Summary: “Many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized." (Acts l8:8b) “When they believed they were saved and were baptized.” (Mark 16:16). And the moment they were saved, they became members of the church of God.
THE MEANING OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
“Many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized." (Acts l8:8b) “When they believed they were saved and were baptized.” (Mark 16:16). And the moment they were saved, they became members of the church of God.
THE QUESTION OF THE HOUR IS, “What does it mean to be a member of the church?"
I. TO BE SEPARATED FROM THE WORLD:
For the word “CHURCH” means “THE CALLED OUT.” When a person becomes a member of the church, he leaves the world - becomes detached from worldly things.
II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I John 2: 15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
II. TO BE A MEMBER OF CHRIST’S BODY:
For the church is the body of Christ. Ephesians 1:22-23 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
A church member is attached to Christ - as a limb to the body, as a branch to the vine. John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
You are Christ’s!” I Corinthians 3:23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
This is a blessing, for salvation is in Christ Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.
III. TO BE A CHILD IN GOD’S FAMILY:
For the church is the family of God. Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;. As a child, a member is greatly loved: the other members are his brethren: all are heirs of God.
Romans 8:17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Song “Family of God”!
IV. TO BE A CITIZEN IN THE LORD’S KINGDOM:
For the church and the kingdom are the same. Matthew 16: 18-19 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
The Master used “church” and "kingdom" interchangeably. A member of the church is a kingdom-citizen Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:
V. TO BE A WORKER IN THE LORD’S VINEYARD:
For the church is a vineyard - a place to work. Matthew 21:28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
The Lord is a worker. John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
We were created to work. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
We are workers together with God. 2 Corinthians 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
VI. TO BE A SOLDIER IN THE LORD’S ARMY:
The church is the Lord’s army. What does this imply? That we are to fight the good fight of faith I Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
That we may expect a crown 2 Timothy 4: 7-8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.