This blog is the combined effort of four senior pastors of different churches. Their desire is to point you toward living a God-centered, gospel-focused, Christian life.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Church Membership

This Sunday and next, Dave Robinson will be teaching "Bethany 101" during the 9 AM hour for those who are interested in church membership or who simply want to find out more about Bethany Community Church.

If you’re not a member of a local church, I wanted to commend church membership to you. In his short book Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represents Jesus, Jonathan Leeman argues we need a radical paradigm shift regarding church membership. We believe that church membership is like joining a club but Scripture describes our relationship in a radically different way.

Leeman begins his book with five big ideas:

1. “Just as the Bible establishes the government of your nation as your highest authority on earth when it comes to your citizenship in that nation, so the Bible establishes the local church as your highest authority on earth when it comes to your discipleship to Christ and your citizenship in Christ’s present and promised nation.”

2.  “When you open your Bible, stop looking for signs of a club with its voluntary members. Look instead for a Lord and his bound-together people. Look also for other forms of unity (brothers and sisters in a family, branches of a vine, etc.).”

3. “A local church is a real-life embassy, set in the present, that represents Christ’s future kingdom and his coming universal church.”

4. “A church member is a person who has been officially and publicly recognized as a Christian before the nations, as well as someone who shares in the same authority of officially affirming and overseeing other Christians in his or her church.”

5. “Christians don’t join churches [like joining a club or organization], they submit to them.”

Sometimes people object to church membership because it seems too formal. I understand that but I would encourage you to consider that this type of relationship God calls us to participate in together is a formal relationship. We each have real responsibilities in that relationship. For those who are regular attenders of Bethany Community but not yet members, I encourage you to spend the next two weeks with Dave and consider God's call to commit to your brothers and sisters in Christ.

By His Grace,

Pastor Daniel

1 comment:

  1. THE LORD'S CHURCH

    What are the things that do not make you a member of the body of Christ?

    What are the requirements for membership in the Lord's church?

    THINGS THAT DO NOT MAKE YOU A MEMBER OF THE LORD'S CHURCH.

    1. Simply believing that Jesus is the Son of God does not grant you membership in the Lord's church.

    Mark 5:1-12 .....7..."What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?....12 The demons implored Him....

    Demons believe that Jesus is the Son of God, however, that does not give them membership in the Lord's church. Legion was not part of the body of Christ.

    2. Sprinkling infants with water does not make them part of the body of Christ. Sprinkling unbelieving babies is not an act that adds them to the Lord's church.

    Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved....

    Only believers who have been baptized are added to the Lord's church. Babies are not capable of believing.

    3. Joining denominations, such as the Catholic Church, the Baptist Church, the Lutheran Church, the Methodist Church, etc. does not grant you membership into the Lord's church. Joining a denomination cannot save anyone. You cannot join the Lord's church.

    Acts 2:47...And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    The requirement for being added to the Lord's church is not joining a denomination. The Lord only adds the saved to the church. The church is the body of Christ.

    WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR BEING ADDED TO THE LORD'S CHURCH?

    The apostle Peter said, on the Day of Pentecost, " Be saved from this perverse generation!" (Acts 2:40)

    Who was saved? Acts 2:41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day were added about three thousand souls.

    Three thousands souls were added to the Lord's church on the Day of Pentecost. Why were they added to the body of Christ?
    They received Peter's message and were immersed in water.(baptized).

    Peter's message: (Acts 2:22-38) They were taught that Jesus was the Christ. That Jesus was Lord. That God raised Jesus from the dead. They were told to repent and be baptized so their sins could be forgiven and that they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Those who believed Peter's message, and repented and were baptized, were added to the body of Christ by the Lord Himself. (Acts 2:47 ...And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    MEN BECOME SAVED THE SAME WAY TODAY AS THEY DID ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST.

    HOW TO BECOME ADDED TO THE LORD'S CHURCH.

    1. FAITH: John 3:16, Mark 16:16
    2. CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:37
    3. REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19
    4. BAPTISM: Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21, Galatians 3:27.


    ONLY THE LORD ADDS YOU TO HIS CHURCH!

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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