Summary: being part of the community of faith has it’s built in privileges

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Intro: years ago a credit card company had as it’s motto, membership has it’s privileges. If you used this card, you were in for some special privileges. Becoming a member of Christ’s community, gives us privileges, or blessings. It is so exciting to think that our church, this community, by being connected to Christ, we are connected to each other in so many special ways.

Community: Membership has it’s Privileges

Ephesians 4:25

We are members, one of another

Background: throughout all of Paul’s letters to the churches, the theme of one another comes shining through. Lauri, did a choir teaching on one another ministry. Paul saw the church as family, or joint heirs, as belonging to a heavenly membership. He gave some of the benefits of belonging to this wonderful community of believers.

I. Passionate—2 Corinthians 13:12-great one another with a holy kiss. I know this was cultural to greet people with a kiss, and I am not advocating this at the church. But what is beautiful to me is that we are to be passionate in our love for Christ, and passionate about each other. We are to be excited to be connected to each other.

· Community gathering is an exciting time because we care about each other, we want everyone in our community to be blessed by God.

· We want to get together to worship together, we want to share our faith with each other. We want to spend quality spiritual time with our family

II. Forgiving one another—Ephesians 4:32 Paul knew that from time to time people would get out of sorts with one another, so he sent the encouragement, forgive each other. Don’t let divisions take place in the body of Christ.

· Forbear—Colossians 3:13—put up with each others differences. Everyone will not think exactly like we do, but because we are all on the same team, we are encourage to work together in unity.

· Forgive each other as Christ has forgiven all of us. We are to operate in the same spirit of the head, Jesus Christ.

III. Admonishing or Encouraging one another—Colossians 3:16 –another aspect of belonging to the community is we are hear to encourage each other. To build each other up in God.

· Admonish each other through worship—as we worship together, it brings us closer to God, and closer to each other. Worship is a vital part of our relationship.

· Sometimes admonish means correction. We are encouraged to take correction from others. Even when it hurts, it still helps. Paul says, don’t let correction make you bitter, let it make you better.

IV. Pray for One Another—James 5:16—Christ’s community is a praying community. We pray for each other for healing, for comfort, for peace in troubled situations.

· There is nothing better to know when we are facing troubles, that we have others praying for us.

V. Fellowship—1John 1:17—one of the last benefits we have in community is to be able to spend time with fellow believers.

· We are trying to build community through fellowship. We believe it is a great tool for building the church.

· Spending time with fellow believers will not only give accountability in our lives, but also relationship and closeness. As you build relationships with others, it will increase commitment to the body of Christ. It is said by researchers that those who connected with 5-6 other people in a church, are most likely to spend their lives within that local body.

Close: community: membership has it’s privileges.

I love the local church, without it no missionaries would be sent, youth camps and camp meetings would be empty. I got married at a local church. Dedicated my son at a local church. All my rowdy friends have settled down, and all attend a local church. The best sermons I ever heard, were at a local church. I love the local community, I love Christ’s community, it is exciting to see it grow, to see others born into the family. We not only love God, but we love each other.

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