Membership 2 (audio file)
As I said last week, our church is in the process of rewriting the articles of ministry for Emmaus Christian Church. This has been a long process and will continue to be a long process. There is a lot to consider as we look at how we as a church are to be formed to fulfill the mission God has called us to as a body.
Last week we looked at what membership is in the church. From the different passages we looked at I hope it was clear to you that there are two understandings of the church in scripture, the universal church and the local church. These are not two distinct groups, but one is a broad use, and one is specific. That membership in the universal church and the local church begins with a personal relationship with Christ. That each person must lay hold of the Good News that Jesus came and lived a sinless life and died the death that we earned because of our sinful nature. They must believe that Christ is risen and has brought them into the family of God, not by any works they have done, but solely on the mercy of God in Christ Jesus. Now what we also talked about is that in scripture there is always a corporate nature to our salvation. We are saved as individuals, but we are saved to a people. God is all about making for himself a people of his own possession. That was the big idea from last week. I hope that was clear.
What I want to all about this morning is what happened when the church was started in the book of Acts. After Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit fell and empowered this group of cowering disciples to preach boldly the gospel of Jesus Christ. What happened next? What is the exams that was set by those believers that we want to emulate as we live our lives after being transformed by the power of Jesus Christ.
The New Christians:
Met together: to study the Apostle’s teaching, the word.
-The word is our source of life as Christians. If we do not devote ourselves to study and application, we will die.
This is Sunday mornings, and Monday mornings, and Wed nights, and any other time we gather together as a church to hear teaching and share in fellowship.
Ate together: communion and pot lucks. We do this well. This has a deeper meaning than just food. There is something about sustaining your body with food that is a picture of God’s sustaining power for us. Think about it, where was Jesus first miracle? What were many of his miracles about? What did Jesus tell Peter to do on that beach after his resurrection when they showed up and he had made them breakfast? What is the final day called in Revelation? There is something very vulnerable and open about sharing food together. It is when we laugh, and when we share stories, and we nourish our bodies and our souls.
Prayed for one another: Prayer is the most powerful tool we have to care for one another as well as ourselves. If we want to see change in our hearts and the hearts of those around us, if we want to see people come to know Jesus, we must be a people of prayer, you guys have done that well.
Prayer reveals what I as a person, and we as a people believe about our dependence on God.
We’re generous with their possessions:when people were changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they were radically changed. They saw that when they possessed the salvation of Christ, their possessions became tools on ministry, not objects of worship.
Now I want to ask you the question, why did they do all this? Was it to get something, or was it out of a response to something? Well look with me for a minute at what led to this radical lifestyle and see if we can determine what the motivation was for all this.
Now if you we’re paying attention, you will have noticed that I didn’t say anything about signing a card, or having a membership roster. So why do we do those things?… Well, we are going to talk about that next week…