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Oct 3 04

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“Privilege or Responsibility?”

Philippians 2:5-11

Study Guide for October 3, 2004

There was a (1) ______ _____ (?) company with the slogan: (2) ____________ ____ _______________.  We tend to think that is true.  What they didn’t say was that membership has (3) ______________.   They expect you to (4) ______ at the end of the month. 

Church people think that (5) ______________ in the church is all about privilege.  They think that the church is here for them.  Some come once every six months, or even attend another church, but when they want something, they (6) ________ the privilege of membership.  That’s not membership, that’s freeloading.

Membership is not about privilege, but about (7) ______________.  I once heard this: do you know why commitment has so many letters in it?  Because it is a BIG deal.

The New Testament knows of no such thing as the privilege of membership, but it does know the (8) _____________ of membership.  Our example is (9) ________ __________.

He had the privilege of (10) ________, yet look what he did.  (11) ______ ______ ________; (12) ______ __________ __ _________; (13) _______ __ ________; (14) ___________ __________; and (15) __________ ___________ to the point of death.

We are told in verse 5 that our attitude should be the same as Christ’s.  We are here to (16) __________ the world in the name of Jesus.  We must stop asking: “What can the Church do for me?”  Our question must be, “What can I do for Christ?”

It’s time to think in terms of service and not being served.  If Jesus had had that attitude, we would not be here today.  We will (17) _________ and (18) ________ you without being a member.  But if you want to be a member be ready to (19) ______ because that is what the membership commitment is all about.

Remember, membership like commitment, is a big deal.

Answers: 1. credit card, 2. membership has privileges. 3. responsibility. 4. pay.

5. membership 6. invoke. 7. commitment. 8. responsibilities. 9. Jesus himself.

10. divinity. 11.made himself nothing.  12. take nature of servant. 13. became a human. 14. humbled himself. 15. became obedient. 16. world. 17. marry. 18. bury. 19. work.

Monday, October 4, 2004.  We have all heard the slogan, “Rank hath its privileges.” But what we don’t always get is that “rank hath its responsibilities.”  Kings have servants and people to wait on them, but they also have awesome responsibilities to care for the needs and welfare of their people.  The disciples wanted privilege; they got a message on responsibility from Jesus.   Matthew 20:17-28.   Are we a people of privilege or do we accept our responsibility in the work of the kingdom?  Jesus came to serve and give his life.  What is he calling us to give?

Tuesday, October 5, 2004We sometimes think that Jesus had it made.  He was God’s son and as the son he could do whatever he wanted when he wanted.  Yet, we find that such is not the case.  Whatever Jesus may have been aware of about his relationship with God, he was supremely conscious of one thing:  He was sent to do God’s will.  John 4:27-38.  He had just spoken to the woman at the well and offered her “living water” and now he tells is disciples that the true food is to do the “will of him who sent me…the harvest is ready.” 

Wednesday, October 6, 2004.  It may surprise you to learn that the New Testament knows nothing of the concept of Church Membership as we define it today.  We think in terms of privilege.  Getting the building free for a child’s wedding; getting nominated to a certain position within the church, etc.  The New Testament knows about discipleship and that is radically different from our modern concept of membership.  Romans 12:1-8 puts a good light on it.  It’s about working, whether it is serving, contributing, leadership, showing mercy… It’s about working.

Thursday, October 7, 2004We want things done for us.  The church is here for me, we think.  But really, we are here for the church.  Those who have given themselves in discipleship have taken on a job that is 24/7.  Listen to 1 Thessalonians 5:12-23.  Make a list of the things we are to do beginning with the end of verse 13 for each other.  That sounds like a huge responsibility to me.  How are we fulfilling our responsibility?

Friday, October 8, 2004Finally, the church is here for the world.  We are given the responsibility of being light to the world (Matthew 5:14). 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 tells us that God is about reconciling the world to himself and that ministry has been committed to the church.  We function to the world as an ambassador function from his home country to another country.  We know who we represent, but how are we representing him?

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