The People Called Nazarenes
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The Church of the Nazarene is not the only church around. In fact, the Church of the Nazarene is only one small fragment of Christ's universal church--the body of believers who claim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. However, there are a few things about the Church of the Nazarene that make it distinctive. 


This week's lesson is the first in a series on the people called Nazarenes.  The series can be found on the MOSAIC Website

What Makes Us Unique?


The distinctiveness of the Church of the Nazarene is not found in its uniformity, but in its unity..  Here are a few illustrations.  A soldier is identified by his uniform. We recognize a McDonalds by the golden arch on the sign and the Big Mac hamburger that is served.  We can usually tell whether we are in a cathedral or a mosque by the architecture and icons that we see.  In these cases, it is uniformity that makes the institution unique. 

The Church of the Nazarene is not recognized by the style of worship, the architecture of our buildings, or the language that is spoken.  Nazarenes are not known by the clothes they wear, their nationality, the special rules they adhere to, or the places they meet. Nazarenes are identified by their character and the things they value the most.   

We are a Christian People

As members of the Church Universal, we join with all true believers in proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ and in embracing the historic Trinitarian creedal statements of the Christian faith. We value our Wesleyan-Holiness heritage and believe it to be a way of understanding the faith that is true to Scripture, reason, tradition, and experience.

We Are a Holiness People  

God, who is holy, calls us to a life of holiness. We believe that the Holy Spirit seeks to do in us a second work of grace, called by various terms including "entire sanctification" and "baptism with the Holy Spirit"- cleansing us from all sin, renewing us in the image of God, empowering us to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves, and producing in us the character of Christ. Holiness in the life of believers is most clearly understood as Christ-likeness.  

We Are a Missional People  

We are a sent people, responding to the call of Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to go into all the world, witnessing to the Lordship of Christ and participating with God in the building of the Church and the extension of His kingdom (Matthew 28:19-20). Our mission (a) begins in worship, (b) ministers to the world in evangelism and compassion, (c) encourages believers toward Christian maturity through discipleship, and (d) prepares men and women for Christian service through Christian higher education. 


What is the Church?

One very simplified definition of the church is, "The people of God empowered by the Spirit of God doing the mission of God."  Let's see how this definition compares to that of the Church of the Nazarene.


The People of God
The Manual of the Church of the Nazarene says, "We believe in the Church, the community that confesses Jesus Christ as Lord, the covenant people of God made new in Christ, the Body of Christ called together by the Holy Spirit through the Word. God calls the Church to express its life in the unity and fellowship of the Spirit; in worship through the preaching of the Word, observance of the sacraments, and ministry in His name; by obedience to Christ, holy living, and mutual accountability."


1. We live in community and fellowship together. (Acts 2:42-47)

    • We live in unity. 
    • We express ourselves through worship, the preaching of the Word, observance of the sacraments, and ministry.
    • We believe in living a holy life by being obedient to Christ.
    • We practice mutual accountability..

2. We are Christ Centered.

    • We confess Jesus Christ as Lord.
    • We have experienced new life in Christ.
    • We are a "covenant people". 

Empowered by the Spirit of God

Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would guide the disciples into truth and help them speak with authority (John 16:13). He also promised them that the Holy Spirit would give them the power to fulfill God's mission.  Acts 1: 8 says, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."  In Acts 2 we see the first fruits of the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.  It is through the Spirit believers are able to be fruitful. (Galatians 5:22-25)


Doing the Mission of God

The mission of the Church of the Nazarene is to make Christlike disciples in the nations. We make disciples through:


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