Summary: Membership in a local church isn't about having your name on the membership rolls, but about being an active participant as a part of the body of believers. God can only help the church to fulfill its design as each member functions effectively as a part
Five Essentials of Being an Effective Member in the Body of Christ
Ephesians 4: 7-16
Membership in a local church isn't about having your name on the membership rolls, but about being an active participant as a part of the body of believers. Each member of the body must function effectively within the body for God to use us as He would. A landlubber who could not swim went fishing with a friend and after a while hooked a really big fish. He was so excited about catching this big fish that as he was reeling it in, trying to get it next to the boat, he leaned too far over and fell into the water. He was panic stricken, and began to yell, "Help, save me! Help, save me!" So his friend just calmly reached out and was going to grab the man by the hair, pull him over a little closer and get him into the boat. But as he pulled, the man's toupee came off and he slipped down under again. He came up again yelling, "Help, save me!" So the friend reached down again, this time catching hold of an arm. As he pulled on it, it came off because it was an artificial limb. The man continued to kick and thrash around, sputter and splash. The friend reached out again, grabbed a leg and as he pulled it, you guessed it, it came off! It was a prosthetic leg! As the man continued splashing and calling out and sputtering, his friend turned to him in disgust and said, "How can I help you if you won't stick together?" (copied) God can only help the church to fulfill its design as each member functions effectively as a part of the body of Christ. I want us to look at five essentials of being an effective member in the body of Christ?
I. There must be a commitment to honor the Head of the Church
A. We must recognize that Jesus Christ is the head of the church.
1. Colossians 1:17-18 “And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
2. As we look at the church in the New Testament we note that it had no earthly or mortal head, some person allegedly governing by the authority of Christ. Instead there was a total submission to Christ.
3. Ephesians 1:22-23 “He (God) put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
4. Six hundred years ago, almost to the day, on July 6, 1415, John Huss, a Bohemian monk, was taken to the cathedral in Prague, where he was paraded before the public, stripped and tied to a stake at which point his biographer says he prayed, "Lord Jesus, it is for You that I patiently endure this cruel death. Have mercy on my enemies." He was heard reciting the Psalms as the flames engulfed him. His executioners were so desirous of ridding the earth of every bit of this man that they actually scooped up his ashes and tossed them into a lake so that nothing of John Huss would ever remain. Why was he treated so contemptuously and burned at the stake? He simply had written a treatise in which he declared that the authority of the Bible is higher than the authority of the church and that Jesus Christ Himself is the head of His Church.” And for that they burned him at the stake. – copied
5. Jesus Christ is the head of the church and yet many people attending church don't seem either to know that or are not willing to accept that. We tend to put ourselves or other people on platforms and worship them as if we or they are God seeking to have our own ways. However, we need to remember that the Lord Jesus Christ is the head of all.
B. We must recognize and submitted to Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior.
1. Romans 10:9-10 “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
2. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is necessarily a Christian. Many who profess to be Christians show little or no evidence of a true conversion. Their lives exhibit little or no fruit causing one to question whether they were ever genuinely saved.