The Local Church; Why be a Member?
God has created the Local Church to provide for His Local Elect.
[1Co 1:2 ESV] 2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
The church is the “called out group”
Ek out of, from, by, away from
Kaleō to call
God has called you out of the world, planted you in Himself, with others, given you a new family and wants you to grow up, in responsibility.
[Act 2:41 ESV] So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
[Act 2:42 ESV] And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
[Act 2:43 ESV] And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.
1. The Apostle’s Teaching
3. Breaking of Bread.
The Church has two Ordinances
Why the local church?
You are not Alone. The very internal struggles you are going through, so is everyone else.
You are Commanded to Grow Up.
[Eph 4:11-13 ESV] 11 And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,
12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
[Eph 4:14 ESV] 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
Does the Bible talk about an organized local church?
Churches plural in a location
[Gal 1:1 ESV] Paul, an apostle--not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead--
[Gal 1:2 ESV] and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:
[1Th 1:1 ESV] Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
Jesus speaks to the seven churches in Revelation
Did the church have a flow chart, did it have an organized structure?
[Heb 13:17 ESV] Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
1 & 2 Timothy, Titus are what’s known as Pastoral Epistles, Instructing Timothy and Titus how to shepherd their local church.
There are Elders AND Deacons
[1Ti 3:1 ESV] The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
Overseer: episkopē Episcopal
[1Ti 3:8 ESV] Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.
one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister
the servant of a king
a deacon, one who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use
This creates a plurality of leadership
The Big Idea:
God saves people in an area.
They begin to meet together regularly for PURPOSE.
Does the Bible Teach the idea of Membership?
Just as baptism identifies you as a follower of Jesus, and all the responsibilities there of.
Becoming an “official member” of a local church, identifies and adds responsibility/ accountability.
Member: a person, animal, plant, group, etc., that is part of a society.
a constituent part of any structural or composite whole
Constituent; serving to compose or make up a thing; component:
** Get To VS Ought To**
Church Discipline reveals The idea of Officially Belonging.
[Mat 18:15-17 ESV] 15 "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Concerning Church Discipline of an Unrepentant man.
[1Co 5:4 ESV] When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus,
[1Co 5:5 ESV] you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
[1Co 5:12 ESV] For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
[1Co 5:13 ESV] God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you."
Church discipline is for the purpose of reconciliation.
It’s an Ought To that is also a Get To.
You have a place to belong.
[Heb 10:24 ESV] And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
[Heb 10:25 ESV] 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.
[Jhn 13:34 ESV] A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
[Jhn 13:35 ESV] By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
[Jas 5:14 ESV] Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
[Jas 5:15 ESV] And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
[Jas 5:16 ESV] Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
God uses the local church, your new family to grow you up.
If you don’t commit, you don’t grow.