What Do I Owe My Home Congregation? – Notes/Study Sheet

(Eph. 2:13-21)

 

Introduction:

   * 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;

        4:23-24,31-32, etc).

   * 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.