Sunday, October 08, 2006

Membership Matters (Sunday AM Sermon Outline, Oct 8, 2006)

What it means to be a member of First Presbyterian Church:
The Five Questions of Membership (4)

Loving the Church, Supporting its worship and work
Hebrews 10:19-25; 1 Timothy 3:15

Introduction (review):
1. Three weeks ago, we looked at the first question of membership: (1) Do you acknowledge yourselves to be sinners in the sight of God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save in His sovereign mercy?
2. In this question we acknowledge that we are (1) sinners, (2) justly condemned and (3) without hope (apart from Christ).
3. We said that two implications of this question (if we really understand and mean it when we answer it "I do") are that we will be (1) people of humility [because of a high view of God and a high view of our own sin], (2) who rejoice in God’s sovereignty [because he is our only hope]
4. Two weeks ago, we considered the second question of membership: (2) Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and trust Him alone for salvation as He is offered in the gospel?
5. We said that this meant that Christians have faith in Christ’s person and work, alone. (1) Faith; (2) Person; (3) Work; (4) Alone
6. The implications of this are many, but here are a few: understanding and meaning it when we answer this questions means that we realize that (1) we cannot save ourselves, that (2) for us salvation is a gift to be received not a status to be earned, that (3) life is radically Christ-centered and cross-centered; that (4) Jesus is our and everyone else’s only hope.
7. What should this lead to in our lives? We ought to be (1) a people of faith [in the Bible, and in Christ]; (2) a people with a high view of Christ; (3) a people with a high view of God's grace.
8. Last week, we focused on the third question of membership: (3) Do you now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that you will endeavor to live as becomes the followers of Christ?
9. We said that this question indicates that All Christians are disciples, followers of Christ. All followers of Christ, are resolved, committed, have promised, to live like his followers, and they know that for this they will need the grace of the Holy Spirit.
10. Again, the implications of understanding and sincerely affirming this questions are manifold, but several things stand out: We will be a people who (1) realize we need God's grace for sancitification as much as we need it for justification; (2) are serious about living the Christian life, about being different from the world.
11. This week, we come to the fourth questions of membership (4) "Do you promise to support the church in its worship and work, to the best of your ability?"
Answering this question with understanding requires that we understand (and love) three things: (1) the local church, (2) the worship of the church, and (3) the work of the church.

Hebrews 10:19-25 19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

1 Timothy 3:15 15 . . . I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

In order to answer this question with understanding and sincerity, we must have an appreciation of:

I. The Church – the family of God, the assembly of God, the plan of God
II. The Church’s Worship – Corporate, All of life
We all need to determine now to continue (or improve or begin) the habit of every Lord’s Day morning and evening worship attendance, and to avail ourselves of the prayer meeting and Wednesday evening’s fellowship times. Healthy Christian life is fostered in a congregation when all the members of the body faithfully commit to the public means of grace – to joining together under the reading and preaching of the word of God, the taking of the sacraments and corporate prayer.

III. The Church’s Work – Worship, discipleship, outreach
One of the ways we show that we worship God and not money (Matthew 6:24) is by giving generously to the work of the Lord. One of the ways we show that we understand that everything we have comes from God (Psalm 24:1) is by giving to the work of the Lord. One of the ways we show our commitment to God’s kingdom (Matthew 6:33) is by giving for its upbuilding.

No comments: