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Summary: This message highlights the biblical importance of being a member of a local church. It was delivered on membership Sunday before presenting the new members to the congregation.

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New Members Sunday

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household” (Eph 2:19)

“…so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually * members one of another.” (Rom 12:5)

Introduction

When you become a believer in Jesus Christ and receive Him as your personal Lord and Savior you become:

• a new person in Christ

• born again

• part of the “household / family of God

• a member of the church universal of Jesus Christ, made up of all believers all over the world, throughout all cultures

• It is the church made up of every tribe, tongue, nation, people, who call upon the name of the Lord

• You are no longer strangers or aliens as Paul says, you are fellow citizens with the saints. You “belong” – hallelujah

But what does it mean to be a “member of the Church?”

Rick Warren in his book “The Purpose Driven Church” says, “Many American Christians (lets make that North American) are what I call ‘floating believers.’ Any where else in the world, being a believer is synonymous with being connected to a local body of believers. Your rarely find a lone ranger Christian in other countries. Many American Christians, however, hop from one church to another without any identity, accountability or commitment. This is a direct expression of America’s rampant individualism. They have not been taught that the Christian life involves more than just believing – it also includes belonging! We grow in Christ by being in relationship to other Christians. Romans 12:10 says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” (pg 309)

Many people have a wrong concept of Church membership

• Membership in the Church is not something you have it something you do

o a social club issues a membership

 all you need to do is pay your annual dues

 show up a the occasional meeting

o Sometimes we the church are guilty of the same kind of thinking

 Is so and so a member of your church?

• We yes, he / she attends Sunday service and gives tithes or offering

But is that what membership is?

I. MEMBERSHIP IS FIRST BELONGING TO CHRIST

1. It is relationship entered into by faith

• Not by merely accepting a creed or truth

• But entering into a personal one on one relationship with Jesus Christ the risen living Son of God

• Paul wrote, “I know in whom I have believed”

• He didn’t just acknowledge some essential truth; rather he entered into a very personal relationship with Christ that transformed his very life.

• To be a member is to be in relationship with him. It is to belong to him!

• We used to sing that old chorus, “Now I belong to Jesus, Jesus belongs to me...”

2. Membership is Belonging to the Body of Christ

• It is one body, yet made up of many members

• Paul says in Romans 12:5 that “each member belongs to all the others

• There is an ‘interdependent relationship established when we become members of the body of Christ – His Church

• You belong to me and I belong to you

• I need your gifting and you need mine

• We all need each other


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