Length: 132 pp
Author: Jonathan Leeman
Church membership means something. In an age of causal, easy come, easy go, promiscuity this note needs to struck. Jonathan Leeman strikes it well. His symphony on membership is The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love. Church Membership is the pop hit version. Short and catchy I hope it gets stuck in your head.
What is the local church? I’m going to say a number of things to answer that question, but let me start here: the local church is the authority on earth that Jesus has instituted to officially affirm and give shape to my Christian life and yours.
Just as Jesus instituted the state, so he instituted the local church. It is an institutional authority because Jesus instituted it with authority. Now, I’m doing my best to avoid getting into a conversation here about the relationship between church and state, but here is what you must understand if we’re going to have a paradigm-shifting discussion about church membership:
Just as the Bible establishes the government of your nation as your highest authority on earth when it comes to your citizenship in that nation, so the Bible establishes the local church as your highest authority on earth when it comes to your discipleship to Christ and your citizenship in Christ’s present and promised nation.
Christians don’t just join churches; they submit to them.