What's Expected Of You?
In every organization there is a level of expectation of the collective body toward the individual members. For example, if you join the country club, then the club has a right to expect you to pay dues so the recreational facilities can be maintained. If you join a service club, like Lions or Kiwanis, the members have every right to expect your participation in their community projects. In fact, most of us would agree that a group has every right to expect something of its members, based on the purposes and goals of that organization.
Though we do not join the Lord's church like you join a social club, nevertheless once we are added to Christ's body upon obedience to the Gospel (Acts 2:47), we immediately come face to face with a level of group expectation. Certainly the Lord, as head of the body, has every right to expect our faithful service. But, what about the rest of the church? Do our brethren in Christ, have a right to expect something from us? I would answer YES, for the Bible teaches the church has a right to expect the following things from its members.
First, the church has the right to expect your loyalty. The New Testament says we are soldiers in God's army, but soldiers are worthless if they are not loyal. We must be loyal to the cause, to our commander, and to our comrades. Loyalty demands that we defend the cause, obey our commander, and help our comrades. Today, on every hand, we witness traitors to the cause, as they deny the inspiration and inerrancy of the Scriptures. We see insubordination to our Commander and Chief by those who deny the authority of the Scriptures. We observe disloyalty to our comrades by those who desire unity with the enemy. Brethren, the church will quickly be overrun by its enemies, unless we return to a standard of loyalty to pure New Testament Christianity.
Secondly, your brethren have a right to expect your cooperation and participation. Cooperation and participation are not just expected of soldiers, they are demanded. Armies despise loafers and leeches, and have developed effective ways to discipline soldiers who are so inclined! Likewise the Lord despises lethargy and lukewarmness (Rev. 3:16}, and also has an effective way to deal with the problem. Indifference will cause many "Christians" to be lost eternally. Loyal, cooperative members, though, will be found faithfully attending and participating when they are able. They'll be found generously giving of their means to support the Lord's work. They will be found giving of themselves (II Cor. 8:5), in order to do the Lord's work. The "let someone else do it" attitude, will not be found among loyal, cooperative members.
Finally, the brethren have a right to expect your sacrifice. One reason the church has quit growing is because most members have quit sacrificing for her. Far too many try to serve God without sacrifice; without being crucified to the world. It can't be done! We need a great crucifixion of self in the church today! We sacrifice for everything else that has meaning to us - our families, our homes, our hobbies - why not the church? Without sacrifice, no army will ever be victorious, The key to the victorious Christian life of Paul (II Tim. 4:7-8), is found in his willingness to crucify himself and to sacrifice for Christ. He wrote: "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me..." (Gal. 6:14 & 2:20). Yes, our brethren have a right to expect our sacrifice for the good of the church. As Commander Spock so beautifully stated in a Star Trek movie, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one."
As you consider what the brethren have a right to expect of you as a loyal, cooperative, and sacrificing member of Christ's church, ask yourself the following questions. Are you an attendee, or an absentee? Are you a servant, or a shirker? Are you a supporter, or a sleeper? Are you a helper, or a hindrance? Are you a leader, or a leech? Please don't let your brethren down, they are indeed expecting something from you!
By David McCain
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