What Do I Owe My Home Congregation? – Notes/Study Sheet
* Most people are concerned with what a church can do for them.
- Facilities, programs, etc.
1. What is the church?
* Ekklesia – “called out.” Used 3 ways:
- Universally – one body (Mt. 16:18; Eph. 4:4; Col. 1:18; Acts 20:28). Christ is Savior of body & body = church (Eph.
1:22-23; Col. 1:18, 24). “Invisible church” a fallacy!
- Refers to Lord’s people in a certain location (Acts 5:11; I Cor. 1:2; 7 churches – Rev. 1:4&11).
- Also refers to body of people who gather at a certain time & place for worship (I Cor. 11:17ff; 14:34; III Jn. 10).
Christians commanded/expected to meet to encourage/edify one another (Heb. 10:25). See also Acts 2:42,44,46;
* Christians are not “islands” (I Cor. 12:14).
* Eph. 4:16-17 –
* Acts 9:26 & following: Paul did what? _________________________________________________________
* Christ head of His church in all locations (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18). Elders oversee (I Tim. 3; Titus 1).
* Elders rule in matters of judgment (mtg. times, etc. I Thess. 5:12; Heb. 13:17). Must not “lord” authority (I Pet. 5:3).
2. Why do some resist membership/activity with the local congregation?
* Many, many reasons. Perhaps some are too opinionated & can’t stand disagreement.
* Don’t want to be held responsible for their actions.
* Don’t want to be obligated to attend, give, etc.
* They want to be called Christian, but don’t want to live up to it!
3. We owe our home congregation these things:
* Our presence – We should want to worship God! I must assemble barring sickness or unavoidable work conflict.
- The Gospel should cause us to change! Our lives must measure up to God’s standards (Josh. 24:15; Matt. 6:33).
- Ps. 44:21 – God knows our hearts. He’ll know if we’re upset about not assembling or just making excuses.
* Our financial support (I Cor. 16:1-2) – Giving is an obligation & a privilege. Be cheerful! (II Cor. 9:7).
- Lord’s work is financed by giving, not bingo, bake sales, etc.
- We do it every week that we’ve received financial blessings. Budget, plan to give, & put God first.
- Acts 11:29 – If you have more, give more. (II Cor. 8:12-15).
- Old Law mandated 10%. Our covenant superior (Heb. 7:22). Should our giving not also be?
- Least ever acceptable – 10% (Gen. 14:20; 28:22; Num. 18:21-24). Most – 100% (Mk. 12:41-44).
- Going to be absent? Leave contribution at building or w/someone who can place it in plat for you.
* Our loyalty – to each other and to God (I Jn. 4:7-11; 21).
- Loyalty demands doing good to others, especially to Christians (Gal. 6:10).
- Loyalty to God demonstrated through obedience (Jn. 14:15). See also Eph. 2:10; II Cor. 5:17.
* The influence of a Godly life (Shunammite woman – II Kings 4; Barnabas – Acts 4). To have that, I must:
- Surrender my will (Gal. 2:20).
- Lay aside my sins (Mt. 7:13-14; Heb. 12:1).
- Confess/repent of sins (Luke 13:3; 17:3; Acts 2:38; Jas. 5:16).
- Walk in the light (I Jn. 1:6-7). Follow Christ’s example (I Pet. 2:21).
R.W. McAlister 11/8/09 a.m.