“A changed heart equals changed relationships.” I have used this phrase many times over the years. This past Sunday we unpacked Romans 12:9-21 to give illustration to this truth. We saw there Paul’s exhortation to genuine love between brothers and sisters in the family of God. I closed our time by briefly connecting that to covenant membership in the church.
Standing behind membership in the life of the church, are two important things we must understand…
- The Gospel changes our hearts. Through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, God takes our heart of stone (unbelief) and replaces it with a heart of flesh (belief). This new heart of flesh is able to have faith. This new heart has new desires; it has changed priorities; it has new loves.
- Gospel-gripped hearts produce Gospel-shaped relationships. A heart changed by God produces a change in the way we live with each other. This is true for all of our relationships, but especially true for our relationships with other followers of Jesus. That is the context of Romans 12:9-21.
So, as I think about membership in the church, it is fundamentally thinking about a tool to help us live rightly together as brothers and sisters – a place for us to see our changed hearts express themselves in changed relationships.
Listen to the sermon, Covenant Membership (an application of Romans 12:9-21).