The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our August 25, 2019 message, The Church Matters.
Discussing and Applying the Sermon
- Which metaphor of the church—family, body, flock of sheep, embassy—most resonates with you? How have you seen this modeled well? Poorly?
- Which metaphor of the church is the hardest for you to relate to? What’s one way you can further understand and embrace that metaphor?
Have you ever been a member of a church somewhere? If so, what was it like? Did it have any major impact on your life? How you lived? This week, Blake Holmes teaches us about the church and church membership. He teaches us how the church is a people, how it is a family, body, flock of sheep, and an embassy, and how church membership matters.
- The church is a people...not a building, club, or weekly meeting.
- Commit to a local church where membership really matters.
- Every person who has trusted in Christ as their Savior is part of the Universal Church, but every one of those people are called to participate in a local church.
- The marks of a healthy local church include 4-things: 1) The faithful preaching of and submission to the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-4:4); 2) The practice of baptism (Matthew 28:18-20) & the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26); 3) The establishment of godly leadership (Hebrews 13:17); and 4) The care and correction of its members (Matthew 18:15-20).
- You will never experience all that the Lord intends for you apart from His church.
- The Bible uses four metaphors to describe the church: family, body, flock of sheep, and embassy.
- Care and correction is always motivated by love: it shows love for the individual, that he or she might be warned and brought to repentance; it shows love for the church, that weaker sheep might be protected; it shows love for the watching world, that it might see Christ’s transforming power; and it shows love for Christ, that churches might uphold His holy name and obey Him.
- This world is not our home...we are aliens and strangers, and we are ambassadors of Christ.
- Commit to a local church where membership matters.
- Church membership is not man’s idea but is assumed throughout the Bible.
- To not join a church is to, in effect, say: “I’d rather be orphaned, dismembered, isolated, and exiled.”
- At Watermark, through membership we covenant to: Believe in the essential doctrines, Belong to His body by living in authentic community, Be trained in God’s truth by growing in our understanding and application of God’s Word, and Be strong in a life of ministry and worship by committing to a place of service.
- We measure our success by our ability to be and make disciples.
Mentioned or Recommended Resources