I Love the Church

Sound Words graphicI regularly thank the Lord for three gifts which are foundational to my Christian walk: the indwelling Spirit, the living Word, and the local church. Thus, I was pleased to read Mark Perry’s feature article on local church membership. Membership is out of vogue, I think, because the church itself is out of vogue. Whether due to a reaction against unbiblical sacerdotalism, parachurch ministries, the potentially unhealthy focus of books on one’s “personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” the anti-authoritarian spirit of this age, or our sin nature which wants commitment from everything and to nothing, the local church is often looked down upon even by professing Christians. Apparently oblivious to centrality of the church in the New Testament and the affection with which New Testament writers (and the Lord himself!) speak of it, many think they can embrace Christ while passing on His body. Not so. First John repeatedly insists that we demonstrate our love for Christ by loving His church (2:10; 3:10–11, 14–19; 4:7–12, 19–21). The testimony of every believer should be “I love the church because I love her Lord!”

July 2009

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