Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Ephesians 3:1-6 cf. Romans 16:25-27; Colossians 1:26-27

WHAT DOES LIFE AS A CHURCH LOOK LIKE?

  1. The First Church in Jerusalem (Acts 2:41-47)
  • The believers received the words of Peter (v. 41, 44, 47).
  • They were devoted to the apostles teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer (v. 42).
  • They had all things in common (vv. 44-45; cf. 4:32ff.).
  • They were together (vv. 44, 46; cf. 4:24) – There was unity among them.
  • They were in the temple and houses breaking bread (v. 46).
  • The believers were glad and generous in heart (v. 46), among many things.
  • They worshiped God (v. 47)
  • They were good examples living for the Lord (v. 47).
  • As a consequence people were getting saved (v. 47).
  • They preached the gospel (ch. 3)
  • They were imprisoned (4:3)
  • Yet the Lord continued to be sovereign in the situation to save people (4:4 – 5000 disciple)
  • Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit (5:3).
  • Believers were disciplined (5:5, 10).
  1. The Persecuted Church (Acts 3 and 4 especially 4:3; 5:17-18; Stephen’s Martyr 7; 8-9; Paul: Acts 16-18 and 21-28; Phil 1:12-14; 2 Cor 6, 11; etc.)
  1. The Disciplined Church (Acts 5; cf. 1 Cor 5)
  1. The Troubled Church (Acts 6) favoritism – Problems started to appear in the church.
  2. The Persevering Church (Romans 12:9ff.)
  3. The Struggling Church (1 Corinthians 1-7)
  4. The Unfaithful Church (Galatians 1:6ff.; Hebrews 3:12-15; etc.)

WHY JOIN THE CHURCH? (Why is church membership is important, and what does it entails?)

The New Testament reveals to us that there are many reasons why we should join a local church. Here we will try to be concise and focus on the most important reasons.

  1. Because the Bible command us to be a part of a local church
    1. Acts 2:41, 47 People were added to the church.
    2. 1 Corinthians 5 assumes public knowledge of who’s in the church and who’s not (especially vv. 12-13, NIV). Expelling makes sense only in the context of visible belonging. When Paul tells the Corinthian church to admit the man back into fellowship, he tells them, “The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him” (2 Corinthians 2:6, NIV). “Majority” makes sense only in the context of a recognized whole.
    3. The Scripture mention organized local churches (Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:5ff.)
  2. Because I need the support from my brothers and my sisters (Galatians 6:1-5; Colossians 1:28; 3:16; Hebrews 3:12-13).
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