Friday, July 20, 2007

Why Should I Be a Member of a Church?

Many people today question whether church membership is of any value. I have heard people even declare that "I can be a Christian without being a member of a church." This position is growing and even becoming common among believers. Statistics show that less than 20% of American adults believe participation in a congregation is critical to spiritual growth. Moreover, 81% of Americans say they can arrive at their own religious views without regard to a body of believers. With the various broadcasts and web casts providing Biblical teaching, such as Joel Osteen, the Trinity Network, the 700 Club, and others, many believers feel that they get fed by simply watching the show. While these wonderful broadcasts and web casts might offer some supplemental food of nourishment for the spirit, let's explore what God's Holy Bible reveals about the role of the church and its importance.
The purpose of the Church is as follows:
1) Reach the Lost
2) Teach and Equip the Saved
3) Glorify Jesus Christ in all we do!
The Church Is Born-Again People
Paul states, "Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house."
Colossians 4:15
Paul states, "To Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow solder and to the church that meets in your home."
Philemon 1:2
"Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons."
Philippians 1:1
The Church Is the Body of Christ
"Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's affliction, for the sake of his body, which is the church."
Colossians 1:24
Jesus Appoints Officers in the Church
"And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues."
1 Corinthians 12:28
Jesus Builds the Church
Jesus states, "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."
Matthew 16:18
Jesus Communicates With the Church
"After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea."
Colossians 4:6
Jesus Commissioned the Church
"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'"
Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus Glorifies God Through the Church
"To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
Ephesians 3:21
Jesus Heads the Church
"And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy."
Colossians 1:18
Jesus Loves the Church
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."
Ephesians 5:25
Jesus Purchased the Church
"Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood."
Acts 20:28
Jesus Will Return For the Church
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air."
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
Jesus Reveals Himself Through the Church
"His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms."
Ephesians 3:10
Jesus Views an Attack on the Church As an Attack on Him
Saul/Paul stated, "I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth."
"We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'"
Acts 26:9,14
The Church Is the Pillar And Support of the Truth
"If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth."
1 Timothy 3:15
It's also imperative to join a small group bible study, such as a Sunday School class. With the smaller group, you will find that you can learn the Bible more intimately, interact and exchange ideas, question the lessons or teachings to get truthful answers, pray for each other, and meet physical needs of others who might be struggling. These small groups can also meet your needs if you have issues. Small group studies also help to encourage one another to do good deeds.
Motivate One Another to Do Good Deeds
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds."
Hebrews 10:24
Also, if you do not belong to a church, you are not afforded the opportunity to tithe, that is to give 10% of your gross income. Any other charity you might give to should be secondary to your church tithe.
Don't Rob God
"'Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,' says the LORD Almighty. But you ask, 'How are we to return?' Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' In tithes and offerings."
Malachi 3:7-8
Give a Tenth
"'And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.' Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything."
Genesis 14:20
Set Aside a Tenth
"Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year." {Today's version, 10% of your gross income.}
Deuteronomy 14:22
Please don't remain an island. Find a local church today and fellowship with your Christian brethren. You need to continue to grow and be nurtured, as well as share your testimony with others.

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