Standing on the existing protocol, I give God all the glory who inspired you to grant me this great opportunity to speak on the topic ‘’the roles of a Baptized member in the church’’ before we go into the lecture it is proper we understand the words or terms in the topic.
ROLE: Responsibility, Duty, Task, Functions (work to do).
BAPTISM: Agreement, Bond, Covenant.
MEMBER: Church, Body of Christ, Soil, Fishers of men, Family of God,
Temple of God, Servant or Steward.
From the key words itemized above you can understand with me that this topic can also be seen as the responsibilities, duties or functions of believers in the church. To really understand the duties of a baptized member, we will first understand how the bible addressed the believer; A Baptized member may exercise his role as ‘’ THE CHURCH, BODY OF CHRIST,SOIL,FISHERS OF MEN, TEMPLE, SERVANT OR STEWARDS, FAMILY.
CHURCH: He is the head of the body which is the Church (Eph.1:22-23, 5:29, Col.1:18, Rom.12:5, 1Corth.12:6).
BODY: For as we are many member but one body and all members have not the office (Rom.8:23, Rom.12:4-5, 1 Corth.6:20, 10:17, 12:12-27 Eph.4:4-6).0
SOIL: In the parable of the sower, Matt.13:18-23).
FISHERS OF MEN: And he said unto the, follow me and I will make you fishers of men, Matt.4:19, Mk. 1:17.
TEMPLE: 1 Corth.3:16-19, 2Corth.6:16, Eph.2:21.
SERVANT OR STEWARDS :The kingdom of God is as a man traveling into a far country who called his own servants and deliver unto them his goods to trade with Matt.25:14-19, Mk.13:34, Luk.12:42, 16:2 , 1Corth.4:1-2.
FAMILY: God has chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom Eph.2:12, James.2:5.
Having understood what a member is all about, then Baptism is the public attestation of inner declaration of total surrender to a Christ like life. A baptized member is one that is living a holistic life that is reflecting Christ centered on the commitment to serve and keeping of his commandments. That
I may know him with the power of his salvation and the fellowship of his sufferings Phil.3:10, Rev.14:12.When the message of salvation is heard and one
is convicted of his sins with a Godly sorrow( 1Corth.7:10-11) and decides to abandon his old sinful life and follow the new life in Christ, the requirements of him accepting Christ is demonstrated by an open declaration of immersion which is Baptism.
After one is Baptized, it is required that one must work out the salvation with trembling (Phil.2:12) by exacting energy. The faith that is needed in doing this work is gotten by creating time to hear the word of God(Rom.10:17) and faith without work is dead(James 2:17-18) that is to say , hearing only the word, and accumulating much faith without exaction of energy on what you are hearing means you are dead. If you hear, you surrender your old life, if you surrender, you hear and works, then you are playing the role of a baptized member. All the people of old were known by the works they did, not how much they read the scriptures, and it was counted for them.
Considering the Baptized member as the Temple of God or the Body of Christ as stipulated in our first page, as unproductive member, can be viewed as a ship at the sea going nowhere, In fact, the people on board having conflicting opinions about where the ship is going or at least they would like to go, as large as a ship having compartments and engine etc is controlled only by a knob as steering and a compass to give direction. Same applies to human with many members only relying on the control of the spinal cord; of which without the spinal cord the body can function without control. If a baptized member is unproductive he is more or less functioning without purpose, focus, for where there is no vision the people perish (Pro.29:18) Having a clear mission and purpose is the most essential ingredient of a healthy growing baptized member. Because it is essential for a member to know his responsibility without sense of direction no purpose, no vision, no mission, and no passion of what you were called to. But when a clear mission and purpose is established and assumed amongst believers it builds morale, attitude are positive and there is a sense of direction which will reduce frustration amongst members. Nothing makes people to lose gripe if they starts complaining when they sense that they are going in a cycles, because commitment, concentration and co-operation are in display when everybody thought someone would have performed a particular function, at last no one did it, when everybody is looking out for a readymade (people who wants to be served not to serve)think what you will do as human, then God will do the ones he promised to do for you .Almost all the blessing of God starts with “IF” which means a conditional statement.
The most needed ingredient to arm ourselves in defining our ROLES can only be achieved by knowing our VISION and PURPOSE, as demonstrated by Nehemiah during rebuilding of the temple (Neh.2:21, 2:11-15).Applying these two responsibilities as to knowing our roles in the church will make us to have a strict study on the “TWO GREATS” that is
THE GREAT COMMISSION AND THE GREAT COMMANDEMENTS.
THE GREAT COMMISSION:
Before you were born God already knew you ordained to be his servant (Jere.1:5, Jh15:16, 2Cor.5:1-2, 2Cor.5:18-20, 1Pt2:9 2Cor3:16). Since God do not make mistakes and cannot call somebody without having what the person will do, the ability of a Christian to realize that he was called, elected, chosen and ordained to serve will only be portrayed on his passion to serve in the vineyard by applying and Practicing the essentials of being a baptized member empowered by the Holy spirit. The believers where first called Christians in Antioch (Acts11:26). The apostles must have felt the awesomeness of their task because of Jesus last word to them “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you shall be my witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria and TO THE END OF THE WORLD (Acts 1:18), the Church (Believers) was born on the day of Pentecost. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit empowered the Apostles to share the gospel of salvation resulting in 3,000 converts. Soon the number beeped up to 5,000 in the newfound joy which resulted to spontaneous growth which lead to sharing of possessions. A baptized member who properly adhered to the concept of Matt.4:19 come follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. When one adheres to the call, two things must come into the mind of the newly converted Christian. The purpose and passion of accepting Christ, as it clearly stated “As a man think so is he (Pro.23:7), because “For many are the plans of a man but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails (Pro. 19:21).
The reason of accepting Christ, the intent or what made you to accept Christ may be demonstrated in your attitude in things of God as per the role(s) you are playing in the house of God .Your personal reason for accepting Christ may include:
MIRACLE, BEING BORN INTO THE CHURCH, MARRIAGE, FEEDING, JOB, NEW FAMILY, HEALING.
The purpose of God calling you may include(s) (a) Preach the gospel to the unsaved Matt.16:15-16 (b) To be hospitable for broken lives Matt.25:34-40,(c)To teach the scripture Matt.28:19-20, 2Tim.2:15,1Tim4:13(d)To model Christ like values Matt.5:16, 1Tim4:12,(e)To provide an environment for the exercise of spiritual gifts Eph. 4:11-13, (f) To nurture spiritual growth in new believers Eph.4:14-15 (g) To prepare people for Christ second coming (Titus 2:12-13).
Following the personal purpose of being a Christian which always diminish as soon as the desired or intent is actualized or fulfilled by God. That is, you entered Church for the sake of having a husband, when (once) the husband is gotten, the desire, passion of going to church always fades, and gradually dies. Your attitude and participation in the things of God is influenced by the achieved purpose of serving God. But following the purpose of Christ calling you to follow him as mentioned above, the purpose(s) must be actualized with passion as demonstrated by the believer, which will gradually lead him into the kingdom of God.
Applying the exhibited behavior of a Christian, if he is playing a correct role in the house of God, it can also be compared with the behavioral life or attitude of the seven churches as in (Rev 1:11). It is important for a believer to choose the kind of member he is, when compared with the seven churches, hence we are the temple of God not made with hands.
The great commission when applied properly produces being committed, because there is a purpose of calling you which is targeted to giving you the crown of life. The most targeted role of a baptized member which is the great commission is “go ye into the world and preach the gospel to every living creature”(Matt.26:13, Mk16:15) must be propriety, then the (people) members that accepted the word and are baptized in the church can be seen in display in the cloud of circle below:
From this circle every baptized member should integrate himself/ herself in the area where he/she belongs to. The members can also be regrouped into three worshippers that is, those being braided with milk, flesh and bones (Heb.5:12-13, 1Pt.2:2).
The community: Is a pool of unchanged people, which is occasion brethren’s yet baptized.
The crowd: Includes everyone who shows up, in church every given Sabbath worship, that doesn’t care about the administration and the well being of the church, yet these ones know the roles to play in the church.
The congregation: Are the group of official members that contribute nothing except the official work in the house of God, but not involved in the great commission.
The committed: Are those who have moved beyond just enjoying the fellowship of the day.
The core: Are the 20 percent of members who do 80 percent job, the very weight of the ministry, are involved in everything. There absent causes crack in the church activities. The roles you play are personalized in the circle you find yourselves, it is better to be a productive member because there is a jingle that is ringing ‘’Behold I come quickly my reward is with me to give everyone according to the WORKS OF HIS HANDS’’ (Rev.22:12).
THE GREAT COMMANDMENTS:
Keeping the commandments of God is one of the most essential responsibility every baptized member must play in the house of God, with clear picture in the parable of the tare in Matt.13:25-30 which allows both those that are ready to serve God and those that are not ready to serve God (fake) to exist together in the house of God though baptized.
As per the declaration of faith you made, according to the spoken word by the river side, in the Day of baptism, every baptized member is expected to hunger and thirst for the word of God in keeping his commandments, like the Deer to water Ps.42:1-2,1Jn2:4. Adhering strictly to the words of Jesus ‘’if you love me keep my commandments’’ if you apply the concept of loving God with all your heart and also love your neighbor as yourself as in Matt19:17, 1Jh5:2-3, then you will know that the conclusion of the whole matter is to fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of a man Eccl.12:13-14, Matt.22:37-40 . Jesus said,’ The son of Man come to seek and to save that which was lost….. I am the way the truth and the life, No man comes to the Father except by me, Lk:19:10, Jn. 14:6.
Whenever a person’s action reflects a glaring disregard for God’s commandment, we reorganize they are separated from Jesus. The Bible labels them as Lost sheep’s- spiritually dead. Now by this we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who say’s I know him, and do not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in Him. 1 Jn 2:2-3.
Can anyone know Christ without obeying His commandments? Read that verse again. Then consider how John tells us to identify those who are the Children of God: ‘If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone practicing righteousness is born of God, 1 Jn2:29.
The standard by which our action are judged is by the Ten Commandments, which constitute God’s right way of thinking and acting Even faithlessness violets His commandments, because we have made an idol of human reasoning, elevating our opinion above God’s word.
The law of God is a divine law holy, heavenly, perfect. Those who find faults with the law, or in the least degree depreciates it, do not understands its design, and have no right idea of the law itself. Paul says, ‘’The Law is Holy, but I am a carnal; sold under sin.’ In all we ever say concerning justification by faith, we never intend to lower the opinion which our hearers have of the law, for the law is one of the most sublime of Gods works…..
There is not a commandment too many; there is not one too few; but it is so incomparable,, that it’s perfection is a proof of it’s divinity. No human lawgiver could have given fourth such a law as that which we find in the Decalogue the Ten Commandment.It is a perfect law; for all human laws that are right are to to be found in that brief compendium and epitome of all that is good and excellent towards God; or between man and man.C.H Spurgeon, sermons 2nd series se....
OUR ROLES WHEN GOING TO CHURCH:
In all thy way acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths, Pro.3:6. First pray for God’s guidance as you’ve prepared to go church. Go early, not only be punctual but be in your place of worship before the announced hour for the service to begin. Go in a reverent spirit, on the way remember where you are going, and avoid lightness of manners on conversations on worldly topics, Eph.5:4. Before you enter the church greet the house in your mind, Peace be unto this house. Luk.10:5-6, as you enters the church, at your seat, breath in and quietly knell down and bow down your head reverently in a silent prayer. Pray and thank God for the journey mercies ,also for those on the way coming, pray for the peace and outpouring of the Holy spirit on the members and anybody that will minister in the day activity , for God to confirm his words with authority and power packaged with miracles, signs, wonders and healings and conclude. As you take your seat, be quite, make sure you are more ready to hear the word of God, For faith comes by hearing the word of God, Rom10:17, for God is in his Holy temple, let the whole earth keep silent, Habb.2:20 and stop moving at random Eccl5:1-2, make sure you pay your thanks, offering and vows. Make sure you take active part in all the activities of the day and be ready to adhere to the superintendents order as per timing, for stubbornness is worst than witch crafting 1Sam.15:23, try to understand the memory verse of the day, sermon and announcements made, do not shy to pour out your hearth during worship section and per take during alter calls. Do not close before others, for the angel of the Lord Takes record of all those that stay till close of service and account it for them as obedient worshippers.
OUR ROLE IN CHURCH BUILDING:
And God said let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them (Ex.25:8),this was a direct instruction from God to Moses in the wilderness, imagine the beautification of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, now the instruction is for you and me build for God. Both the architectural works and the materials needed, to be provided by the members who applied the principles of being committed in the kingdom race as previously discussed with contrast to Nehemiah’s attitude during rebuilding of the temple of Jerusalem. The house of God needs to be garnished with the latest most pleasurable gadgets in life emulating King Solomon’s concept when he build the Temple of God in Jerusalem. King David said ‘’I was glad when they said let us go to the house of God’’, is it in mould house? Copying from the scriptural standard, there had never been anytime the house of God was not well built and decorated. That is why God is warning us and with caution, how can we live in ceiled houses and the house of God is lying desolate. It will please God if you apply this principle in your bodily temple building. Bring your materials; come let us build the house of God that he may dwell among us.
OUR ROLES IN GIVING TO THE NEEDY:
Give it shall be given unto you good measures shaken together shall me give unto you, Givers never lack, all these words and many others are principles, not just mere saying (Matt.25:36-45) as you give, you give to the Lord. The bible clearly states that we should treat others exactly the way you wants others to treat you, the measure which you used to measure for others shall be used to measure for you. This means that if you help the needy as part of your responsibility, you shall be helped also, because when you give, you give to the Lord. God blessed you to bless others, your legs are the legs of those that do not have legs (James 1:27).He that considers the poor the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble and strengthen him upon the bed of languishing(Ps.41:1-3) and warns that who so ever stops his ear at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry and shall not be heard(Pro.21:13).Helping the needy is also a criteria towards God hearing your prayers during fasting “To deal thy bread to hungry and that bring the poor around thee that are naked and cover them (Isa. 58:6,7,9,10) then shall thou call, and the Lord shall answer, thou shall cry, and He shall say, here I am and then shall light raise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as noonday, and the Lord shall guide thee continually and satisfy thy soul in drought.
OUR ROLES IN TITHING:
The believer that do not pay tithe is a robber in the house of God (Mal.8-12),the benefits gotten from tithing alone is ok to carry a believer in his life time, that is why most of you go poor because we have not obey the words and principle of wealth. I know you may say, how can I pay my tithe , when they are uselessing the money paid in the house of God, please leave that to God, do your own part, then you will have the power to ask God questions when things begins to go wrong in your financial life. Abraham paid tithe (Gen.14:13-20), Jacob said ’’Of all that you done to me I will surely give a tenth to you (Gen.28:22) King David rightly said ‘’Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay your vows unto the Most High, call upon me in time of trouble, I will deliver thee and shall glorify me (Ps.50:14-15), from these verses, you can understand that there is security and blessings in paying tithe.
OUR ROLES AS SERVANTS:
As servant or stewards in the house of God we ought to look up to our master Jesus when He asked, who is the greatest? (Matt.18:1-5,23:11) the answer is, the Greatest among you shall be the one who serves, but how many of us is ready to serve today in humility as part of our obligation in the house of God. Consider the parable of the talents also in (Matt.25; 14-30) but I may ask how many people today are trading with their talents? How many today that does not even know their talents? Those who do not know nor trade with their talents are like those who buried their talents in the ground because they did not use their talents God gave them to use and work in the church in humility (without pride), the verse told us that those who did not use their talents, it was withdrawn from them, (the owner) and given to those that used their talents profitably in the kingdom race. Will you allow God to withdraw your talents from you because of not using them in the church? Choose now. As stewards in the house of God, no matter when you become a Christian, the same reward that is given to those that started serving God since 1000 years ago will be given to you (Matt.20:1-14,16) but Jesus warns, that many are called but few are chosen, will you be among the chosen ones? Because blessed are those servants, whom the Lord cometh shall find watching (Matt.12:37-48), and doing something as servants waiting for the Master’s return, to him much is given much is expected (1Cort.4:1-2, 1Pt.4:10). My beloved, as God have given you the grace to understand our roles in the kingdom race as servants we ought to put them into action.
OUR ROLES AS SOLDIERS OF CHRIST:
It is very easy for God to come down and fight for us, yet he needs a human agent, just as he did for David in the battle with the Jebusites and with Gideon against the Midianites. And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their right hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal (Judges 7:18-25). Jesus said ‘’he that taketh not his cross and follow after me, is not worthy of me (Matt.10:38,16:24) take up thy cross and follow me (Mk10:21), He also warns that we can only be able to stand the veils of the enemy if we guide ourselves with the whole amour of God as in (Eph.6;11-17)and the Lord said you are my battle axe of war, with you I will destroy nations and kingdoms (Jere.50:20-23 ) Let it be known today that God have not given us the spirit of fear but of sound mind and boldness. No man that warreth and entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier(2Tim.2;4)That I may know him, and the fellowship of his suffering, being made Confirmable unto his death(Phil.3:10).
OUR ROLES IN PRAISE AND WORSHIP:
When praise goes up God comes down, for the living must praise the Lord (Isaiah 38:19). For the Joy of the Lord is our strength(Neh.8:10). But it is very annoying when many members have turned the house of God to a recreational place of relaxing after tolling for the whole week, which is demonstrated by sleeping in the church, moving at random during praise and worship section. Praise is one of the qualities that made King David the man after God’s own heart despite his sins. Praise and Worship is one of the first institution in heaven with Lucifer as the head, despite he applied it with pride, He was chased out of heaven, no wonder most of our music makers today are very prude and pompous gradually their voices fades away. Praise brings healing, anointing, brake through, blessings; above all it ushers in the spirits of God into the auditorium when God is praised and worshipped (the joy of the Lord is my strength). No wonder most of our choir members who do not know their roles or importance of praise and worship fails to come church early as to sing down the glory of God into the temple before other worshipper arrive. During the dedication of the Temple Solomon built for God, the singer sang and praised and worshipped God, clouds fill the temple and the people felt the glory of God in the temple. Today if we take praise and worship serious, God will also come down from heaven and his glory will fill our temple as in the days of old because HE NEVER CHANGE,HE IS THE SAME YESTERDAY,TODAY AND FOREVER. Our role in the gift of the Holy Spirit makes us more active in the service of the Lord. Which is demonstrated in the kind of life a baptized member lives either within the church perimeters or outside, as the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal: 5:22-23) to be carnally minded is sinful, because if we live in spirit we cannot fulfill the works of the flesh (Gal5:25). If it is not in spirit it cannot be in spirit for us to worship God as baptized members (Joh.4:23-24, 6:63). Howbeit when he, the spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth, for he not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak and he will show you things to come (Joh.16:13). This is our Ernest desire in Jesus name- Amen.
The roles of a Baptized member in this kingdom race are so many that time may not allow us to put all of them down here, but I pray God to help us apply the GREAT COMMISSION AND GREAT COMMANDMENTS, with the purpose of entering the kingdom of God being committed with deep passion to serve and work in the house of God, since God is going to reward us according to our work here on earth. May God help us to number our days here on earth and apply it with wisdom, since no one have power to draw back the clock hands, everyday goes forever with its records against us in the book of remembrance. Work now when it is yet day, for the day cometh when thou will not have time to work. Remain blessed in the Mighty name of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ AMEN.