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Church Membership

Since church membership is not explicitly mentioned, then it cannot be biblical and doesn’t exist, right?  Well let us consider for a moment those doctrines which are explicitly mentioned that necessarily assume that church membership exists in a very practical way.  If we were to deny membership in a local assembly altogether, many of the truths and doctrines of the new testament would be diminished or denied altogether.

  • The Bible speaks of Christian submission to a group of church overseers

    1. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

    2. 1 Timothy 5:17

    3. Hebrews 13:17

  • Elders are given the task of caring for the flock of God that is in their charge

    1. Acts 20:28

    2. 1 Peter 5:2-3

  • New Testament church discipline

    1. Matthew 18:15-17

  • Paul’s teachings of those in the church and those outside the church

    1. 1 Corinthians 5:12-13

  • Church decision making which implies membership criteria for involvement in ministry decisions

    1. Acts 15:22

  • Paul’s mention of the household of faith

    1. Galatians 6:10

  • Paul’s mention of the times when the whole church comes together

    1. 1 Corinthians 14:23

  • The mention of the church as a building, body, and flock in which each member is viewed in relation to the body as a whole

    1. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

    2. 1 Peter 2:5

    3. Acts 20:28

Clearly, these doctrines require a formal membership in a local congregation for the words of Scripture to impact our hearts and lives in these areas.

Many today don’t want the local church or church membership to exist because they are concerned of the implications for their own lives which would require  yielding to the pattern of Scripture, and being subject to someone other than myself and self will.  Regardless of which side of the issue you prefer, remember that we will give account of ourselves and our preferences to Christ when he returns to judge the earth.

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