Get Plugged In To the Membership Part 1 and 2

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Watch Part 2 here

Get Plugged In Sermon Series

To The Membership

Part 1 and 2

Acts 1:15, 2:41, 47

Intro: The church of the living God is without a doubt the most powerful organism on the planet. 

The church was given “all power” in Matthew 28 and given world-wide jurisdiction.

  • Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

ILLUSTRATION: What would happen if the lady vacuuming the church pulled the cord out of the wall?

That amazing, blessed invention called a vacuum cleaner, that was designed to extract the soil from the carpet would be completely incapable of doing so.

Even though there’s nothing wrong with the vacuum cleaner.

Even though there’s power in the receptacle.

The problem is simple – it is not plugged in!

ONLY WHEN THE INSTRUMENT IS PLUGGED IN TO THE POWER SOURCE WILL THE JOB GET DONE.

When we are working on a construction job and try to use the saw and all it does is clicks, I say, “It won’t arc that far.”

Meaning, the saw won’t work until its plugged in.

So, it is a vital necessity that every church member GET PLUGGED IN to their local church!!!

There’s an epidemic of DISSASSSOCIATION, DISCONNECTION, AND DISTANCING from the local church.

So my question is, WHY IS THE CHURCH (in many cases) SO WEAK?

Why is the average church struggling?

Why is the average church so weak?

Why is there no momentum and no advancing forward?

Why is there such little growth?

Why is it that it appears that every time the church takes two steps forward, they take one step back?

Why are people that have been in church for years walking out and getting out of church?

Why are leaders quitting because of discouragement?

Why are pastors resigning and going into the private sector and the business world?

Why are churches going out of business and shutting their doors left and right?

Why are missionaries taking two and three years to get their support?

Why are there no new churches being started in the cities of America with no church?

Why are there such a low number of men surrendering to preach?

Why are there so few salvations and so few baptisms?

Is it the failure of the Word of God to get the job done?

Is it the failure of the Holy Spirit to work?

Has God chosen another vehicle to get the job done, other than the local church?

The answer is an emphatic NO!

The problem is with the people of God.

The church is only as powerful as its members.

There is NO power in the building, or the property, or the sign, or the name.

The power and effectiveness of the church lies in the unified efforts of a Spirit-filled membership!

I WANT TO GO ON RECORD – YOU MISS OUT WHEN YOU ARE DISCONNECTED FROM THE LOCAL CHURCH.

  • PROOF TEXT: 1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

You cannot achieve the spiritual growth apart from the local church.

You cannot receive the blessings of Almighty God by maintaining a distance from His bride – the local church.

You cannot expect His protection and intervention in your time of trial and hardship if you’re disconnected from church!

You cannot expect to raise godly, holy, spiritual children outside of the local church.

You cannot maintain a close, intimate relationship with Christ apart from His church.

YOU MAY ASK THE QUESTION – “IS IT THAT IMPORTANT THAT I BE PLUGGED IN?”

You may ask – “I’m just one person – it doesn’t matter.”

You may have the mindset – “How detrimental could it be that I’m not plugged in – everybody else seems to be.”

You may think – “If this church isn’t prosperous, you can’t pin that on me!”

LET ME ASK YOU THIS QUESTION:

How many of your body parts would have to be missing for you to be disabled?

How many parts of your body would have to be “unplugged” for you to fail to be healthy?

How many parts of your body would have to be “unplugged” for you to be bothered?

How many members of a New Testament local church have to be “unplugged” for God to be bothered?

It’s not about you – or me – it’s about the welfare and health of the local church.

That should be our number one concern as believers – how can I help my church be prosperous?

You can help your church be prosperous by GETTING PLUGGED IN!

How can you GET PLUGGED IN?

First of all, you have to GET PLUGGED IN to the MEMBERSHIP.

One of the greatest blessings in life is the joy of belonging to a local church.

The New Testament church is a body; an organism; and you are a vital part of that.

The Bible clearly teaches the importance of being a member of the body.

Notice our text: Acts 1:15, 2:41, 47

  • Acts 1:15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
  • Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.
  • Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

SEE ALSO:

  • Romans 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
  • Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
  • Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Acts 9

  • 26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
  • 27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
  • 28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.

You must GET PLUGGED IN to the MEMBERSHIP if you are going to…

I. Get Plugged In to the Business of the ChurchActs 1:12-26

NOTE: In the same week, they had lost their “best member” and their “worst member”.

They had lost their pastor – their leader – their shepherd. (the Lord Jesus Christ)

They had also lost an apostle, and their treasurer, Judas Iscariot.

They didn’t collapse. They didn’t panic.

They had a meeting and prayed and elected a new apostle (that he may take part of this ministry).

They presented the needs of the ministry, prayed about it and agreed upon a solution – to carry on the work of God.

Getting Plugged In to the membership of the church means being aware of the business needs.

One of the benefits of being a member of the local church is being actively involved in the decision-making process.

II. Get Plugged In to the Battles of the Church

               A. The Targeting of the Church

Acts 8

  • 1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Churches are being targeted, and it will only increase.

The church needs faithful, dedicated, committed members that will unite together in the battle.

  • Mark 3:24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
  • Mark 3:25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

               B. The Turmoil of the Church

  • 3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

I couldn’t help but notice that the ones committed to prison were the ones committed to their church.

You reckon Saul got his hands on a copy of the church membership roll?

               B. The Triumph of the Church

  • Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

III. Get Plugged In to the Beliefs of the Church – Acts 2:41, 42, 44

Their belief started the day “they gladly received his word” – 2:41

Verse 2 – they continued…

They continued to gladly receive his word. Vs. 42

This church is unique in its:

               A. Administration of the Word

  • I Corinthians 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

It’s not through drama and skits and entertainment – it is through the PREACHING of the Word of God.

               B. Acceptance of the Word

  • 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

We aren’t preaching out of a denominational handbook.

We aren’t furthering the agenda of some corporate office or hierarchy.

What is preached and taught is what God said – the Word of God.

We accept His word as the Final Authority for all matters of faith and practice.

               C. Application of the Word

One characteristic of Calvary Baptist Church is we believe the doctrine that is PREACHED should also be LIVED.

We aren’t interested in preaching a social gospel, or an ear-tickling type of Christianity.

One thing that separates us from many other churches is our belief that the WORD should be APPLIED.

  • Philippians 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
  • James 1:22-25 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

IV. Get Plugged In to the Burdens of the Church – Acts 2:45

Get Plugged In to the membership by being aware of the needs of your brothers and sisters in the church.

They cared for one another and loved each other.

  • 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
  • 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

They demonstrated a selfless love for the members in their church.

They made sacrifices to love like Christ loved.

  • I John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

V. Get Plugged In to the Blessings of the Church – Acts 2:46

               A. The Blessing of Fellowship – vs. 42, 46

One of greatest blessings to a child of God is many times never utilized.

Failure to spend time fellowshipping with God’s people is detrimental to one’s growth.

The early church spent time fellowshipping, eating and spending time with each other daily.

They didn’t develop friendships outside their local church.

They increased in power and effectiveness because they got plugged in to the other members’ lives.

It increases boldness and confidence in the Word.

  • Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.  Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

               B. The Blessing of Favor – vs. 47…and having favour with all the people.

One of the blessings of being a member of a church is being associated with that church.

Whatever God does with that church and through that church, you reap the benefits.

It is a collective, group influence and group effort.

               C. The Blessing of Fruit – vs. 47 And the Lord added to the church daily

Those that were Plugged In were blessed with the knowledge that they had a part in the souls that were saved.

Whatever God does with that church and through that church, you reap the benefits.

It is a collective, group influence and group effort.

  • Philippians 4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

Being a part of a body that is reaching the world, reaching people is the joy of being a part of their effectiveness.

If you aren’t plugged in, though you are a member, you are robbing yourself of the blessing of the impact.