The worldwide church is made up of all Christians over the whole world who have come to Christ for salvation. Christians should attend a local church which is a group of people who join together regularly to worship God. When we become Christians, usually it will be because we have got to know one or some of these church members and they have taken us along with them to worship God, and gradually we learn, hear and study what it means to be a Christian, and at some point the Holy Spirit will convict us that we too need to be cleansed of our sin and follow Jesus Christ.
God’s worldwide church
This means that we have become part of God’s worldwide church. The Bible teaches us that when we become Christians, God gives us his Holy Spirit who will continue to teach and lead us for the rest of our lives, in addition he will give us spiritual gifts and abilities to us which we are to use for the benefit of the church, therefore it is obvious that we need to be a member, or at least attend a church in order to be able to use those gifts.
Church has a human body
The Bible compares the church to the human body (1 Corinthians 12), which as we know is made up of hundreds, probably thousands of different organs, cells, limbs and bones, all of which have a specific task. If we lose any of the parts of our bodies, often we can adapt to the changes, and manage but not as well as if we had a complete body. This is how it is with the body of the church: we are one of the many functioning parts of the body, so if we decide we don’t want to bother to be part of the church body, the church will lack an important part of its own body. The important issue here though, is that if anyone part of our human body is removed from it, it cannot exist on its own, it will die, because it no longer has the blood and nutrients necessary for life flowing through it – this is what happens when Christians no longer attend and are involved in the life of the church – they will die spiritually.
Sorts of membership
Some churches don’t have a formal membership list, but just accept that if you are attending the church on a regular basis you are a church member. Other churches prefer people to state formally that they want to join the church, either way is not as important as the fact that you are committing to a group of God’s people to serve together, worship together, learn together, pray together, and to grow spiritually. If you don’t have a desire to join with God’s people to do these things, then you probably need to ask “are you really a Christian?” because when we are born again we will have a desire to meet regularly with others who have the same faith and love for Christ.
Bible references: Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, Hebrews 10:25
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