Message by Mike Laughrun
How does Scripture affirm church membership?
The example of the early church
(41) So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. (42) They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
The New Testament knows no Christians floating around in “just me and Jesus” land. Believers belong to churches.
The leadership of church elders
(2) shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; (3) not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
1 Peter 5:2-3
The responsibility of church discipline
( 14) And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (15) Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
1 Thessalonians 5:14-15
The expectation of mutual edification
(15) Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (16) from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
When we join a church we are offering ourselves to one another to be encouraged, rebuked, corrected, and served. We are placing ourselves under leaders and submitting to their authority. We are saying, “I am here to stay. I want to help you grow in godliness. Will you help me to do the same?”
The advancement of the Gospel together in local churches.
For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.
1 Thessalonians 1:8
How do we love our church well?
We are defined as a church by the foundational PRINCIPLES that ground us, the core PRACTICES that guide us and the membership PROMISES we make to one another as God’s family.
We exist for Him
The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory , Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
WE PROMISE…to do all as a church to the glory of God.
I PROMISE…to do all as a Jesus follower to the glory of God.
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
Psalm 115:1 ESV
to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
1 Peter 1:8
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
The Bible is the ultimate source of truth
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; (17) so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, (21) for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
2 Peter 1:20-21
Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
WE PROMISE…to affirm, teach, and adhere to the absolute authority of the Bible in all matters.
I PROMISE…to affirm and submit to the absolute authority of the Bible in all matters.
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,
(16) All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; (17) so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
How can we pursue and fulfill these promises?
I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.