The Local Church

Posted: February 23, 2012 in Church Membership, Local Church
Tags: ,

The Importance of the Church.

A while back I posted a a link of my pastor answering some hard questions, and one Sunday he answered some questions regarding the Church. I would urge you to listen to his sermon and to this one.

What is the importance of the Local Church? How important is Church Membership?

14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that,
15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth
.–1 Timothy 3:14-15

Paul is writing to his child in the faith, Pastor Timothy, and here he says he is desiring to come to this church in Ephesus. However, Paul could be delayed. It is awesome that Paul thought he might be delayed because if he hadn’t we would not have this letter.

Paul wants us to know how to behave in the local church, which is the household of God. If you look at the verses leading up to this, Paul explains the roles of leadership and deacons, and how each role is to behave. Why would Paul spend so much energy and time giving detailed instructions on how to behave if it is not important.

The local church is very important! Another aspect to review is that Paul wrote 13 of the New Testament’s 27 books which are letters written to who? Local Churches. If almost 50% of the New Testament was written by the Apostle Paul and written towards local churches, it would be foolish to deny the importance of the local church. (Eph 2:11-22 talks about the household of God also!)

Sadly, many Christians think they can pursue Jesus without His bride. The Church is compared to as the body of Jesus and Jesus is referred to as the Church’s “head.” so by saying you can have Jesus without His church is first to deny what Jesus loves and to say you can have the head without the body. “I don’t need the body, I have the head.”. That’s ridiculous! (Please listen here for more detailed information)

What about Church membership?

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”–Hebrews 13:17

First, the leaders it talks about here is the elders who have been placed over you in the local church. Elders are select men who care for our souls and labor for us and we need to submit to them and submit them in such a way that there labor is joyful-do not cause them grief.

The way we submit to them is joining membership of a church, if you have been attending a church for a while and just have not became a member yet, why haven’t you? You are not submitting to their leadership, which then in turn means you are not following what Scripture says here.

If you have been attending for a while and believe in the doctrine of the church and what the church is about, please pray about joining the local church soon. If you do not agree with the church, pray about what church you should attend and join that one.

“Every Christian should join a church because Scripture requires it. Granted, there is no direct command in Scripture that says, “Every Christian must join a local church,” but two factors in Scripture indicate that every Christian should be a member of a local church.

Jesus established the church to be a public, earthly institution that would mark out, affirm, and oversee those who profess to believe in him (Matt. 16:18-19, 18:15-20). Jesus established the church to publicly declare those who belong to him in order to give the world a display of the good news about himself (John 17:21, 23; see also Eph. 3:10). Jesus wants the world to know who belongs to him and who doesn’t. And how is the world to know who belongs to him and who doesn’t? They are to see which people publicly identify themselves with his people in the visible, public institution he established for this very purpose. They’re to look at the members of his church. And if some people claim to be part of the universal church even though they belong to no local church, they reject Jesus’ plan for them and his church. Jesus intends for his people to be marked out as a visible, public group, which means joining together in local churches.

Scripture repeatedly commands Christians to submit to their leaders (Heb. 13:17; 1 Thess. 5:12-13). The only way to do that is by publicly committing to be members of their flock, and saying in effect, “I commit to listening to your teaching, following your direction, and to submitting to your leadership.” There’s no way to obey the scriptural commands to submit to your leaders if you never actually submit to them by joining a local church.”–9 Marks Ministries

Please love and commit yourself to the local church! It is and should be a beautiful place!

In Prayers,

-Justin

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s