TOPIC THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH – Membership II
TEXT Eph 4:11-16
MEMORY VERSE 1Pet 2:9
A local Christian Church refers to any locally gathered (Heb 10:25) and properly ordered (Phil 1:1; Tit 1:5) congregation of believing and love-relating disciples (Eph 1:15; Col 1:4) who answer the call in Christ to be sanctified with the Word and the Spirit (John 6:63; Act 20:32; 26:18; 1Cor 1:2; 2:12-13; Eph 5:26) and to serve one another and with one another in fellowship as the Lord’s harvest labourers (Mat 9:38) in a given locality. In fact, every Church congregation is divinely commissioned as the Local Missionary Organization to show forth God’s glory in their locality (1Pet 2:9). Every Local Church is a part of the universal Church and in partnership relations with the whole Church (1Cor 14:33; 2Cor 8:18).
1. How could members in the local Church ensure they co-labour together to the creation and the world around them in order to:
(a) serve as the light and the salt (Mat 5:13-16)
(b) show forth the love and truth of Christ (1Tim 1:16)
(c) demonstrate godly wisdom and zeal for good works (Tit 2:14; 3:8)?
2. (a) In the Apostolic times, they planted and led the Churches holding only the custody of the received Gospel Truth (Act 6:2-4; 2Tim 2:2) without holding custody of the treasury and table of the Churches they planted, but let such resources be commonwealth belonging to the local congregation to be transparently managed by their elected officers (Act 6:3; 1Cor 16:3-4; 2Cor 8:19-21). Why did the Apostles do so?
(b) What advantages do you think this Apostolic model would have over the modern model where the Church treasuries and properties are owned by the leaders/founders similar to business proprietor models?