What does it mean to be part of the church? This question rolls through the minds of people every day as they pass church buildings or signs about a church location. Your friends and family members think about this too (especially pre-Believers) as you talk about the fellowship and sweet spirit or other matters that pop up in “church life”.
The conversation about what it means to be a church member was active among the early churches as well. In Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus he addresses the connectivity that being part of a church creates. Over the next few weeks in our Sunday Morning Bible Study time our church is exploring Ephesians as we open our hearts and minds to God’s Word.
Ephesians 3:10 says “so that God’s multifaceted wisdom many now be made known through the church”. It is through the church, the people of God, that He makes Himself known. We as His people are charged with the responsibility of “going into all the world”.
But how? In Ephesians 2:11-22, Paul illustrates by using metaphors. This passage speaks of being part the family of God and not foreigners unfamiliar with the things of God. In fact the picture is that we become members of the household and that the house is built upon the cornerstone of Jesus Christ. Interestingly too is while we think of being members of God’s family, He also dwells within us! (Ephesians 2:22) So we are part of the church, which is not just a location but a people indwelled by the Spirit of God, leveraging our lives for His Glory!
I hope you will be strengthened by this powerful study of Ephesians as we look at what it means to be connected as a church. This is a very timely study for the people known as Summerville Baptist Church.
Things to Ponder:
Read Ephesians 1:3-14 and look for (1) references to the Trinity and (2) who is to receive glory.
Is your view of church membership consistent with the Bible?
What does it feel like to be a stranger? How strange do you think pre-Christians feel? How can you help them feel more comfortable?
Who can you invite to be family?
I Am A Church Member by Thom Rainer