Thursday, June 13, 2013

Why you must join a church

When you join a church and get into its membership:

1. You prove that you’re not ashamed to identify with Christ or His people
Mark 8:38 [Jesus said] “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels”
When you join a church you make it clear whose side you’re on. You’re telling the family of God that you’re part of this great family too, and that you don’t want to be considered on the outside (1 Corinthians 5:12-13) any longer.

2. You stop being an independent Christian
Joining a church demonstrates that you are willing to:
1)   Be accountable to other believers
Matthew 18:15-17 And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. And 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-gatherer.

2)   Be in submission to spiritual authority
Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
If you aren’t part of the church, it has no authority over you and cannot do what Jesus said to do. Unless you join the church, your independence places you outside the way Jesus wants things to happen.

3. You participate in a stronger, more unified effort of God’s people
And as your local church reaches across the country and around the world in direct and indirect support of missionary work, you can participate in ways of reaching the world for Christ that you could have never dreamed otherwise. In contrast, consider the potential negative impact on our efforts to talk about Jesus if we don’t join His earthly body. How believable is our testimony of the goodness and greatness of Christ if we don’t want to identify openly with Christ’s family?

4. You have a greater opportunity to use your spiritual gift
1 Corinthians 12 makes it clear that the Holy Spirit has gifted each believer with at least one supernatural empowerment for the benefit of others and the building up of the body of Christ (Cf. 1 Peter 4:10). Spiritual gifts are for church use and when used outside of the local church, the turn to be personal gifts!
Yes, you can use your spiritual gift for the good of God’s people without joining a church. But in a lot of churches, many of the ministry opportunities are available for church members only. That’s because the church wants to know that you stand with her doctrinally and support her ministry goals before you’re asked to minister in certain positions.

5. You openly demonstrate the reality of the Body of Christ
1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. When you join a church, you make it visible. You give a living demonstration of the spiritual reality of the body of Christ. You show that even though you are an individual, you are a part of the body and you are joined together with others. You take the body of Christ out of the realm of the theoretical and give it a meaning that people can see.

6. You participate in a more balanced ministry
Ephesians 4:11-16 teaches that God gave spiritually-gifted men to the church for the purpose of leading and teaching His people. It also teaches that wholeness and balanced growth as a Christian is dependent on the proper working of each individual part. In other words, independent Christians are always imbalanced.
God has designed us so that we can’t get this well-rounded ministry on our own. No one develops the proper spiritual symmetry just by listening to Christian radio, watching Christian television (even the best TV ‘live worship show'), or reading Christian books. You can’t get this kind of maturity merely by participating in a group Bible study. Unless you’re an active part of a local church, your Christian life and ministry will be imbalanced.

7. You demonstrate your commitment “to the proper working of each individual
part”
Ephesians 4:15-16 …speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Consider the ‘spiritual hitchhiker’ who has settled all his major questions and has definitely decided where he wants to attend church, but now he wants all the benefits and privileges of that church’s ministry without taking any responsibility for it. His attitude is all take and no give, effectively becoming a consumer rather than a disciple and a servant of Christ.
He wants no accountability, just a free ride.

8. You encourage new believers to be committed to the local body of Christ
Hebrews 10:24-25 …and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.
Notice the command to ‘consider one another’ that is associated here with church involvement.
Bear in mind the message you give to other believers, especially new believers, if you do not join a church. What are you modeling to new believers when you remain uncommitted to the local church? Do they see your example and learn that church isn’t important enough to join?
Do they get the message that the kingdom of God is not worth such an investment of yourself?
Do they interpret your actions as saying that the work of God does not deserve a full
Commitment?

9. You encourage a ministry when you consider it faithful and join it
Hebrews 10:24-25 …and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.
Suppose Joseph loves Mary and sees no one else but her for ten years. Every time they are together he tells her that he loves her, but he never proposes to her. Finally, after a decade she has enough nerve to ask him, ‘Joseph, why haven’t you wanted to marry me?’
If he says, ‘I’m just trying to make sure,’ how do you think she will feel? Of course, she’s glad he says he loves her, and she’s thankful for all he does for her, and she’s pleased that he doesn’t see anyone else, but in spite of all that, she’s going to be somewhat discouraged because he doesn’t love her enough to decisively commit to her.

The people and pastor of a church are glad whenever you attend. But if you keep coming and never join, they may begin to wonder what Mary wondered about Joseph, despite how happy you seem to be with the church and how many wonderful things you say about it. There is a sense in which your attendance and involvement can actually discourage the church and its leaders if, after reasonable time, you do not join it.
Conversely, the church is encouraged…and its leadership is encouraged, when you indicate by joining the church that you love it and think it is a biblically faithful ministry worthy of your commitment.

Conclusion
This is not meant to discourage those who are attending a church to find answers about
Jesus Christ and are still uncertain about their eternal destiny. If that describes you, your first priority is to come to Christ rather than to come for church membership.
Neither is this intended to deter those who are sincerely and actively seeking God’s will in a decision about a church home. Sometimes that decision cannot be made quickly. A wise person evaluates a church carefully before joining its membership.
A spiritual hitchhiker, however, has no real intention of joining the church, at least not soon.
He only wants to enjoy its advantages without any obligation on his part. He wants convenience without commitment, to be served rather than to serve. But every true Christian is to be committed to ‘the proper working of each individual part’ (Ephesians 4:16) in a local church.
When you join a church, you’re saying you believe in taking your individual part and that you don’t want to be a spiritual hitchhiker.


1 comment:

  1. THE LORD'S CHURCH

    What are the things that do not make you a member of the body of Christ?

    What are the requirements for membership in the Lord's church?

    THINGS THAT DO NOT MAKE YOU A MEMBER OF THE LORD'S CHURCH.

    1. Simply believing that Jesus is the Son of God does not grant you membership in the Lord's church.

    Mark 5:1-12 .....7..."What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?....12 The demons implored Him....

    Demons believe that Jesus is the Son of God, however, that does not give them membership in the Lord's church. Legion was not part of the body of Christ.

    2. Sprinkling infants with water does not make them part of the body of Christ. Sprinkling unbelieving babies is not an act that adds them to the Lord's church.

    Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved....

    Only believers who have been baptized are added to the Lord's church. Babies are not capable of believing.

    3. Joining denominations, such as the Catholic Church, the Baptist Church, the Lutheran Church, the Methodist Church, etc. does not grant you membership into the Lord's church. Joining a denomination cannot save anyone. You cannot join the Lord's church.

    Acts 2:47...And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    The requirement for being added to the Lord's church is not joining a denomination. The Lord only adds the saved to the church. The church is the body of Christ.

    WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR BEING ADDED TO THE LORD'S CHURCH?

    The apostle Peter said, on the Day of Pentecost, " Be saved from this perverse generation!" (Acts 2:40)

    Who was saved? Acts 2:41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day were added about three thousand souls.

    Three thousands souls were added to the Lord's church on the Day of Pentecost. Why were they added to the body of Christ?
    They received Peter's message and were immersed in water.(baptized).

    Peter's message: (Acts 2:22-38) They were taught that Jesus was the Christ. That Jesus was Lord. That God raised Jesus from the dead. They were told to repent and be baptized so their sins could be forgiven and that they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Those who believed Peter's message, and repented and were baptized, were added to the body of Christ by the Lord Himself. (Acts 2:47 ...And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    MEN BECOME SAVED THE SAME WAY TODAY AS THEY DID ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST.

    HOW TO BECOME ADDED TO THE LORD'S CHURCH.

    1. FAITH: John 3:16, Mark 16:16
    2. CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:37
    3. REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19
    4. BAPTISM: Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21, Galatians 3:27.


    ONLY THE LORD ADDS YOU TO HIS CHURCH!


    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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