Church Membership

The Doctrine of the Church - Lesson # 6

I. The concept

A. Rom. 12:3-8 - explain

B. 1 Cor. 12:12-31 - explain

C. What significance would these passages have on the use of diverse talent within a congregation?

D. Some reasons for church membership rather than solitary Christians

1. We are social beings with social needs - Gen. 2:18

2. We need help in the struggle against temptation

3. We need those with whom we can be in visible relationship in order to express our fellowship with the invisible God - 1 Jn. 4:12, 19-21.

4. Can you think of other reasons?

II. Obligations of church membership

A. To the head, Christ - Eph. 1:20-23

B. To church leaders - Heb. 13:7, 17; 1 Thess. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 5:17-18

C. To other members, one another - Heb. 10:24-25; Rom. 12:15; Gal. 6:10; Jn. 13:34-35; 1 Thess. 5:14-15

1. Since we are a part of the body as a member, how should we talk about the body of Christ when speaking to outsiders?

2. Since every Christian is a member, should we speak of the church as "they" or "we"?

3. If one's body has a disease or an infected part, what should be done? What should be done with the spiritual body in such a circumstance?

4. Some people think of their church membership as being wherever their "letter" is. Think of this under the analogy of a body with its various parts or members. Does it make sense?

D. To non-members - 1 Pet. 2:9; Mt. 28:18-20

III. How does one become a member?

A. What is the significance of being "in Christ"? - 2 Cor. 5:17, 21; Gal. 3:26-28; Rom. 8:1

B. How does one get "into" Christ? - Rom. 6:3-5; Gal. 3:26-27

IV. What are the privileges or benefits of membership? - Eph. 1:3; 5:23; 2 Tim. 2:10

V. Memory verse - 1 Cor. 12:27