Church Membership Helps Us Obey What’s in the Bible
Jesus is Lord, which means that we need to obey His 1,000+ commands in the New Testament. Of course, we cannot obey our way into heaven, but “this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3). We know salvation “is the gift of God, not a result of works” (Ephesians 2:8). But we must also remember that “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
Obedience doesn’t bring about salvation – salvation brings about obedience. Even if we don’t agree on church membership just yet, we can agree that Christians obey Christ.
Now let’s consider the fact that many of Jesus’ commands require us to have committed relationships with other Christians. There are nearly 60 “one another” commands like “be at peace with one another” (Mark 9:50), “love one another with brotherly affection” (Romans 12:20) and “outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10). Living by these so-called communal commands sets us apart from the rest of the world. Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). When we neglect this robust, intentional love for fellow Christians, we disobey our Lord and cease to even look like His disciples.
Church membership is the spiritual discipline that helps us obey the communal commands of Christ. Just as a Bible reading plan helps us receive God’s Word every day, church membership helps us minister to one another as Jesus commanded.