The Membership of the Church – Ephesians 2:19

   Today is Wednesday, April 8, 2020, and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 19

   Can you believe that we have been at this for 19 days! Wow! Double wow!    

   I want to welcome everyone that is joining me on Facebook today.

   Get the SLBC AppIt’s available again on Apple. You will need to download: “The Sharefaith App” first. Next, once it is downloaded you will tap it to bring it up, and once it is up you will type our ministry: Spirit Lake Baptist Church. And Wala you’ll have the SLBC app. You’ll get our blogs, sermons, and notifications.

   Resurrection Sunday Drive-in Worship Service – Drive in Church out at the Buffalo Ranch 564 Roberts Lane, Blanchard Idaho. Come join us. Bonner County Sheriff’s approval. All precautions will be taken to keep people safe. NO ONE will be allowed to leave their cars. If you cannot follow the rules – PLEASE don’t come.

   Mask Making Contest – I want to create a contest beginning today for the creation of the most unique face covering. Design it, create it, wear it, post a picture of you wearing it at my email – grace2u4@gmail.com. I will find a prize for the most creative face covering! Presently we have two entries.

   Three FREE books from Moody Press – https://www.moodypublishers.com/help/?utm_source=free-ebooks&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=april-7&utm_content=download-titles&utm_term=Download%20These%20Titles&&&&&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-This%20Week%27s%203%20Free%20E-Books-_-Download%20Thes

   Today in the News:

   Shout out to Oscar Ward – today is his birthday.

  Bonner County EOC has been informed by Bonner General Health of the third confirmed case in Bonner County. Case # 3 is listed as a female in her 40’s from Bonner County. Contact trace is ongoing. No other information is available at this time.

  FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 7, 2020) — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday that he has recovered from the coronavirus and has started volunteering at a hospital in his Kentucky hometown. The Republican lawmaker tested positive for the virus in March, becoming the first case of COVID-19 in the Senate.

“I appreciate all the best wishes I have received,” Paul said Tuesday. “I have been retested and I am negative. I have started volunteering at a local hospital to assist those in my community who are in need of medical help, including coronavirus patients. Together we will overcome this.”

   Bernie Sanders drops out of the Dem Presidential race. The nominee will no doubt be Joe Biden.

   YouTube has several drone flyovers of cities like Seattle, Las Vegas, and New York with empty streets and freeways. You should take a look at them. It is something we have never actually seen in these cities before. I’ll attach url for you to take a look at:

   Seattle – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVI8f80y1Zs&t=13s

   Las Vegas – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqhNmLe7GEg

   New York – https://youtu.be/xjoDEps5I8E

   Pause for Prayer:

  •  SLBC church family
  • Shut-in’s
  • National Revival
  • Hearts of believers – fear, anxiety, stress
  • Workers traveling daily
  • Drive-in Church on Resurrection Sunday – God’s Word to be preached clearly, and that people will respond to the message of Jesus Christ.
  • Physical health
  • Tom Spann & Bob Ahsmuhs – cancer treatment
  • Worship team practice

   Our WORD from the LORD today is taken from Ephesians 2:19,

  Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

   Today I want to have a word with you about: The Membership of the Church.

    Please remember that we are walking through the book: The Church by Mark Dever, the pastor of the Capital Hill  Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

   I. The Membership of the Church

   What comes to your mind when I say the word membership? Wait for response…

   Membership is very basic: Consider these ideas about membership.

  • Households and families have members – Mom and Dad, and the kids.
  • Races and tribes in clams have members – visit developing nations.
  • Communities and parties and elite groups like orders, guilds, and councils have members – Spirit lake has a City Council – they are called counsel members.
  • An even more basic meaning of member refers to the human person.
  • Our bodies have members – Roman 6:12-19; 7:23; 12:3-4; I Corinthians 6:15; 12:12-27; Ephesians 4:16; James 3:6; 4:1

   The Bible uses the concept of member and membership in all these various ways.

   The Bible also represents churches as composed of members.

  • The local church as an entity is made up of multiple individuals and yet identifiable as a unit.
  • They are even said to be part of one another – Romans 12:5
  • In many other places in the New Testament, the church appears to be composed of a specific and identifiable group of people – Acts 9:41; 12:1; 15:3,22; Ephesians 2:19; 3:6; 4:25; 5:30; Colossians 2:19; 3:15; 3 John 9
  • From the earliest times, local churches or congregations are specific, identifiable people. Take a look at all the churches mentioned in the New Testament. They are identifiable and they had members.
  • Clearly, the keeping of list was not unknown in churches. The early church kept a list of widows (1 Timothy 5:9). God himself keeps a list of all the belong to the universal church in the book of life (Revelation 20:12).

   As a pastor I find it strange that people are more comfortable belonging to Costco (which requires membership), and a gym (which requires membership) then do they to a local church (also requires membership).

   II. Responsibilities and Duties of Church Members
  1. Salvation – places you into the body of Christ.
  2. Baptism – identifies you as a believer and also is a mark of belonging to a local church.
  3. Church membership – joining a local church intentionally.
  4. The Lord Supper – partaking the elements in remembrance of the Lord and what he has done for us – I Corinthians 11:23-34
  5. Hearing the word of God preached – keeps you engaged and growing – Revelation 1:3
  6. Obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ.
  7. Gathering together for regular mutual edification – Hebrews 10:25; Acts 2:42
  8. To love others we love God – Mark 12:28-30.
  9. Evidence of the fruit of the spirit – Galatians 5:22-23
  10. Worship God – at home, work, community, and in daily life.

   Duties to the Congregation

  1. Christianity is a corporate matter, and the Christian life can only be fully realized only in relationship to others.
  2. Attend gatherings with other believers.
  3. We are to love one another – John 13:34-35; 15:12-17; Romans 12:9-10
  4. All the one another passages – 1 Corinthians 12:13-27
  5. To seek peace and unity within the congregation – strife should be actively avoided – Romans 12:16; 14:19; 1 Corinthians 13:7; Proverbs 17:14; Matthew 5:9
  6. Care for one another physically and spiritually – Matthew 25:40; John 12:8; Acts 15:36
  7. We are to watch over and hold each other accountable – Romans 15:14; Galatians 6:1-2; Philippians 2:3-4
  8. To edify one another – I Corinthians 14:12-26; Ephesians 2:21-22; 4:12-29
  9. To bear with one another – Matthew 20:18:21-22; Mark 11:25; Romans 15:1
  10. Not to sue another believer – 1 Corinthians 6:1-7
  11. To pray for one another – Ephesians 6:18; James 5:16
  12. To avoid those who would like to destroy the church – Romans 16:17; 1 Timothy 6:3-5
  13. To avoid a judge mental attitude – Matthew 20:26-27; Romans 12:10-16; James 2:1-13
  14. To contend for the gospel – Jude 3
  15. To be examples to one another – Philippians 2:1-18

   Duties towards Church Leaders

  1. Hold them in the highest regard and honor – Philippians 2:29; I Thessalonians 5:12-13
  2. Make yourself known to them – they watch over your souls.
  3. Regard them as a gift from Christ and sent to the church for their good.
  4. Defend his reputation – Luke 10:116; 1 Corinthians 16:10
  5. Remember your church leaders and imitate their life and faith – 1 Corinthians 4:16; 11:1; Philippians 3:17; Hebrews 13:7
  6. Financially care for those who serve you – 1 Timothy 5:17
  7. Pray for your ministers and assist them in any way you can – Ephesians 6:18-20; Colossians 4:3-4; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; Hebrews 13:18-1
 
   III. Responsibilities and Duties of the Congregation as a Whole
  • In the New Testament local congregations realize they had particular responsibilities which could not be delegated to groups outside themselves. The buck stops here!
  • Local congregations were responsible for ensuring a qualified minister of the word preach to them insofar as it was in their power – Galatians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:3; Jude 3-4
  • The congregation is ultimately responsible for ensuring converts were baptized and that the Lord supper was duly administered to those giving credible evidence of regeneration – 1 Corinthians 15:1-13; 2 Corinthians 2:1-11
  • The congregation was ultimately responsible protecting and defending the membership of the church, both in admitting and dismissing members – Matthew 18:17
  • The congregation is also responsible for faithful stewardship of the gifts entrusted to it – I Corinthians 12-14; Romans 12:1-8
  • Congregation is responsible for ensuring that the gospel message reaches out across these different spheres (Local. National, International) – Galatians 1:6-9; Philippians 1:5; Colossians 1:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:8
  • The congregation cannot delegate their responsibilities off to others. No one is exempt! Do not take your membership lightly!
    See: Great Commission Exempt Form – You’ll want to download this form.
 
 
Remember, I am in touch, so you stay in touch. And as Robert Cook from the King’s College used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.” Voice of Dr. Robert Cook: