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Pastor’s Notes Blog: February 2017

     We live in a culture that is increasingly skeptical of the concept of membership.  Whether we are talking about aligning ourselves with a particular political party or just joining the local gym, in yet another attempt to fulfill a New Year’s Resolution, we are becoming more and more hesitant to make a commitment.  This trend is even beginning to affect the church of Jesus Christ.  Over the last 50 years, Christians have begun to stray from the Bible’s clear teaching on the necessity of church membership and instead wind up drifting from church to church in what has been called “church shopping”.

     There is not enough space here to show you how the Bible teaches that Christians are supposed to be committed members of one specific, local church.  So I encourage you to read your Bible with a discerning eye.  I believe you will find that although there is no use of the modern term membership, there is definitely a clear understanding that Believers are expected to be a part of a local church, for example, “the church in Jerusalem” (Acts 8:1) or “the church in Smyrna” (Rev. 2:8).   The reality is that, in the Bible, once someone was saved, they were immediately incorporated into a local church.  There is simply no serious discussion of Believers operating outside of a local expression of Christ’s church.

     And if you think about it, God’s plan really makes a great deal of sense.  Who would think it is right to leave a newborn baby all alone without a family?  No one!  That would be cruel and disastrous!  God’s plan from the very beginning of time has always been for the family to be the place where newborn babies grow and learn how to be children, then teenagers, then adults and then parents themselves.

     And this model of the family is the same one that God uses for His church.  Every individual church is a separate branch on God’s family tree.  Each one is tasked to function as His family here on earth until Jesus’ return.  Each one is to take in both “newborn” Believers and Believers of all spiritual ages and then love them, protect them, feed them, teach them, discipline them, and give them opportunities to use their gifts to serve, to be blessed and to be a blessing.

     This is why it has always been God’s plan for His children to be grafted into a local branch of His family tree.  It is only there that a Believer can truly experience the healthy spiritual life that he or she was redeemed to enjoy.  I pray that you will find that experience of family and joy here at Grace Baptist Church.




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