To Be Or Not To Be (A Member)
The Christian enjoys communion with the Father in love, with the Son in grace, and with the Holy Spirit in comfort. And in the context of being a committed, devoted, loyal part of a local assembly of God, enjoying weekly, a rendezvous for joint fellowship with God, which is the best fellowship we can have with one another. Church membership is a blood bought gift of God's grace. It is a life sustaining, joy preserving, faith strengthening means of God's mercy to us.
Being a member of GCC for 32 and one half years now, there has been no greater blessings that I have received in life than being involved with God's people in a number of ways, and learning what it is that I should know to become an imitator of Christ, to be holy as He is holy, to learn of truth that a good church should handle correctly on a weekly basis, to give glory to God, and give ministry to one another. For it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35) and as we have freely received, we should freely give (Matt.10:8).
Being a member of the local church allows us to obey and carry out all of the 58 one another commands (Love one another - John 13:34-35, and many others like it). 1 Cor. 12:25-26: ”That the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it, if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it." Commitment, devotion, and love toward one another can only be accomplished through this desire to be formally joined to others as bricks are in a wall. The bricks are mutually dependent on one another, "We are one body in Christ, individually members one of another.” (Rom.12:5)
Every Christian has at least one spiritual gift (1 Pet. 4:10, 1 Cor. 12:11); the local church gives you the opportunity to carry it out, to the building up of one another. If a part of the physical body is in pain, another part will come along and try to help it. It is with the spiritual body as well. We need people to pray, to attend, to support, to teach, etc. These opportunities await one who desires to be joined to the church. John MacArthur sums it up like this, "It is very important to identify with the local church, to come under the authority of the elders, for accountability, and to come into the ministry for the sake of serving Jesus Christ in that assembly. And your Christianity is tested when you identify with one group of people, isn't it? There is no accountability, there is no testing of your faith when you can float. So it is a very important thing."
So, if you are not yet a member of GCC, and you are desirous of serving the Lord here to give glory to God and ministry one to another, please join us on Oct.15 in the library and Oct. 22 in room 204 from 6:30-8:30pm. Come out and join a group of Christians at GCC who dedicate themselves to meeting together for the regular preaching of the Word of God, who submit themselves to biblical eldership, who regularly celebrate the ordinances of the church, and who practice and submit themselves to church discipline as laid out in the Scriptures.
Elder Randy Slak