Tax Collectors – These people collected taxes for Rome, charged extra and pocketed the difference. They were hated and detested. Synagogues wouldn’t take their money and courts wouldn’t accept their testimony.
Sinners – A Jew that didn’t keep the ceremonial duties
Pharisees –  the most influential of the four major Jewish sects – the Sadducees, the Essenes and the Zealots). They emphasized meticulous observance of God’s law as the means of attaining righteousness before God. They were not priests but more of a laymen’s fellowship, popular with the common people and connected to local synagogues. Their zeal for the OT law that caused the Pharisees to become focused on rituals and externally keeping the law, to the point that they abandoned heart religion for external ritual (cf. Mt. 15:3–6), leading Jesus to scathingly denounce them as hypocrites.
Scribes – one skilled in Jewish law and theology scribe, expert, scholar
In Middle Eastern culture, fellowship around the table was/is equated to intimate friendship, so Pharisees and the Scribes couldn’t believe that Jesus would even acknowledge their presence. The Pharisees also had a saying: “There is joy in heaven when one sinner is obliterated” so Jesus told 3 parables (we focused on 2 this morning).
The parable of the Lost Sheep Luke 15:4-7. He is reminding them that people are precious, and that God seeks out the sinner in order to save Him.
The parable of the Lost Coin (15:8-10). More than likely this coin was a part of a 10 coin necklace that would have been as precious as a wedding ring. The Pharisees would say that someone should seek out the law like this coin. Jesus is saying that He will seek out the sinner.
There is JOY in both parables when the lost is found!
How do you protect yourself from being a judgemental Pharisee?
  1. Pray for opportunities
  2. Go where lost people are
  3. What is the name of one lost person you are actively building a relationship with?
This is typically an aspect of the Christ-filled life that many believers focus on. It is “easier” to spend time with other Christians, but we must be intentional to BUILD relationships with the found. Pastor Alex mentioned the 59 “one another” phrases such as “love one another”, “submit to one another”, and “bear with one another”. Anytime you build something, you are investing time, intentionality, and resources.
Questions to Consider:
  1. We are called to live in community with others, but the culture is enticing us to live in isolation. How isolated are you? What would be one step towards healthier community?
  2. How do you protect yourself from falling into the trap of being a judgemental Pharisee?
  3. What is the name of one lost person you are actively building a relationship with?
  4. What is the name of someone who is found that you are actively building a relationship with?
  5. What are some habits you can establish that will help you build relationship with the lost and the found?