The Fact that that Bible speaks about spiritual gifts collectively speaks to the important of the local church and participation in it.

I. Spiritual Gifts (Romans 12:4-6; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Peter 4:10-11)

1. Spiritual gifts are gifts from God (Rom 12:6; 2 Pet 4:10)

2. Each Believer has at least one spiritual gift (1 Cor 12:4-10; Rom 12:4)

3. The first purpose of spiritual gifts are the unity of the body (1 Cor 12:12ff.; Rom 12:5)

4. The second purpose of spiritual gifts is the building up of the body (1 Cor 14:1ff.)

5. Spiritual gifts are bestowed on believers by the sovereign will of God (1 Cor 12:11)

6. Spiritual gifts are given in different measures (Rom 12:3)

7. Spiritual gifts are given for the glory of God (1 Peter 4:10, 11)

II. The Importance of Active Membership:

Our faithfulness and consistency in participating in church and worshipping God in fellowship with other believers is important—possibly more important than we fully understand. To assemble ourselves together with the Lord’s people at established meetings for worship is the most privileged experience.

1. We are to be devoted (Acts 2:42)

2. We are to stir up each other (Heb 10:23-25)

3. We are to admonition, encourage, and help each another (1 Thess 5:14)

4. We are to teach one another (Col 3:16)

5. We are to comfort each other (1 Thess 4:18)

6. We are to encourage the leaders (Heb 13:7)

J. Allen Blair tells of an elderly lady in a congregation who was so deaf that she could not hear the loudest noise. Nevertheless, she was always one of the first ones present to attend every church service. Since the pastor knew that it was completely impossible for her to hear anything that was spoken from the pulpit, one day he asked her why she came. She replied, “Even though I can’t hear anything you say in the service, I attend because I love God’s house and wish to be found walking in His paths. And the Lord gives me many good thoughts about the text of your sermon that someone always points out to me in the Bible. Another reason is that in church, I am in the very best company. I am in the presence of God and those whom He has made holy and whom He will eventually make glorious. Why shouldn’t this make me happy? It is not enough for me to worship God in my home; it is my duty and my privilege to worship Him publicly in the church services.”

The church is not optional for the faithful Christian. He will seek it out, minister in it and through it, and bring others to fuller stature in Christ as a part of it. A local church is not always perfect, but it still raises a standard for God and carries a testimony for what is right and good. It still sends forth the true Gospel. It still encourages and builds godly living. It still is the fullest expression of His body in this present age. Making a commitment to the local church is more than adding a name to a roll book. It means taking the responsibilities along with the privileges, and saying “No” to the world’s standards and “Yes” to God’s. These are good reasons to join the local church.

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