Sunday Morning 11/17/2013

Posted by Sherry

I WILL BE A FUNCTIONING CHURCH MEMBER
1 Corinthians 12:27-28
CBC 11/24/13 SM

  • I Will Be A Functioning Church Member
    • I’m a member of a Country Club
      • Membership means perks & privileges
      • Membership means others will serve me
      • Pay the going rate & & others take care of you while you enjoy a life of leisure
    • I’m a member of Central Baptist Church
      • Is your understand of Church membership like that of a country club?
      • this is my church so play the music the way I want it
      • remember pastor who pays your salary
      • if you don’t do it like I want it I will withhold my check (dues)
      • I’ve been a member here for years so I’ve earned the right to get what I want and things be done the way I want
      • I don’t pay good money to this church to...
        • hear sermons that long/short
        • have to put up w/ music style I don’t like
        • not get my way & have my preferences met
    • If view of membership is more aligned w/ the country club...
      • membership is about receiving instead of giving
      • being served instead of serving
      • rights instead of responsibilities
      • entitlements instead of sacrifices
    • Wrong view of church membership...
      • sees tithes & offerings as dues
      • an unending list of entitlements, privileges & expectations
      • instead of: unconditional cheerful gift to God

  • Membership Means We Are All Necessary Parts of the Whole
    • 1 Cor. 12; 13; & 14 explains church membership
      • ch 12 - metaphor of church being a body with many members
      • ch 13 - love is central attitude & action all members should have
      • ch 14 - messed up church @ Corinth that had it all wrong
TEXT: 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
  • The Difference
    • church members comprise the whole & are essential parts of it
      • members are individual parts of the body
      • some are eyes
      • some are ears
      • others feet
      • still others hands
1 Cor. 12:12 “For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many are one body - so also is Christ.”

  • Membership Means We Are Different but We Still Work Together
    • @ country club you pay others to do the work for you
    • @ church everybody has a role or a function
    • we are all different but necessary parts of the whole
    • if each part (member) doesn’t do their work, the whole body suffers (handicap)
    • beautiful diversity in midst of unity in church membership
1 Cor. 12:26 “So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it”

  • Membership Means Everything We Say and Do Is Based on a Biblical Foundation of Love
    • 1 Cor. 13 known as the “love” chapter
      • I use it at weddings for definition of biblical love
      • demonstrates agape (unconditional) love
    • Original intent was to demonstrate how church members relate to each other
      • how awesome would church be following these guidelines?
      • talk about a revolution...
1 Cor. 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails.
  • a;s
    • Not to love fellow church members b/c they are lovable (all sinners)
      • don’t just pray for preacher when he does what you like
      • we don’t just serve when others are joining in the work
      • we act according to guidelines of ch 13

  • Church Membership Is Functioning Membership
    • How do you “remain” a member of the country club?
      • PAY YOUR DUES
    • How do you remain a “biblical” member of a church?
      • give abundantly & serve w/out hesitation
      • easy to be on a church roll
      • CME membership is not biblical (Christmas, Mother’s Day & Easter)
      • neither is SM only
      • those approaches are...
        • man-made
        • man-centered
        • man-maintained
        • totally contrary to biblical design
    • Biblical membership gives without qualification
      • it views tithes & offerings as joyous giving, opportunity & worship
      • there are no “strings” attached
      • biblical members serve & minister in a “natural” sort of way
    • 2 Reasons for using the “body” as a metaphor for the church
      • First, the body is a unified whole
        • likewise the church is to be united in...
          • mission
          • purposes
          • ministries
          • activities
      • Second, the body is made up of many parts
        • foot - walk
        • hand - grasp
        • ear - hear
        • eye - see
        • nose - smell
    • church members are to function in the same manner
      • concept of an “inactive” church member is an oxymoron
      • biblically, no such member exists
      • we are exhorted to “know” our gifts & use them for God’s glory
      • the more diversity, the stronger the church is
      • ask, “How should I be serving my church”
      • not, “should I be serving my church?”
  • The First Pledge
    • most church rolls are overinflated by a factor of three
      • with 300 on roll, probably only 100 are biblical church members
      • it’s questionable if 1 out of 3 are biblical members of Central
    • You can make the difference by your response
      • the invitation is to make a pledge to be a biblical member
        • commit to giving cheerfully
        • commit to serving & ministering w/out hesitation
        • commit to be a functioning member
The First Pledge:
I am a church member.
     I like the metaphor of membership. It’s not membership as in a civic organization or a country club. It’s the kind of membership given to us in 1 Corinthians 12: “Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it” (1 Cor. 12:27).
     Because I’m a member of the body of Christ, I must be a functioning member, whether I am an “eye,” an “ear,” or a “hand.” As a functioning member, I will give. I will serve. I will minister. I will evangelize. I will study. I will seek to be a blessing to others. I will remember that “if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Cor. 12:26).

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