The Importance of Joining a Church

Text: 1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Last Sunday, I  gave you four reasons why you should join church and  shared I two with you.  Today I will share two more reason:   1)It’s an authority issue 2) It’s a ministry issue.    It’s an authority issue.

  • You as a believer are under authority…
  • Your  under  the authority of God .
  • You  have a personal relationship with Christ
  • When  you’re  under the authority of God which means you’re under the authority of  His Word and His commands.

Who is holding you accountable for that?
His Word is the authority and since we are called to obedience.  So how can you call him Lord if you do not do the things that Christ say?

1. In doing what Christ say means, understanding what His Holy Word say.

2. Trust me you will never as a believer come under the true authority of your Lord unless you allow yourself to come under the true meaning of  His Word.

3. It is an authority issue. You have people responsible to provide divine truth to you.

Now let me just expand that a little bit. People who just kind of float over here, they’ll say, “I heard a really good message by this guy…oh this guy over here gave a really interesting…good music over here.” You know, at the end of the day, that might be true. This was good, that was good.  But what you’re lacking is continuity in the Word of God as  a whole revelation. Is that not true?  All Scripture are given by inspiration of God.

  • Christian’s today don’t have an understanding that Scripture are systematic, they have integrity.
  • They don’t understand the whole revelation.
  • They don’t have a sound theology. They just have bits and pieces of little interesting good experiences that don’t connect…the dots don’t connect.  So when we say, at this point, that we’re talking about this particular aspect of the church, it’s really a truth issue.

It’s a ministry issue. why?  Because every believer has been given spiritual gifts. Romans 12:6  lists categories of spiritual gifts.   We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

First Corinthians 12 lists categories of gifts. First Peter breaks the categories into two parts, 1 Peter 4, serving gifts, speaking gifts. You’ve been given certain Holy Spirit designed abilities on a spiritual level to minister to people. That’s right. Every believer has that.

Now in Ephesians 4   you have this pattern starting in verse 11. “He gave some as apostles and prophets and evangelists and teaching pastors for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry.” So we equip the saints, the saints do the work of ministry.

What does that mean?

1. You minister to each other using your gifts.

2. Rember that it was  God has gifted you,

3. there are categories, you can read them, 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and those are just suggested general categories in which there are all kinds of blending  and possibilities so that you are a spiritual snowflake. Nobody like you. You have a blend. You’ve been painted a color all your own on God’s pallet where He dipped in all those categories and painted you. You have a responsibility to do that ministry, and it says here,

4. “For the building up of the body of Christ until we all attain to the unity of the faith, the knowledge of the Son of God, a mature man, the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” The Lord builds His body into Christ’s likeness through the ministry of gifts. And he has done the same for you through the Holy Spirit.  First Corinthians 12,

Your gift has been given to you to use to minister, serve, speak, one of those two categories or perhaps even a blending of the two.

You need to use your gift. It doesn’t have to be formal. You don’t have to be in a formal position, wearing a tag and a label and knowing specifically your little gift category. You need a body of people in which the Spirit of God will begin to use you to impact their lives, to cause them to grow spiritually into the image of Christ.

You say, “Could that be actually happening in my life?”  It will happen in your life if you’re a part of a church and you are faithful.  It’s a spiritual issue. It’s a fellowship issue. It’s an authority issue. It’s a ministry issue.

  • I read as story about  a Jewish lady who was going to the synagogue  some years ago, they have a Sunday class, she was going to that. She saw all the people flowing into the church. She got caught up in the line, The pastor saw the lady later and she told him she didn’t hear a word that was said…and you know what happens? The pastor was just shocked by her statement, she said that she had never ever been in a group where so much love was being expressed.  She came to Christ.  May that will happen here this morning.

John 13:34 and 35? “By this shall men know that you are My disciples because you have…what?…love for one another.”

1.     It’s  powerful to see a church, experience that kind of  love and have that kind of  life.

2.     if you can say to someone who is not a believer, “You know, Christ has changed my life and I would love to take you to meet some people who have had their lives changed by Christ like me.” It’s a powerful impact. It’s like 1 Corinthians 14 where the unbeliever comes in, falls on his face and says, “God is in this place.” That’s Powerful, that’s love, that’s God.

You know, our corporate testimony supports our individual witness?   So much can be said about belonging to the church, spiritually. And it’s all so obvious. If you belong to the Lord, you belong to the church. You don’t want to be unfaithful to the Lord, but if you’re unfaithful to a local body, you’re unfaithful to the Lord.

Closing:

1. Scripture repeatedly commands Christians to submit to their leaders (Hebrews. 13:17; 1 Thess. 5:12-13). The only way to do that is by publicly committing to be members of their flock, and saying in effect,

“I commit to listening to your teaching, following your direction, and to submitting to your leadership.” There’s no way to obey the scriptural commands to submit to your leaders if you never actually submit to them by joining a local church.

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