Church membership is not only a great privilege, but it is also a great responsibility. Since Christ is the Head of the Church, it is an exclusive organism (Ephesians 1:22). This lesson is designed to teach you what a healthy, spirit-filled church looks like, and why it exists.
I. What Is a Church?
Translated in the Greek the word church means ‘an assembly’ or literally ‘called out ones’. A church is a group of believers ‘called out of the world’ (Acts 15:14) by the Holy Spirit, assembled together as the people of God, to carry out His orders and to glorify His name. In the Bible the church refers to local churches that have covenanted together to carry out the Great Commission and observe the ordinances given by the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 16:5; Galatians 1:2, Matthew 18:20).
II. Why Should One Join a Church?
A. The Bible teaches it. Hebrews 10:25 says, “not __________________________ the assembling of ourselves ________________________ .”
B. Believers in the New Testament times joined churches. Acts 2:47 says that the Lord added to the “ _____________________ daily such as should be saved.”
C. For spiritual growth. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles ________________(teachings), and ___________________ and in the ___________________of bread, and in __________________”(Acts 2:42).
D. Read Acts 8:31 and Ephesians 4:11-12.
E. For fellowship (Acts 2:42-47).
F. For service, both in and through the church (Acts 6:1-7).
III. Who May Join a Church?
Those who are born again, or regenerated, and who have been Scripturally baptized (Acts 2:41).
IV. Responsibilities of Church Membership
A. Attendance of regular church services. “Not ________________________the ________________________ of ourselves together. . .” (Hebrews 10:25). Acts 17:11 indicates this practice also.
B. Praying for the church leaders, people, and needs. “_________________always with all_______________ and supplication. . . for all _____________________” (Ephesians 6:18).
C. Sharing in the ministries. Some ministries are prophecy, ministering, teaching, exhortation and ruling. (Romans 12:6-8)
D. Witnessing to the unsaved. “Ye shall be __________________________ unto me” (Acts 1:8).
E. Financially supporting the work of the church. “Upon the first day of the week, let ____________ _____________of you lay by him in store as God hath __________________him”(I Corinthians 16:1-2).
V. Additional Information About the Church
1. The ordinances of the church are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. However, its important to note that neither of these have the power to save a man’s soul.
2. The offices of the church are:
A. Pastor (also called “Bishop” and “Elder” in the Bible)
B. Deacons (Philippians 1:1)
Qualifications and duties of each of these offices are laid out in the Bible: I Timothy 3:1-7 for pastors and I Timothy 3:8-13 for deacons. The pastor has supervision and oversight of the entire life of the church. He is responsible to God for the church. He is also responsible to the church for faithfully fulfilling the duties of that office. God identified the duties of a pastor in Jeremiah 3:15, “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
The duties of the deacon are to assist the pastor in the performance of his duties and to wait tables at the observance of the Lord’s Supper (Acts 6:1-6). Read Hebrews 13:7-14 and Ephesians 4:11-12.
3. The mission of the Church is threefold as expressed in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
A. To win souls to Christ.
B. To Scripturally baptize believers.
C. To teach the Word of God.
A. forsaking, together
C. doctrine, fellowship, breaking, prayers
A. forsaking, assembling
B. praying, prayer, saints
E. every one, prospered