Series on the church of Christ
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST:
THE CHURCH AND THE INDIVIDUAL
1. Two extremes regarding local church action (Both wrong):
a. Whatever individual Christian may do, the local church may do.
b. Whatever local church cannot do, the individual Christian cannot do.
2. Misconceptions spring forth from the fallacy that whatever the Christian does, the local church is doing!
3. Must understand the relationships in the Christian's life & see that the local church is just one of those relationships.
I. WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN.
-(Follower, disciple of Christ - Acts 11:26).
A. Means More Than Just Believing In Christ - Heb. 11:6 -- cf. Gal. 5:6.
-Belief is essential, but Christian must have faith that works through love.
B. Means More Than Simply Subscribing To A System Of Doctrine - Jno. 8:32 -- Matt. 7:21.
-Knowledge of truth essential, but Christian must conform his life to that doctrine!
C. Means More Than Just Being A "Member" Of The Church - Acts 2:47; Eph. 4:15-16.
-Membership in Christ's church is essential -- but Christian also has other relationships which must not be ignored.
D. It Means Submission, Obedience, Conformity To Christs Will In Every Relationship Of Life.
1. 1 Pet. 1:13-16 - Children of obedience in all our conduct.
2. Jas. 1:21-27 - Doers of the word in every part of our lives.
3. Because of our relationship with Christ - 2 Cor. 5:17.
II. CHRISTIANITY EMBRACES EVERY RELATIONSHIP OF ONES LIFE.
A. Five Basic Relationships Exist In Our Lives.
B. It Is Necessary To Please God In All Of These Relationships - Col. 3:17; Eph. 4:1; Phil. 1:27.
III. DISTINCTIONS ARE MADE IN NT BETWEEN INDIVIDUAL ACTION & LOCAL CHURCH ACTION.
A. Individual Duties Of Christians Which Cannot Be Performed By The Local Church.
1. One cannot "funnel" his duties in other relationships through the local church:
a. Govt. (1 Pet. 2:13) - Endorse, vote, etc. - Not the church.
b. Home (Eph. 6:4) - Educate - Not the church.
c. Business (1 Tim. 5:8) - Provide $ Not the church.
d. Social (Gal. 6:10) - Entertain - Not the church.
2. None would say that because the l. church cannot practice these things, neither can the individual!
B. Individual Action Is Not Church Action.
1. Seen in eating - 1 Cor. 11:22, 33-34.
2. Seen in benevolence - 1 Tim. 5:16 - Distinction to be observed.
3. Seen in discipline - Matt. 18:15-17 - Individuals before the church gets involved.
4. Seen in treasuries: Acts 4:35-5:4 - Individual & the church.
C. Some Duties Are Assigned Both To The Individual Christian & To The Local Church.
1. Concurrently function in our individual capacity & congregational capacity (overlapping duties & actions).
a. Teaching - Acts 11:20 (Individual); 11:22-23 (church & individual).
b. Benevolence - l Tim. 5:16.
2. At no time does the discharge of individual duty conflict with one's duty in the congregation!
3. Already noted that one cannot fully discharge individual duties through the local church!
D. Authority For Individual Action Does Not Authorize Church Action - l Tim. 5:16.
1. cf. Gal. 6:10 - Do good toward all men.
a. Context - Individual responsibility & action here.
b. Responsibility for the churchs "good works" must be found in other scriptures!
2. Jas. 1:27 - Individual or the church?
a. Same one who visits (v. 27) also: Bridles his tongue & doesnt deceive himself (v. 26), keeps himself unspotted (v. 27).
b. Individual action commanded here!
3. Let the local church do its work & the individual Christian his work.
1. God expects holy living in every relationship of life - l Pet. 1:15.
2. Keep the local churchs role holy & the individual Christian's role holy!