Sunday, October 14, 2012

Why Should I be a member of a church? (Part 1)

In today's society of independence and self-reliance, the thought of becoming a member of a local church seems unnecessary to a lot of people. Also, many Christians feel that being a member of the Body of Christ is sufficient for them to please God. The following confirms the necessity and benefits of belonging to a specific local church.

Church membership keeps your fire burning for the Lord. If a coal in a fire is removed or isolated, it’s flame will eventually go out.  The same is true for the Christian.  Membership provides opportunities for refueling, kindling, and staying connected to the fire.

Church membership protects us from self-deception. James 1:22 says to be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. It's easy to think we are walking in truth when in actuality we can be fooling ourselves. In right relationship with other believers, any deception will be recognized. Remember, whatever we possess in our relationship towards God that doesn't translate horizontally into our relationships with people isn't genuine.

Church membership leads to maturity. In the case of our natural families, some of the hardest lessons of life were learned from the conflicts with our brothers, sisters, and parents. If you had good parents who disciplined you and taught you to resolve the differences in your family, then you know that you are a better and more mature person today because of your family environment. The same is true for the church family. Listen to Proverbs 18:1, "A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment" and Proverbs 12:1, "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid." Commitment to a local church gives God the leverage to mature you as His child. This isn't always easy, but it is necessary and proper.