A short, but helpful study of both the responsibilities and privileges of church membership. This is especially necessary today with the prevailing casualness that exists in relation to the membership of a local church. A clear reminder for those already part of a church and a challenge for any prospective members regarding commitment to the head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ.
For an annual fee, you can be a member of your community recreational center, where you have access to its exercise equipment and swimming pool. If you choose never to visit the building, it’s no problem. You can sit at home and eat ice cream all day and never get your membership revoked. So long as you pay your dues, you are a member.
It is not surprising that membership in a local church has also become non-demanding. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:10-16 that membership in the church is all about Christ. Attention is focused on five areas of marks: Christ’s Word, His person, His people, His cause, and His image. Examination is made as to what it means to be a faithful member of the body of Christ in each of these areas in the (1) personal, (2) public, and (3) practical dimensions of our lives. Thus, fifteen characteristics of a faithful church member are made.
Each section is followed by a series of Bible Study questions to enable the reader to take part actively in the text.
Joel R. Beeke is president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, a minister of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as well as an international conference speaker and author of numerous books.