In line with the new sermon series, The Church, Pastor Eugene recommends some resources to equip us to build up the body of Christ.
Last weekend, we embarked on a new, four-part sermon series entitled The Church: Gospel, Gather, Grow, Go. Over the next few weekends, we will be hearing from various passages in Ephesians that focus on key aspects of our identity, purpose and mission as God’s people.
In the first sermon, we heard from Ephesians 2:1-10 about how the church is a people created by the gospel, for the gospel. In the rest of the series, we will look at how the church is:
- A people gathered by the gospel, displaying the beauty of the gospel through its unity and life together (Eph 2:11-22)
- A people growing together in the gospel, towards Christ-like maturity (Eph 4:11-16)
- A people going with the gospel to make disciples of the nations (Eph 6:10-20)
Why is it so important for us to learn about the church? It is because the church is the body of Christ, and we are fellow members of this local body. Unlike worldly notions of membership, biblical membership isn’t about our individual rights and benefits. Rather, to be a member means to be an indispensable body part, properly functioning for the good of the entire body. Biblical membership is not self-centred; it puts the interests of others first.
God’s people are not gifted in identical ways, but every believer is personally equipped with different spiritual gifts. By using our diverse spiritual gifts in love, we are to work together to build up the whole body. As it says in 1 Corinthians 12:7: “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
Therefore, church membership isn’t merely a status; it is a responsibility. So, how might we “strive to excel in building up the church” (1 Cor 14:12b)? I encourage us to read the March 2021 edition of the 9 Marks Journal, How to Build Up Your Church: A Guidebook for Members. It includes a number of helpful articles with biblical, practical pointers on how we can strengthen the church. I pray we will be equipped and encouraged to love and serve one another, as fellow members of Grace Baptist Church.
Besides this online resource, I also highly recommend these books to help us build one another up:
- Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Mark Dever)
- The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ (Ray Ortlund)
- What is a Healthy Church Member? (Thabiti Anyabwile)
- The Walk: Steps for New and Renewed Followers of Jesus (Stephen Smallman)
- Discipling: How to Help Others Follow Jesus (Mark Dever)
- Side By Side: Walking With Others in Wisdom and Love (Edward Welch)
If you would like to order any of these books, please contact Yanadi (our ministry worker for Christian Education) at email@example.com. Please place your order by May 16.
This weekend will be the Buntains’ final one with us before they leave for the US. Pastor Ian will be preaching from Ephesians 2:11-22 about how the church is gathered by the gospel. Do join us for service on either Saturday or Sunday to say goodbye to Pastor Ian and Sherri in person. Let’s send them off with our encouragement and love, as they embark on a new season of ministry!
In May, our Christian education class, Equip, will look at the topic of singleness. Held over four weekly sessions (Tuesdays, 8-9pm), this class will examine how the gospel enables us to glorify God through our singleness. Marrieds: do also come and learn how we can encourage the singles among us. All sessions will be conducted via Zoom at this link: http://gracebaptistchurch.sg/equip Here is the schedule:
May 4: Does Scripture Sideline Singleness?
May 11: Singleness: Help or Hindrance?
May 18: How Should I Glorify God with my Singleness?
May 25: Does Singleness Mean Loneliness?