Summary: What does it mean to be a church member? What is expected of me? As members of a church we each hold a unique place in the church. As members of a church we each have certain responsibilities in the local body of believers.
I AM A CHURCH MEMBER
For many people, church membership simply means that we attend church, and we will do so until we cease to be happy where we attend, then we will find another church to attend. We think that being a church member is something that gives us the right to vote on matter that arise within the congregation. Beyond that, we usually give little thought to what being a member of a local church really means. What we fail to comprehend is that, as members of God's church, we are part of something that transcends the local congregation. If we are saved, we are members of the Body of Christ, v. 13, 27.
We are the representatives of Jesus Christ in this world. The Bible teaches us that the members of His Body are in this world for a purpose.
• We are to serve as Christ’s Ambassadors to the lost: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God,” 2 Corinthians 5:20.
• We are to serve as Salt and Light: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven,” Matthew 5:13–16.
• We are to serve as His vessels, which He fills with His Spirit, to carry out His work: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me,” Galatians 2:20.
We are much more than that, but our primary purpose as His Body in the world is to represent Him faithfully, fully, and fervently before a lost and dying world. God, in His infinite wisdom, as taken the members of His body and sovereignly placed them together in local congregations. Calvary Baptist Church is one of those local assemblies of believers.
ThInk of it this way: The Body of Christ is a universal body made up of all believers around the world, while local congregations are the visible manifestation of His body in the world.
As a member of a local church, I have many responsibilities that go beyond simply showing up for services every now and them. My duties extend beyond giving a few dollars here and there. My responsibilities in this local body of believers, to both Christ and the other members of this church, are very solemn and very serious.
For the next several Sunday mornings, I want to take the Bible and talk to you about what our responsibility as church members involves. We need to understand that God expects us to function as members of His body in the world. He expects us to faithfully carry out our duties to Him in love for Him and His people. He expects us to take the statement I Am A Church Member, and understand what it means for us as individuals and as a local congregation. Then, having understood who we are as a church member, and what our responsibilities as a church member involves, He expects us to be the people He saved us to be.
So, let’s consider what the statement I Am A Church Member involves. I want to take that statement and, and each week, I want to share a personal commitment statement that represents our duties as members of His church. The first commitment state I want to make is this: Since I Am A Church Member, I Will Be A Gifted Church Member.
I WILL BE A GIFTED CHURCH MEMBER
Intro: The Corinthian church was a carnal church. The problems they had were deeply rooted and threatened to destroy their witness as a Christians church. Let me catalogue a few of the issues they faced.
They were serious divisions in their church, 1 Corinthians 1:10-13.
They were immature in their faith and living like they were still in Christ, 1 Corinthians 3:1-3.
They allowed gross immorality to exist in their church, 1 Corinthians 5:1-2.
In spite of the sin in their congregation, Paul tells them they were still a congregation that possessed and exercised many spiritual gifts, 1 Corinthians 1:7. This carnal church exhibited most, if not all, of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This simply reminds us that it isn’t just a select few saints who have and who can exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Every believer has at least one spiritual gift, and most possess more than one.