Our Spiritual Family Part 2

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1. The Universal Family

2. The Local Family

3. Joining the Family

3.How does one become a {member} of the Church? {how do I belong?}

A. Joining the Universal Church

a.To become a member of the {universal} {body} of Christ:
i.Christ is the {builder} of His church:
Matthew 16:18 NASB95
18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
Acts 2:47 NASB95
47 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.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 NASB95
13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.
Mat. 16:18; Acts 2:47; 2 Thess. 2:13{Jesus elects, saves, and sanctifies those who are His; He causes all growth: 1Co 3:6}
1 Corinthians 3:6 NASB95
6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
ii. {Faith} in Christ places us into the body of Christ: Acts 16:31; 1 Cor. 12:13{the moment one is saved is when he becomes part of the Church; no works needed}

B. Joining the Local Church

b.To become a member of a {local} {assembly} of believers:

1. Confession

i.There must be an outward {confession} of faith in Christ as one’s personal Savior: Acts 2:38; Romans 10:9-10 {we should witness this act of faith}
Acts 2:38 NASB95
38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 10:9–10 NASB95
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

2. Water Baptism

Matthew 28:16–20 NASB95
16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Conclusion: We believe that triune immersion may not be circumvented except for medical reasons of a physical nature.
Helen LaCroix baptized at close to 90 years old
ii.There must be the outward act of obedience to Christ’s command to be baptized by triune immersion {for membership in a CGBCI church}: Matt 28:16-20 Conclusion: We believe confession of faith and triune immersion to be the two essential scriptural requirements for membership in the local church.

4. Helping Other Families

4.The local church is autonomous yet interdependent with other churches:
a.Autonomous means {self-governing} with no outside hierarchy. {there is no human authority structure over the local Church. Christ is Head of each church}
Acts 2:42–47 NASB95
42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 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, 47 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.
i.Each local church shall determine its own specific membership {requirements} :{such as requiring consent to the church constitution; membership course; etc.}Acts 2:42-47 {each church can set it’s own meeting times (daily, v46), place (temple, houses, v46), & program; care for its own property; determine it’s own staff, etc.}
1 Corinthians 5:3–5 NASB95
3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
ii.Each local church is responsible for the discipline of it’s own members:1 Cor 5:3-5 {Paul rebukes the Corinthians for not disciplining a sinning member, implying that they were responsible to do so; cf. Gal 6:1; Mt.18:15-20 (restoration)}
Conclusion: We believe that each local church shall determine its own additional membership requirements (Ac. 2:42-47), and the discipline of its own members (1 Cor. 5:3-5).
b.Interdependent means a local church needs to cooperate with other like-minded churches in order to fulfill the world-wide scope of the Great Commission. {theCGBCI are united in conviction in our Statement of faith; co-working in church-planting}
Romans 15:25–28 NASB95
25 but now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have finished this, and have put my seal on this fruit of theirs, I will go on by way of you to Spain.
Conclusion: We believe that triune immersion may not be circumvented except for medical reasons of a physical nature.
5.What role do you play in your local church to glorify and serve Jesus Christ?
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