THE MEANING OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
Acts 2:40-46 Living Bible
Then Peter preached a long sermon, telling about Jesus and strongly urging all his listeners to save themselves from the evils of their nation. And those who believed Peter were baptized—about three thousand in all! They joined with the other believers in regular attendance at the apostles’ teaching sessions and at the Communion services and prayer meetings. A deep sense of awe was on them all, and the apostles did many miracles. And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything with each other, selling their possessions and dividing with those in need. They worshiped together regularly at the Temple each day, met in small groups in homes for Communion, and shared their meals with great joy and thankfulness, praising God. The whole city was favourable to them, and each day God added to them all who were being saved.
Membership = MUST BE SAVED:
In the text above we notice that the people first believed and then they committed themselves to membership.
Membership = COMMITMENT:
1. The Apostles Doctrine – The Bible as God’s Truth for our lives.
2. The Fellowship – Working together for the common goal of glorifying the Lord Jesus.
3. The Breaking of Bread – Remembrance and tenderness to the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. The Prayer – Praying together corporately for the needs of believers.
THE PLACE OF THE CHURCH
The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest institution that the world has ever known.
1. Christ established it during His personal ministry and is its Head. (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18).
2. He promised that He would be with it through the ages and that the gates of hell should not prevail against it. (Matt. 16:18; Matt. 28:20).
3. To it He gave the commission and the ordinances and for it He went to the cross. (Matt. 28:19-20; I Cor. 11:23-26; Eph. 5:25).
4. He loved the church and wants His churches to honour and glorify Him as His representatives on the earth. (Eph. 5:25-27; Eph. 3:21).
THE TASK OF THE CHURCH
The task of the church is threefold:
1. Evangelization: Sharing the Gospel with people who do not know the Lord Jesus (Acts 1:8) But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power to testify about me with great effect, to the people in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, about my death and resurrection.”
2. Edification: Discipling and strengthening those who are Christians (Colossians 3:16 & 17) Remember what Christ taught, and let his words enrich your lives and make you wise; teach them to each other and sing them out in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing to the Lord with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, and come with him into the presence of God the Father to give him your thanks.
3. Exaltation: Loving faithful service and worship to the Living Lord Jesus (Romans 12:1,2) And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy—the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you.
THE PRIVILEGE OF MEMBERSHIP
We see then that we have a great privilege in being a member of a local church. We will grow spiritually as we evangelize, edify and exalt in the context of our local church.
THE OPPORTUNITY MEMBERSHIP BRINGS
Membership also brings us great opportunity to grow spiritually and to experience the great riches of God’s blessings through the love, lives victories and sorrows of other believers. It affords us the opportunity to grow God’s church for the glory of God as we witness to lost people and, when they yield their hearts to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, to watch them grow in their walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is also through our involvement in the local church that we can have impact on a national and global scale as we participate in missions and missions projects.
THE OBLIGATION OF MEMBERSHIP
Membership carries with it the wonderful obligation of:
1. Bearing other people’s burdens: Galatians 6:2
2. Praying for God’s people: Ephesians 6:18
3. Praying for our pastors: Hebrews 13:7
4. Forgiving each other: Ephesians 4:32
5. Loving each other: Romans 12:10, Galatians 5:13
6. Giving Joyfully to the Lord’s Work, 2 Corinthians 9