Church Membership: 5 Important Reasons to be a Church Member

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Every believer in Christ needs to start learning to follow God’s will. We must understand that our happiness depends on obeying God’s will. And one of God’s wills that we must abide by is becoming a church member. Here are five reasons why church membership is essential.

Let me first reiterate that church membership is not necessary for salvation. We believe that salvation is by the grace of God. And we receive the gift of salvation by putting our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as the only way to Heaven. No church or religion can save you.

8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

However, we must understand that the church is vital in Christianity since the Lord Jesus Christ established it (Matthew 16:18.), and the Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself for it.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Ephesians 5:25

Since the church is significant to Christ, it must be important to us. He must not have established and sacrificed Himself for the church without any reason. We can learn two principles by reading 1 Corinthians 12. The church needs every member, and every member needs the church.

The Apostle Paul pictures the church as a body. There are different parts or members, but they all work together. Each part of the body has another function, but their differences in functions allow them to benefit the body as a whole.

Church membership identifies you as a believer in Christ

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Acts 2:41

The Bible shows us that most believers became a part of the church. And it also mentions some believers who probably were not church members. For example, the thief on the cross and the Ethiopian eunuch was not mentioned as church members in the Bible. However, they are just a tiny percentage of those believers who became a church member.

Baptism identifies us as believers in Christ, just like the church does. That’s why baptism is equated to church membership in many teachings.

Since the Lord Jesus Christ established the church and sacrificed Himself for it, the Bible records most believers as church members. We can conclude that it is vital for a believer to be a part of the church.

Unsaved church members.

The church identifies you as a believer in Christ, but it is not guaranteed that everyone inside it is a believer in Christ. The truth is that Satan plants unbelievers inside the church to fulfill his will of damaging the church.

24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

Matthew 13:24-25

The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

Matthew 13:38

This is true in every church. As much as we want to ensure that all church members are saved, there are just some people whose goal is to destroy the church. However, it is essential to note that not all church members living in sin are unsaved. They might be carnal Christians.

In the Book of 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul shows us the three types of people inside the church. The spiritual man (saved,) the natural man (unsaved,) and the carnal man (saved but is living according to the will of the flesh.)

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Romans 8:7

The carnal man is living in sin because he does not want to submit to the Word of God. It does not mean that he is unsaved, but he will experience the chastening of the Lord.

Unsaved false preachers.

The Bible shows instances when false teachers preaching a false gospel infiltrated the church. It happened in the church in Jerusalem, Antioch, Galatia, Colosse, and almost all the churches in the Bible. They are called wolves in sheep’s clothing.

15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Matthew 7:15-16

False teachers are just after the destruction of the flock of God. The Bible tells us that we can know who these false teachers are by their fruits. False teachers have no converts; when they do, they are false converts.

17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Matthew 7:17-18

Church membership involves us in the work of Christ

The church allows us to discover, use, and develop our spiritual gifts. 1 Corinthians shows us that we all receive different gifts as church members. Just like all our body parts have other functions as well.

For the body is not one member, but many.

1 Corinthians 12:14

God gave us different spiritual gifts to use in and for the church. Since each church member has a different set of talents, we must be involved.

But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

1 Corinthians 12:18

Some gifts are more recognized than others, such as teaching and administration. But it does not mean they are superior to the gift of helping, giving, and mercy. Remember that God gave you those sets of skills because it pleases Him. We need to be faithful in using our gifts in the church, whether or not others recognize us. The important thing is that we are pleasing God.

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Peter 4:10

Being a good steward is not just about faithfulness in giving. Good stewardship is also about using our gifts for the betterment of the church.

Church membership inspires you to continue in Christ.

The church encourages you to continue in the faith because there are many problems, pressures, and persecutions that we go through every day. Therefore, the church must be a place of encouragement, not otherwise. Sometimes, some members can be discouraging, or even the preacher and preaching can be frustrating. However, it takes maturity to get over petty things and not allow those to be a discouragement.

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

Philippians 3:17

The best way to be an encouragement is to be an excellent example to the brethren. The Apostle Paul tells the Philippian church to follow his example. He’s not taking the place of Christ as the author of our faith. He wants to be an example of an enduring Christian.

The saints in the Philippian church had problems of their own. They are one of the poor churches. The people around them are persecuting them. But how can they complain, knowing that the Apostle had gone through worse situations?

Even our endurance in times of trial can encourage others looking at us. Using encouraging words is good, but actions speak louder than words.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25

Just assembling ourselves already encourages each other.

Church membership instructs us to grow in Christ.

28Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Acts 20:28-30

Numerous false doctrines can be damaging to our spiritual life. God gave us a church where a pastor teaches sound doctrine to be protected from these. Yes, we can read our Bibles and learn from them. But I can guarantee that those who don’t attend church don’t read their Bible either.

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

2 Peter 3:16

The Apostle Peter said that some of Paul’s writing is hard to understand for new believers. Of course, we have the Holy Spirit that will guide us into all truth. But the church is where we confirm if our understanding of the Bible is correct.

And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Jeremiah 3:15

Church membership improves us to be more Christ-like

11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Ephesians 4:11-13

We are all in this church to enhance each other until we reach spiritual maturity. The pastor improves the people through his leadership and preaching. At the same time, the members improve the pastor by applying the principles they learn from the Word of God.

We also improve each other by being an encouragement and an excellent example to others. Notice that those who don’t go to church are the ones who don’t improve in their spiritual life. It’s because it is not God’s will for us to neglect the church.

The church is essential in the life of a believer. That’s why we must love the church, serve the church, and defend the church.

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