The New Testament Church
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:42-47 (ESV)
You can be a member of all sorts of organizations today. You can join a gym, join a sports team, join a community service organization, join a political group, or join a new company. But becoming part of a church is an entirely different matter because the church is not just another organization in our world. The church is a spiritual reality, the Body and Bride of Christ. Membership in the church is a serious and sacred matter.
Five Reasons to Join A Church
There are many reasons to join a church. We agree with Pastor Mark Dever of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC, in his list of five primary reasons:
1. Join a church for non-Christians.
Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
2. Join a church for weaker Christians.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
3. Join a church for stronger Christians.
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (1 John 3:16)
4. Join a church for church leaders.
So I exhort the elders… shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:1-3)
5. Join a church for Jesus.
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27)