Summary: The local New Testament church has an obligation to every part of the body of Christ. There is no part of the body that is not important and vital. The church has a responsibility to each and every member, to every believer who enters its fellowship.
THE CHURCH’S RESPONSIBILITY TO THE BELIEVER
Introduction: We have addressed the Christians responsibility to the local church. The local New Testament church has an obligation to every part of the body of Christ. There is no part of the body that is not important and vital. The church has a responsibility to each and every member, to every believer who enters its fellowship. The Church has a responsibility to…
I. Provide sound biblical teaching for spiritual growth and maturation
A. …they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine
B. Pastors are charged in Titus 2:1 “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:”
C. Unfortunately we live in a day in which many are forsaking sound doctrine.
D. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (MKJV) For a time will be when they will not endure sound doctrine, but they will heap up teachers to themselves according to their own lusts, tickling the ear. And they will turn away their ears from the truth and will be turned to myths.
E. 1 Timothy 3:15 tells us that the church of the living God is “the pillar and ground of the truth.”
F. Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
G. Preachers are exhorted in 2 Timothy 4:2 to “preach the Word, be instant in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.”
H. The local church must provide a place for the individual believer to become doctrinally sound.
I. John MacArthur said, “Many Christians today are vague about doctrine. Many pastors offer sermonettes for Christianettes – little sermons that are nice and interesting. Sometimes they make you feel warm, fuzzy, sad, or excited. But seldom do we hear doctrine taught or discussed. Very few preachers explain the truth about God, life, death, heaven, hell, man, sin, Christ, angels, the Holy Spirit, the position of the believer, the flesh, or the world. We need truths that we can hold on to. ...people need solid doctrine to build their lives on. (The Master’s Plan for the Church [Chicago: Moody, 1991], 27).
II. Provide an avenue for relevant, meaningful worship
A. ...they continued... in fellowship and in the breaking of the loaves, and in prayers... continuing with one accord in the temple.
B. To worship God is to recognize his worth or worthiness; to look God-ward, and to acknowledge in all appropriate ways the value of what we see. The Bible calls this activity "glorifying God" or "giving glory to God," and views it as the ultimate end, and from one point of view, the whole duty of man.
C. Psalms 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
D. Psalms 149:1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and His praise in the congregation of saints.
E. The church must provide opportunities for participation in corporate worship that are less directly tied to encouraging performance. Too often the worship services are really geared with the attitude that people are there to be entertained. Congregations are not audiences, and worship leaders are not performers. They are not there to win man’s approval but to glorify God and encourage corporate worship. The role of the worship team should be to enable the congregation to participate in meaningful worship.
F. The church needs to provide for transforming worship that focuses our hearts and minds on God and not on feelings or self.
III. Provide love, acceptance, support, and shelter to fellow believers from the world
A. Acts 2:44-46 And all who believed were together and had all things common. And they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, according as anyone had need. And continuing with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they shared food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
B. Whether the need is spiritual – Galatians 6:1-2 Brothers, if a man is overtaken in a fault, you the spiritual ones restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the Law of Christ.
C. Whether the need is temporal – 1 John 3:16-18 By this we have known the love of God, because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But whoever has this world’s goods and sees his brother having need, and shuts up his bowels from him, how does the love of God dwell in him? My children let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.