Why Church Membership Matters

C. S. Lewis reminds us.

“All saints, that are united to Jesus Christ their head, by his Spirit, and by faith, have fellowship with him in his graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory: and, being united to one another in love, they have communion in each other’s gifts and graces, and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man” (Westminster Confession of Faith, 26.1). 

But we can only fulfill this our reason for being when we are fully united with Christ and partaking of Him. He is love and the Source and Power for loving one another. He is our Peace, as Paul explained (Eph. 2.14). He is also our Life, Who indwells, fills, transforms, and empowers us by His Spirit according to His promises (Jn. 14.6; 2 Cor. 3.12-18; 2 Pet. 1.4)

 

Since we are created for love, and for community as the highest expression of human love, we are obliged by our very existence to work for the edification of others, that they might increase in love by the example and encouragement we provide (Heb. 10.24; Rom. 14.16-20). We are the caretakers of one another’s souls and of one another’s outward lives, that everything should be done for the practice and promotion of love, so that we might truly be the incarnation of Christ’s resurrected Body.

Whatever does not spring from love is not of Christ; whatever does not express love is not true faith; and whatever does not foster love in others is a work, not to be forsaken as failed, but redoubled with patience.

We are all children, Lewis explained, teaching and helping one another learn to walk toward the outstretched arms of our loving Father.


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