Last time we took a look at the question of church membership, seeing from Scripture how commitment to a local church is the Lord’s plan and the early church’s practice. This week, I want to consider the blessings in joining a church.
Church membership is important for your spiritual protection. Scripture speaks of believers as sheep, which is spiritual significant. Sheep aren’t meant to be wandering around on their own between folds. Sheep need protection (1 Samuel 16:34-36). On their own, sheep face many dangers and predators. Christ, the Chief Shepherd, has appointed under-shepherds to care for His sheep (1 Peter 5:1-4). We joyfully submit to our Shepherd’s design.
Church membership is important for your spiritual growth. God tells us in His word to “live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us” (Ephesians 5:2). By committing yourself to His church and serving His people, you follow the example of the Lordin His loving service, you use the spiritual gift He has given you, you are able to fulfill all the “one-anothers” of the New Testament, and you become more like Christ.
Church membership is important for your witness to this world. Jesus gave the repeated commanded to love one another, saying, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). Commitment to Christ’s church allows a collective witness to Christ and a more effective fulfillment of His command to “Make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).
Church membership is important in your relationship with Christ. After His resurrection, Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love Me?” (John 21:15-17). After each answer, Jesus charged Peter to serve His flock, to be committed to His sheep. According to Christ’s own words, your love for His church demonstrates your love for Him. Commitment to a local church will bring encouragement and sharpening that cannot be found anywhere else.
Pastor John MacArthur put it this way, “Belonging to the church is at the very heart of Christianity” (www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-130/commitment-to-the-church). If you desire to grow in your relationship with the Lord together with others who value the priority of living out the truth of God’s word, then you’ve found the right church to call home. God is doing something exciting at Family Heritage Church and we’d love for you to be a part of it!
This past Sunday our members met to affirm the Elder’s recommendation to bring Dr. Sam Matthews on as a part time associate pastor. The affirmation was overwhelmingly positive, and we are excited and thankful for the Lord’s goodness in bringing Sam and his wife Vivy to our church family! Sam will be ministering in the areas of administration and counseling. May our Chief Shepherd continue to bless us as we trust and follow Him!