Why Join the Church?

19 Apr
Following on from the “Why Evening Worship?” series I’m now borrowing Dad’s “Why Join the Church?” leaflet and turning it into a series of blog posts. This post is an introduction to the topic and will be followed by 5 reasons.

Introduction

Every Christian should be a church member, however, not all seem to be persuaded of this.  Some with hurts from the past feel that the step of membership is hard to take again.  Others are on the search for the perfect church and are reluctant put down their roots.  Still others seem to have a pride in their supposed flexibility saying, “we belong to a global church.”  Some may even out of a wrong sense of responsibility say, “I don’t want to be a burden to anyone.” The purpose of this short series is to show clearly the Biblical principle that every Christian should belong to a visible body of believers.

It goes without saying that not any church will do.  The Reformers of the 16th century rightly spoke of the three marks of the church: true preaching of the Word of God, faithful administering of the sacraments and the exercising of Biblical Church discipline.  A church that has these three marks evident in its life is the sort of church a Christian should belong to and be visibly committed to.

The Reformation Wall in Geneva depicting four 16th Century Reformers

It is also true that every saved sinner belongs to the wider Church of God.  Revelation 7:9 speaks of a great multitude which no one can number.  Our membership of this world wide, century bridging company is to be expressed in our membership of the local church.  By local this does not necessarily mean the church nearest to where you live.  Sometimes this is simply not possible.

We believe also that the children of believers are already members of the church.  That is how it was in the OT & NT.  For them we look forward to seeing God’s grace apparent in their lives and them professing faith in Christ when they come to the years of discernment.  At that stage they will enter in to all of the responsibilities and privileges of being a member of the church.

So why should every follower of Jesus Christ belong formally to a local gathering of believers?

Reasons

1. To Obey

2. To Receive Care

3. To Fulfil Responsibilities

4. To Reach the Lost World

5. To Bring God Glory

Each of these reasons will be expanded upon in future posts in this series.
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