Saturday, September 30, 2006

Membership Matters (Sunday AM Sermon Outline, Oct 1, 2006)

What it means to be a member of First Presbyterian Church:
The Five Questions of Membership (3)

Resolved, by grace, to live as followers of Christ
Matthew 16:24-26; 1 Peter 2:21-24; Romans 12:1-2

Introduction (review):
Two 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, (2) who rejoice in God’s sovereignty
Last week, 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. Today, we come to 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?

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.

I. All true Christians are resolved to live as followers of Christ
Matthew 16:24-26 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
1 Peter 2:21-24 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
Romans 12:1 1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

II. All true Christians know that they can do this only by the grace of the Holy Spirit
Ezekiel 36:27 "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances."
Philippians 2:12-13 12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

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