TEXT: 1 Corinthians 12; 13:4-7
I. EVERY MEMBER IS A CHOSEN AND NECESSARY PART OF THE WHOLE CHURCH.
A. Church membership is about divine appointment.
1 Cor. 12: 18 says, “But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body just as He desired.”
B. Church membership is about intentional dependence.
1 Cor. 12:12 says, “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.”
Vss. 27-28 tell us, “Now you are Christ’s body and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. [A list of different gifts that work together in the church].
II. EVERY MEMBER IS TO BE TREATED WITH LOVE AND RESPECT BY ALL OTHER MEMBERS.
1 Cor. 13: “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness , but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
- Faith – Hope
- Love: 1 Cor. 12:13, “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
III. EVERY MEMBER IS TO BE A FUNCTIONING MEMBER.
A. Give abundantly and serve without hesitation.
- GIVING: 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you, They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will measured to you in return.”
2 Cor. 9:7-8, “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
- SERVING: Luke 17:7-10, “Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’? But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, then properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you may eat and drink’? He does not thank the slave because he does the things which were commanded of him, does he? So, you too, when you do all the things which are commanded of you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves, we have done only that which ought to have been done.”
- Again, Paul agrees in Gal. 5:13, “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
1 Cor. 12:26, “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”
PLEDGE: “I will be a functioning member of this church, giving cheerfully and serving faithfully, for the good of the body and the kingdom.”