The Church

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The Church Powered By Docstoc
					                                    The Church
                                      Membership
                                     By Steven F. Deaton


Introduction
  A. Most people want to belong to an organization, group, or club.
   1. Spend thousands of dollars.
   2. Worthy and unworthy (Cancer Society, ACLU).
   3. Some discriminate.
      a. Gender.
      b. Race.
      c. Social status.
      d. Economic status.
   4. Basis of membership: charter, creed, etc.
  B. There is one group or organization of which all men ought to be a part, the Church
        of Christ.
   1. No payment.
   2. No discrimination (Gal. 3:26-28).
   3. No man-made creed (Col. 3:17).
   4. Worthy goals.
   5. Membership controlled by God.
   6. Best of companions.
  C. The privilege of membership in the church of Christ brings certain obligations.
   1. Universal church.
   2. Local church.

I. Membership In The Universal Church Is Required
  A. The universal church of God is made up of those who call upon the name of the
        Lord (Acts 2:16-21).
    1. Saints (1 Cor. 1:2).
    2. Heirs (1 Pet. 1:2-5).
    3. Priests (1 Pet. 2:9, 10).
  B. Membership in the universal church is not determined by:
    1. Money (1 Pet. 1:18, 19).
    2. Decree of man (Col. 2:8).
    3. Associating with a local church.
  C. Membership is determined by the Lord (Ax. 2:47).
    1. Call on the Lord (Ax. 2:16-21).
      a. Believe (Ax. 2:22-36; Rom. 10:8-13).
      b. What shall we do (Ax. 2:37-38; cf. 9:4-6; 22:12-16)?
      c. Added to the church (Ax. 2:41, 47).
    2. Logical order.
      a. Hear (Ax. 2:14; Rom. 10:17).
      b. Believe (Rom. 10:8-13).
      c. Repent (Ax. 2:38).
      d. Confess (Rom. 10:8-13).
    e. Be baptized (Ax. 2:38).
 D. Membership in the universal church brings obligations.
  1. Live faithfully (Lk. 9:23).
  2. Pray (1 Thes. 5:17).
  3. Grow (2 Pet. 3:18).
  4. Example (1 Tim. 4:12).
  5. Teach (Ax. 8:4).

II. Membership In The Local Church Is Required
  A. The local church ideally consists of those who are completely faithful and loyal to X
        (Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:1, 2; 1 Thes. 1:1; Gal. 1:1).
    1. Geographical.
    2. Autonomous (1 Pet. 5:1-4; Phil. 1:1).
  B. Membership is not by:
    1. Baptism.
    2. Family Association.
    3. Association with friends.
    4. Assumption.
    5. Attendance.
  C. Membership is by mutual agreement (Ax. 9:26-28).
    1. Join: kollao (Thayer).
      a. “to glue, glue to, glue together, cement, fasten together.”
      b. “…to join or fasten firmly together.”
      c. “…to join one’s self to, cleave to.”
    2. Process.
      a. Paul made an effort (9:26).
      b. The church exercised the right of inquiry (9:27; cf. Ax. 20:28-32).
      c. Being found faithful, a mutual agreement was reached (9:27).
      d. Paul worked with the church (9:28).
  D. Membership in a local church brings obligations.
    1. Attendance (Heb. 10:24, 25).
    2. Contribution (1 Cor. 16:1, 2).
    3. Respect (1 Thes. 5:12, 13).
    4. Submission (Heb. 13:7, 17).
    5. Exhortation & rebuke (1 Thes. 5:14).
    6. Discipline (2 Thes. 3:6-15).

Conclusion
 A. The privilege of membership in the church of Christ brings certain obligations.
 B. Many organizations to which people belong.
 C. There is one group or organization of which all men ought to be a part, the Church
      of Christ.

				
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posted:12/17/2011
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