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“Do I need organized religion?”. What is the local church, and why should I be a member?. “Why should I join your church?”. How does the world view organized religion? “ They want my money ” “ They want to tell me how to live my life ” “ I don ’ t have anything in common with those people ”

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do i need organized religion

“Do I needorganized religion?”

What is the local church, and why should I be a member?

why should i join your church
“Why should I join your church?”
  • How does the world view organized religion?
    • “They want my money”
    • “They want to tell me how to live my life”
    • “I don’t have anything in common with those people”
    • “I don’t want to be associated with hypocrites”
    • “I don’t want to commit to one group”
why should i join your church3
“Why should I join your church?”
  • I don’t need to join a local work anyway!
    • “I’m a good person”
    • “I still do charity work on my own terms”
    • “I can worship God in my own way, on my own terms, in my own home”
    • “God’s not going to condemn me based on whether or not I assemble with you”
what should we be asking first
What should we be asking first?
  • Can I “join” God’s church?
    • Phrase used once, in Acts 9:17-28
      • Paul was “with the disciples” in Damascus
      • Paul “sought to join the disciples” in Jerusalem
      • Paul was sent to Tarsus when his life was threatened
      • Acts 11:25-26 – Paul and Barnabas assembled with the church at Antioch
    • Paul “joined himself” to groups of disciples where he lived
    • Those groups are referred to as churches, Acts 9:31, see also Gal. 1:22
what should we be asking first5
What should we be asking first?
  • Was Paul a Christian when he “joined”?
    • Acts 22:12-16 – Paul’s conversion
    • What did his baptism accomplish? Acts 2:38-41, Gal. 3:26-29
    • Who is “they”?
      • Acts 2:44 –“and all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;”
      • Acts 2:46-47 –“Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
    • Only one local body at the time, see Acts 8:1-4
what does joining not mean
What does “joining” NOT mean?
  • It does not mean “choosing churches”
    • I must already be part of the body of Christ
      • How can I be in the “local” body… I Cor. 12:20-28
      • … without being part of the “one” body? I Cor. 10:16-17
    • Once I am a part of the body, I have a scriptural example to join myself to a local work
    • Joining is a mutual agreement between the local church and the brother in Christ
    • It is determined largely by geography
what does joining not mean7
What does “joining” NOT mean?
  • “Joining a church” does not save me
    • I can be “in the directory” and not “on the rolls”
      • John 3:9 – Divisiveness
      • II Peter 2:9-15 – False teaching
      • I Cor. 5:9-13 – Willfully sinful brethren
    • Rom 14:10-12 –“But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, "AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD,EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD." So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. “
what does joining not mean8
What does “joining” NOT mean?
  • It does not mean being “voted in”
    • No protocol for “accepting members” seen in scripture
      • Paul sought to join the brethren
      • The brethren discerned that Paul was truly converted
      • Paul joined their number and worked with them
    • Local membership is a right not up for vote
    • Local membership is a privilege not to be abused, II Thes. 3:6-15
what does joining not mean9
What does “joining” NOT mean?
  • “Joining a church” does not mean attending
    • Am I a “vestigial organ” in the body?
    • Rom. 12:3-8 –“having gifts, let us use them…”
    • John 15:1-2 –“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
  • Can I bear fruit in the body of Christ if I am not contributing to the work of the body?
    • What do I do that the unbeliever in I Cor. 14:23 doesn’t do?
    • I Cor. 15:56-58 – What is my work?
    • What if I can’t contribute anything? – Heb. 5:12-14
    • Eph. 4:11-16 – The body needs ALL its members – let God judge if your gift is “too small to matter”
next do i need the local church

Next: Do I need the local church?

Until then:

“There is much to do, there is work on every hand!”