I am a Doer of the Word

2019-02-10 – I am a Member series – Part 3 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas
Deuteronomy 30:15–20; Psalm 119:33-40 (ACNA); James 1:19–27; Luke 6:46-49

Why have a Membership Covenant?

  • It puts us all on the same page.
    • New members will be asked to sign this as they join, so it keeps us from having a double standard.
  • It helps us to define membership more clearly to protect us from outside influence.
    • The world and the church are increasingly different from one another, so it is important now for us to define what church membership means in a way that wasn’t as necessary a couple of generations ago. Catechesis.
  • Raises the standard from something meaningless to something that can impact our lives for the good.
    • We want to be a church that transforms people. Our vision statement describes a process of transformation, of a changed life.
    • This is what we will be talking about today.
  • If you have any concerns about this membership covenant, please talk to me about it.
  • Bishop Neil Lebhar is coming on March 3. There will be an opportunity to sign the membership covenant at that time.

Introduction

  • Vision Statement: “Love God”
    • Part of loving God is developing an emotional attachment to God.
    • Part of loving God is getting to know him.
    • Part of loving God is submitting our lives to him in obedience.
    • John 14:15 – “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
  • Values – “Lively Faith – Our faith in Christ is meant to be lived and it should transform every aspect of our lives. We seek to always be growing and maturing in the grace and love of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:13-15).”
    • Christian growth can’t be accomplished with head knowledge alone. The things we know need to be put into practice.

Obedience

  • Youtube video: “How NOT to Love Jesus” by Selfie Dad (https://youtu.be/esxy6ZwpZuQ) Daughter studies about cleaning her room but doesn’t actually do it.
  • Luke 6:46-49 – the wise man and the fool.
    • James 1:22 “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
      • When we don’t put the things we have learned into practice, we deceive ourselves into thinking we are in a better place than we are.
      • Video skills vs. actually making videos.
  • Membership Covenant – “4. Observe my baptismal vows, to lead an upright and sober life, and not give scandal to the Church;”
    • Renounce the world, the flesh, and the devil.
    • Turn to Jesus and accept him as savior
    • Joyfully receive the Christian faith as revealed in the Bible.
    • Question Will you obediently keep God’s holy will and commandments, and walk in them all the days of your life? Answer I will, the Lord being my helper.”
  • Membership Covenant “12. Affirm and follow the biblical standards of sexual morality and ethics;”
    • 1 Corinthians 6:18-20.
    • ESV-SB – “Unity with Christ is incompatible with all sin (Rom. 6:6) but particularly with sexual sin. Because sexual union has a spiritual component, sexual activity outside marriage is a unique sin both against Christ (1 Cor. 6:15) and one’s own body (v. 18; see Prov. 6:26, 32). Within marriage, sexual union is not only allowed but has positive spiritual significance (Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:22–33).”
    • Any sexual activity outside of marriage is out of bounds for the Christian. This includes pornography and other forms of sexual addiction.
    • We also need to make sure that sexual intimacy within marriage is godly.
    • I don’t say this to pass judgment, sexual sin is a trap that is easy to fall into and very hard to get out. I have immense compassion for anyone caught in this kind of sin, and I deeply desire to help you get out. I would not be faithful as your pastor if I didn’t warn you of the spiritual danger of sexual sin.
    • Men’s conference next weekend. Resources available for women as well.

Reconciliation

  • None of us will be able to keep all of God’s commandments perfectly. 1 John 1:8.
  • Jesus’ blood will wash away our sin when we acknowledge our faults, confess them, and repent. 1 John 1:9. We repent to God, and we repent to one another as well.
  • Forgiveness needs to go both ways. If we expect to be forgiven, we must forgive. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Lord’s Prayer).
  • Membership Covenant “8. Practice forgiveness daily according to our Lord’s teaching, and to handle conflict in accordance with Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18:15-17;”
  • Membership Covenant “9. Choose to believe the best of my brothers and sisters in Christ, offering them the same charitable assumption I hope to receive from them;”
    • It is easy to misinterpret the words and actions of others. When there is any grey area at all, lean on the positive, charitable interpretation.
  • This is what it means to be a doer of God’s word.
    • Striving to love God by keeping his commandments.
    • Repenting when we sin.
    • Forgiving others when they sin against us.

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