Hebrews 10:19-25; Romans 12:3-13 – Church Membership (2) – Sermon Outline
Intro: Christ has constructed His Church to assemble together to stir up love and good works.
Need: The Church is God's people/Christ's body, and must physically meet together and do things together to minister to one another. This is for the inward and outward man, to stir up love for God and one another from the heart and according to His Word, and also to relieve the outward man/bodily needs.
Theme: The Church is Christ's Body and must worship and serve together to be useful:
By confessing the faith together and stirring up one another to love and good works. (Heb. 10)
By each member comprising different parts/spiritual giftings within Christ's body that must be used to both serve and be served by Christ through His body/people. (Rom. 12)
By taking membership vows to formalize these duties and privileges before God and His Church, knowing keeping them is life and strength for Christ's body, but breaking them is to tear apart. (HRPC vows)
Hebrews 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:1-5; Eph. 4:11-16 – Church Membership (1) – Sermon Outline
Intro: Christ has constructed His Church to assemble together in local groups with ordained Elders.
Need: Church government is hardly understood in the Church today, and many so-called churches no longer have membership, and many who claim to be Christians refuse to join as members either due to bad experiences in previous churches, conviction that membership is unbelief, or simple un-submissiveness. The issue is very serious and the Church is on the brink of losing her form and identity due to disobedience.
Theme: God commands His people to submit to Elders who shepherd their souls, and holds those ruling Elders accountable for how well they shepherd His sheep.
The Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption in Christ.
God initiates redemption, bringing us to repentance and faith (justification) and then growing us in faith and good works (sanctification) until He returns (glorification).
Baptism initiates one into the visible church, but when joining a different local/particular church, submission to the Eldership of the church must be officially formalized.
There are very few righteous grounds for members leaving their particular/local church, or for Elders to leave the flock God has called them to shepherd.
God's faithful Word to us is about the faithful Word, His Son. Being God's children comes not by our lineage or membership, but by Christ Himself, in Whom God's promise has its "Yes" for us and our children and as many as He calls to Himself.
We rejoice over the baptism of a covenant child and the reception of new members into our congregation. On this happy occasion we will consider the promise of the Holy Spirit poured out from heaven like water upon dry and thirsty ground for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. To remember the promise that if any thirst, the Father and Son will send the Holy Spirit to fill them with Christ - and that this promise is not just for covenant children but also all those afar off - making us one people of God by the Holy Spirit. In Isaiah 44:1-5 we see a picture of these glorious truths.