The Church & Church Membership
Acts 2:42-47 ESV
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
The risen savior feels very strongly about the people he saved being in a local church.
If satan were to launch an attack on this generation what would it look like? First blind people to Christ's glory in the gospel. Second, he would work to undermine a biblical view of the church.
There are two ways to commend a vision. Prove something is a logical argument OR show how thing being argued for is glorifying, joyful. "Church membership is the biggest honor that can be bestowed upon us." Membership is priveleges bought on the cross by Jesus' blood.
6 Blessings of Church Membership
1) Commited fellowship (TRUE community). Provides us the context for how to relate to one another. There should be strong relational bonds within the church. Church membership is the antidote to the poison of loneliness
2) Blessing of greater growth. God has chosen to shape us in community as we join in the Christian life together.
Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Philippians 3:17-18 ESV
Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Church membership provides us with fellow members that we can look up to.
3) The blessing of experiencing spiritual gifts.
As Christians we have been given gifts for the edification of the local church.
Church membership helps to protect us from the deceitfulness
when we begin to stray. When we start to stray it provides us with people to convict us of the fact that we are not living for Christ. If not in a church no pastors can he responsible for us.
6) Blessing of a powerful witness. We are a distinct people and the church showcases the fact that we are not of this world. One of the best ways to proclaim to this lost and dying generation is to be active in a church that distinguishes itself from the world. Jesus will continue adding people to his church until he returns.
Until we have sturdy definitions of the importance of the church we will be partially blinded. BEING A MEMBER IN A CHURCH IS A GREAT PRIIVELEGE THAT IS GIVEN TO US BY CHRIST.
1) Which blessing of church member ship am I most aware of in my life?
2) What difference has it made in my life?
3) Which blessing do I need to pursue more intentionally?
4) How do I plan on getting that done?
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