Friday, February 28, 2014

What's Right about Church Membership

Every believer is a part of the Body of Christ when they accept Christ.  That Body is seated at the right hand of God in Heaven.  So, since we are a part of the Body in Heaven, shouldn't we seek to be a part of the Body here on Earth?  That Body is the local Church.

Dr. Towns, in our study of his book, states:

"Every CHristian is exhorted to become a member of the local church, called the Body of Christ, where they each give themselves to strengthen others, as they in turn receive the same. And as Jesus Christ indwells every person within a local church, so they have maturing interaction with others who are indwelt by the same Christ. When the church gets koinonia right, it can transform the individuals to become models of love and compassion to the world."*

Our word "church" comes from the old Gaelic kirk. Technically it comes form "kirk of Scotland" which was the Presbyterian Church. The problem today is that most people when they hear the word "Church" think of a building or structure. The biblical concept of a church is a community of believers who meet in the presence of Jesus Christ. Church is not described by what believers do in a building, but by who they are.

Why be a part of a local church today? First, to obey the command of Jesus Christ. Second, to serve Christ in ministry. Finally, to have fellowship/relationship with other believers. The church is a bonding together of those who have a shared experience  - that of being born-again. It is a place that helps to nurture our faith. This best happens when new believers watch older believers model how to be a Christian (so, how is your modeling?).  A healthy church allows for diversity in its members. Corporate values must be consistent, but member can and will be diverse in reading, relaxation, recreation, and other areas. Still at the center needs to be a core of convictions (not preferences) that steer the Body.

The church is a hospitable for sinners, not a huddle of saints.  It is a body of believers who bond together to seek the healing of bodies, souls, and spirits.  It is a place of fellowship designed to transform individuals into models of love and compassion to the world.  we must model Christ to a lost and dying world.  We do this by our being the Body of Christ on Earth.

Today, consider how you can model what Christ is to those around you. And make sure that you continue (or become) a living part of this Body.

* Towns, Elmer L. (2009) What's Right with the Church: A manifesto of Hope. Regal/Ventura CA. p116.

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