Here’s where Calvary Bible Chapel believes God empowers you to take whatever step the Holy Spirit is leading you to take. Remember, never plateau. Paul said, "Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14)
So here are some steps you can take (in no particular order) as you “work out your own salvation.” (Phil. 2:12-13)
Why does attending church matter? When you found Jesus, you were broken, humbled and struggling. Being around other people who can empathize with you is vital to your spiritual process. Jesus knew this. That’s why he sets the example by “attending the synagogue regularly.” (Luke 4:16) Jesus also says through the author of Hebrews, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23-25)
Think through three of the main images for the church in the New Testament: the church pictured as a building, as a bride, and as a body. Christ is the foundation, and the church is the building. Christ is the groom, and the church is the bride. Christ is the head, and the church is the body. Would you want your building to have a foundation but no house? Would you call it a marriage if there was a groom but no bride? Would you want to carry around a head without the body? Each pair goes together. You are not meant to have one without the other. We are not meant to have Christ without the church.
You found and are following Jesus. That’s incredible! Now don’t forget that you are surrounded by people, some of whom you love very much, that don’t know Him. Don’t ever forget that the Gospel has always come with a sense of urgency. “No one knows the day or hour that the Son of Man will return, not even angels, only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36) Maybe the next step in your Christian journey is to share the Gospel yourself or bring someone to church with you.
Surrender your life completely to God. You don’t have to have it all figured out to invite someone to church. In your willingness to stick your neck out there and invite someone, God might be trying to change you.
Calvary Bible Chapel practices official church membership. Don’t confuse this - the moment you believed Jesus Christ died and rose again AND confessed Him as Lord of your life, is the moment you became a part of THE CHURCH. The church invisible. But what about the church visible?
There is not a chapter and verse to prove formal church membership is biblical. However, there are principles from the Word of God that show why formal church membership could be very beneficial for you in your Christian walk. If you want to come to church here and not be a member, that’s %100 okay. You will not be treated any differently. We hope to show you that the lost practice of visible church membership allows you more freedom, more acceptance, and abundance of life.
See Acts 22:29; Revelation 13:8; Galatians 3:26; 1 Corinthians 12:12; and 1 Corinthians 12:21
So, why is the step of church membership called “own?” Because we believe that all of our members are part owners of this local church body. We encourage an “owner” mentality where you feel empowered to say “yes”, no matter what level you are at.
Maybe you have found Jesus, started to follow Him and attend church. You got baptized and you are wondering, “What’s next?” Serving might be your next step.
You have a unique talent that God wants to use to build His church. Read 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4, and 1 Peter 4:10-11. CBC wants to place you in the right space for you to succeed in your call to serve God. We want you to use that gift to glorify God. What are you passionate about? What are you gifted in? Use those passions and gifts to serve God.
One of the greatest principles in all of Scripture is the concept found in Matthew 6:33, which says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Serving seems inconvenient on the surface. But when we are generous with our time and love God by loving others, God in turn gives us “these things”. The things we truly desire out of life.
Serving teaches us to trust God. He knows what’s best for us. When we give God control of our lives, He fills our lives with time & energy, and fulfills our deepest desires.
When the topic of money and church comes up, many people get defensive. Maybe you have had a bad experience? Why does the church ask for money? First of all, don’t feel embarrassed to ask these questions and we are glad God has brought you to consider this next step. Giving is all about trust. Money is talked about more in the Bible than any other topic. God knew that financial security and materialism would be His main competitors for our affection while on fallen earth. That’s why Jesus says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)
Don’t get it twisted, money is a good and necessary thing. Each person should strive for financial provision. Money is also a means to an end. For you, we want that end to be ALL IN for Jesus Christ and His Gospel. Trust God. Let go of control. Do what He says. And see what happens.
One of the primary ways God changes us, is through His Word. Bible reading is one of the most important practices in the Christian process. Daily Scripture reading is the single greatest habit the people of God can form.
In case you haven’t noticed, the Bible is a big, intimidating book. Where do you start? We suggest you start at the beginning, like any other book, and read it a little bit at a time. Maybe just read one chapter a day. Read it from beginning to end so you can know the whole story. Ask yourself some questions along the way like, “What did that passage teach me about God?” or “Where’s God's heart in this passage?” or “What did this verse teach me about me?” or “Was that passage descriptive or prescriptive?”
How’s your prayer life? Communication is a two way street. We hear from God through the reading of the Word, creation, dreams, signs, soft whispers and sometimes smacks in the face. But do you talk to Him in return?
Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) Prayer supports everything we do. By practicing prayer on a daily basis, you are gaining the greatest benefits of being part of the people of God.
Jesus said in Matthew 4:19, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Yes, He was going to train a group of young men and women to carry out the Great Commission. But think about what Jesus was implying in that statement. Jesus was basically saying, “Hey, if you choose to follow me, in three years, you will be a better person. I will focus on your development. I will teach and train you. I will pour into you everything I know. I'll spend time with you and work through the frustrations of life with you. And because you chose to follow me, you will be a more effective Christian.”
Paul had a vision for discipleship that he displays in 1 Timothy 2:2. He says, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
Every Christian must be seeking to be discipled and to disciple another. Where are you at? How can we help you in this next step? Wednesday’s @ CBC is designed for community and discipleship.