Thursday 28 November 2013

There is no substitute for living church membership

"But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body" (1 Corinthians 12:18–20).

Oftentimes people can seek out and find substitutes for the church for a variety of reasons. If a church is falling into a dereliction of duty in terms of preaching the truth and caring for the flock, then people may understandably turn to the internet for sermons, books to be fed spiritually, or para-church organisation to teach them doctrine. These may meet one's needs for a season, but they are not the Lord's plan for his people. A danger can develop that we begin to become dependent on these external aids instead of being an active member of a church.

Paul envisaged that each person has to be a living member of the body of Christ as expressed in the life of living church congregations. "There are many parts, but one body". Therefore, when we do not find our place in the body or refuse to take our place in the Lord's body, then we affect ourselves but also others. The means of grace are for our edification but also our attendance in public worship and other church meetings is an opportunity to build others up as well. This is what Paul taught in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing'.

Let us examine ourselves in this matter and make sure that we pray and seek out to be an active member in the Lord's church, to make the necessary changes in our lives and to put away all excuses for not doing so.

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