Summary: A sermon about what it means to be a "church member."
Intro: As Christians our flesh has been crucified with its affections and lusts with Christ at Calvary, and the old man of sin is dead (Romans 6:6). Furthermore, we have been married to another and made part of his body, the body of Christ (Romans 7:4). The head of this body is Christ according to Ephesians, and all things are under it’s feet, which tells us that we have dominion over Satan, sin, slackness, selfishness, and sensual lusts. This body is the church (Colossians 1:18), and we are members of it (Romans 12:4-5). I have membership in the body, and the body is the church. I AM GLAD TO BE A CHURCH MEMBER! Membership in this church is not by baptizing or shaking of hands; it is by repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ. Since I am a member of the church, I have the right and the privilege of becoming a member of a church. I am glad to be a member of the church, a church, and this church! I want to preach with the help of God on church membership.
When I speak of the church I refer to the church, and more specifically I refer to our church. I don’t just make reference to some mystical, universal, invisible body, but I refer to the local visible, called-out company of born again baptized believers in Jesus Christ, the Rock, and the founder, and the foundation of the church! I make no reference to the radio church or the TV church, but I speak of the local New Testament body of believers- the church. I am not talking about the lodge or the civic organizations, but I speak of the blood bought, baptized pure, virtuous bride of Christ- the church! I make no reference to the modern commercialists who seek for you to tithe from your debts to pad their pockets. I speak not of those who deny the trinity, embrace abominations, pet sin, compromise God’s Word, and religiously declare themselves the church while denying its every principle. I speak of the church! I am talking about the church that Jesus built and bought with his blood. I make reference to His Church, and I make reference to his church at Truth Baptist Church of Bremen, GA in particular, and I am glad to be a member of the church!
THE church is important, for it belongs to God, and he has given it to us to participate in and pass on to another generation that they might experience God there as well! THE church is valuable. THIS church is unique, for there is not another just like it in this area, or anywhere. As a member I have:
I. Privilege of Membership: It is a privilege to be a part of the church. I did not afford myself this right. I did not earn this privilege. This honor was bestowed upon me by Christ into THE church, and by the members of the local body of THIS church. It is my privilege by virtue of:
A. Birth, Born again, John 3:3, 7
B. Baptism, Baptized by water and the Holy Ghost, Matthew 28:19
C. Behavior, This really has more to do with continuing than joining, Matthew 28:20
II. Pledge of Membership: As a member of this body, it is my responsibility. Just as it is the responsibility of the hand to wash the face, and the job of the feet to transport the entire body, I have a responsibility to the body, the church to which I belong. I pledge to maintain my responsibilities, and when I joined the church, and this church, I made that pledge.
A. The Church’s success is my responsibility, and its failure is my fault.
B. Its good testimony is my responsibility, and its bad testimony is my fault.
C. Its spirituality is my responsibility, and its carnality is my fault.
D. Any member is responsible for the church’s
1. Financial Obligations (every member should tithe and give offerings)
2. Domestic Obligations (every member should witness and bring others)
3. Missionary Obligations (every member should give for missions)
III. Pleasure of Membership: MY CHURCH IS MY JOY! I receive something here that cannot be purchased. It has been the center of the greatest times of my life, and will continue to be.
A. My Spiritual Joy (He blesses me here!)
B. My Social Joy (My Friends are here, and they are the greatest friends in the world!)
C. My Select Joy (I choose it. I am not coerced, nor do I “have to go to church”, but I long for it!)
D. My Supreme Joy (To be a part of THE church, and THIS church, is a joy above all others!)