A Series on Church Membership
When we join a local church, we help to assure ourselves of salvation and our place in the family of God. You should not join a church to be saved, but you may want to join a church in order to get the help you need in making certain that you are saved. You see, in joining a church, we are asking our brothers and sisters to hold us accountable to live according to our confession. We want to live what we claim we believe.
Church membership does not save anyone in and of itself. Being on some church role or roster is not salvation. Yet, the essence of membership can go a long way in helping to bring about our ultimate salvation. What is the essence of membership? Being with other Christians; worship, prayer, singing, the spiritual disciples all in a corporate setting; holding one another accountable; supporting one another; discipling one another to maturity in the faith. Spurring one another on, and carrying one another at times, is what brings about our ultimate salvation.
We know that, “He who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt 24:13). And, the Lord, in His providence and care, has ordained that Christians not attempt to endure this life alone. No, we have been called to a congregational life. We have been adopted into the family of God. We are to live life together in a community of those who love and care for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Important points have already been made, but let us make one more simple point. Membership is possibly the key expression of salvation in the sense that, through our interaction with the local church, we are able to live out our faith and obey the Lord. Without the validation of our faith in the life of the church, especially from fellow believers, how much assurance do we really have?