Summary: Every Christian has a responsibility both individually and corporately as a member of the church
The Member’s Responsibility to the Church
Dr. Russell K. Tardo
Each believer has a responsibility individually and the church has a responsibility corporately to function according to the plan and pattern of the New Testament.
In this lesson, the emphasis will be on the responsibility of believers collectively as a corporate assembly, and individually as a believer and servant of the Lord Jesus. These responsibilities are three-fold:
I. The corporate assembly is responsible to minister to the Lord.
9And when those beasts give glory and honor and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. [Rev. 4:9-11]
We minister by our worship, our adoration, our thanksgiving, and our praise. That’s what occurs in heaven. Believers were created to give God pleasure. Believers assemble in order to minister to God and He, in turn, ministers to believers through the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the anointed word. [See Psalm 149 in its entirety.]
Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Believers can also minister to the Lord by ministering to (blessing) others. This can be done in countless ways, i.e., financial help, friendship, sharing the word, intercession, etc. By being obedient to the Lord’s voice, His commands, is also ministry to Him. Believers are to walk in the light that He has given, thereby proving to Him that they are His ministers, His servants, by their obedience.
2. The body has a responsibility to minister to itself in love. By doing so, one edifies and builds up one another.
11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. [Eph. 4:11-16]
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. [1 Cor. 12:12]
3. What is the individual’s role in the body ministry?
Each member has a three-fold function:
a. We should function in the charismatic gifts that God has given us.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. [1 Cor. 12:7]
b. We should consider ministering to the needs of others as our privilege and responsibility.
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. [Rom. 12:4-5]
36Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. 37And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom then they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. 38And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. 39Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. 40But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. 42And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord. 43And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner. [Acts 9:36-43]