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What I Owe The Local Church

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Presentation on theme: "What I Owe The Local Church"— Presentation transcript:

1 What I Owe The Local Church
What Is My Duty Towards My Fellow Christians In The Local Church

2 Introduction When a person is baptized into Christ and saved from sin, he or she is added by the Lord to His universal church. The universal church is a spiritual relationship which has no specific organization or work – it’s simply made up of individual Christians who live for the Lord and do His will on a daily basis.

3 Introduction However, God has ordained that His people band themselves together in local churches that they might assemble for worship and labor collectively for him. In God‘s New Testament pattern, these local churches are given a specific work to do and the necessary organization with which to accomplish it.

4 Introduction We have a personal relationship with Jesus and God and we maintain fellowship by our individual actions. There is also a relationship to the Lord that Christians sustain in the local church. Sometimes these two different relationships are maintained in the same way by the same things, but in some ways, they are different. So what do I owe my brethren?

5 I Owe Them My Allegiance
Of course, our first and foremost allegiance is to Christ, but the church is the body of Christ: Eph. 1:22-23. The simple fact is that we can’t show allegiance to Christ, who’s the head, without showing allegiance to His church, which is His body.

6 I Owe Them My Allegiance
One way to show this allegiance is not leaving the local church every time a problem arises—the church at Corinth had many problems, yet how did Paul identify it? There may come a time when we have to leave, but until it becomes absolutely necessary for doctrinal or moral purity, it’s best to stay and strive to solve problems rather than just running away. Too often people find it easier to leave than to take a stand for the truth. Most likely, these people are not well grounded in the truth anyway, and would not know how to confront any possible error being introduced.

7 I Owe Them My Allegiance
Another way to show allegiance is by faithfulness: Matt. 25:21, 1 Cor. 4:2, Rev. 2:10. Some declare their allegiance to the church, but not during hunting season; they want to be used, but not when the fish are biting; they say they wish to be active for the Lord, but not on Sunday night. Such allegiance is cosmetic and superficial—we owe better allegiance to the local church than such divided loyalties.

8 I Owe Them Exhortation The apostles and other early Christians saw fit to strengthen and exhort each other: Acts 13:21-22 There are always those in the local church who are in special need of this exhortation and admonition: 1 Thes. 5:14 After all, we are human and have our human frailties and weaknesses.

9 I Owe Them Exhortation Therefore, we should do whatever we can to exhort one another as much as possible: Heb. 3:12-13. It’s so easy in life to become discouraged by pitfalls, especially as the world exhorts us through TV, music, and other media to sin, and there’s strength in numbers, so that by exhorting one another in the local church, we encourage our brethren and we ourselves are also encouraged.

10 I Owe Them My Presence This is not to suggest that others are blessed simply because you have graced us by your presence. Some people want to be treated as such. Any kind of club or other organization will simply die out if people don’t attend the meetings, and the same is true of a local church—we have the example of the early Christians: Acts 2:42

11 I Owe Them My Presence The whole idea of being a local church necessarily implies that we all come together in one place from time to time: 1 Cor. 11:17-21, 14:23-26 Therefore, we must not forsake the assembling of ourselves together with the church: Heb. 10:24-25 Given the attendance habits of some who claim to be members of the local church, the congregation could close its doors and they wouldn’t know it for several weeks or even months—and that’s sad! Presence alone is not enough, we owe the church our participation

12 I Owe Them My Support The fact is that God has given the local church a work to do: Eph. 4:11-12 Another fact is that doing this work takes money; So how does a local church obtain the funds that it needs to do its work? 1 Cor. 16:1-2 But, support does not always mean financial.

13 I Owe Them My Support It’s true that television evangelists have made a mockery of the idea of giving, but we still have a responsibility to give in support of the work of the local church: 2 Cor. 9:6-7. The local church will always have need of funds to do the work of evangelism, edification, and benevolence assigned to it by the Lord, and when we give into the treasury of the local church to support that work, we are in fact giving to the Lord.

14 I Owe Them A Proper Attitude
This means a proper attitude not just towards the church itself but toward all the members: Jn. 13:34-35 We must view each other as a part of not only ourselves, but of Christ. If we truly love one another, then we’ll strive for the kind of unity that God wants in the local church: Eph. 4:1-3

15 I Owe Them Prayer Prayer is to be an important part of the Christian’s life in general: Phil. 4:6-7 While we certainly can make our own requests known to God, we should also pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ: Eph. 6:18-20 But why pray? Because prayer works: 1 Pet. 3:12, Jas. 5:13-16. It’s been suggested that the more we go to God in earnest prayer for our fellow members of the local church, the less likely we’ll be to engage in biting and devouring one another.

16 I Owe Them A Proper Example
Not only do we belong to the Lord, we belong to each other. When I am out in public, I represent the church of which I am a part. If I act like the world when I am in the world, I possibly have brought shame on my brethren and on Christ. So do your best to behave like a Christian.

17 Conclusion There are individual activities which we ought to do because of our relationship to Christ in His universal body—we act as citizens, do our jobs, and conduct our families with the realization that we’re under Christ 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, in addition to these responsibilities that we have as members of the universal church, we also have a relationship in the local church that places certain obligations upon us. Those who are Christians need to recognize and fulfill these obligations as taught in the scriptures so that they might be pleasing to God in everything that they do. Of course, if you’re not a Christian, first you need to obey the gospel, be saved from sin, and be added by the Lord to the universal church, then identify yourself as one who works and worships with a faithful congregation of God’s people.

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