What Are Deacons? (with Matt Smethurst)

The Bible presents two offices (or formal positions) within the local church: elders (also called overseers and pastors) and deacons, which means “servants.” But what exactly are deacons? Who should serve as a church’s deacons? How are deacons meant to function? And why are they so very, very important to the health and mission of a church? Matt Smethurst joins us to discuss these matters and more.

Access the episode here. (Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and more.)

10 Reasons for Practicing Formal Church Membership: The Case for Defining Who Makes Up the Church

  1. The gospel saves, not just individuals, but a people that take the form of local communities (churches).
  2. These churches have definable boundaries—who it is that makes up the church.
  3. The NT depicts the Christian life occurring in the context of the local church.
  4. The church is a community of believers. So we don’t want to assume someone to be a part of our church without confirming they are in fact a believer.
  5. People belong to a church voluntarily. So we don’t want to assume someone to be a part of our church without them agreeing to it.
  6. In order to discipline someone out of the church, they first need to be considered a part of the church.
  7. Being able to identify who makes up our church clarifies who actually represents our church, thereby guarding our testimony.
  8. In order to conduct our affairs as a church (e.g., voting), we need to know who makes up the church.
  9. Elders/pastors need to know who they are accountable for.
  10. Members need to know who they are accountable to (which elders/pastors?)

A Case for Believers’ Baptism by Immersion from Colossians 2:11-12

Paul’s argument in Colossians 2:11-12 assume the following three things:

  1. Believers are baptized.
  2. Those who are baptized are believers.
  3. Baptism is immersion.

Allow me to briefly elaborate on each of these assertions.

1. Believers are baptized

You’ll notice in this passage, as Paul addresses the Colossians, he can assume all of them have been baptized (“you been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him”). It was assumed that believers were baptized, such that Paul can readily appeal to their baptism as part of his argument here. Paul, along with the rest of the New Testament, has no category or conception of an unbaptized believer.

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Church Membership: Publicly Belonging to Christ’s People

Church Membership: Publicly Belonging to Christ’s People
CrossWay Community Church
January 23rd, 2022

Podcast link.

See all other content in this series.