What about Church Membership Part 3
Strong and Courageous
What about Church membership? Part 3
In this post, I would like to explore some of the benefits of being a member of a local church in a broad perspective.
Last week, we talked about the church being metaphorically referred to as a physical body and how we need one another in order to be effective in extending the Kingdom of God in a team dynamic. But what about our relationship with Christ? What does that look like from a scriptural perspective?
Two things stand out here, one is that we are “adopted” as sons and daughters into citizenship in the kingdom of heaven; second, we are metaphorically referred to being the Bride of Christ.
Adoption means that we have full privilege of being part of the family of God. When a child is adopted, he or she takes on the family’s surname. Adoption is a legal term, implying all of the benefits of inclusion into his or her family. Adoption relationship is woven throughout the scriptures.
He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will Eph.1:5
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Rom. 8:15
The next attribute is that the church is metaphorically described as being the bride of Christ. The imagery here is quite profound. The picture of a radiant bride, beautifully dressed, looking forward to be wed to her husband. My youngest daughter is preparing right now for her wedding in August. It is amazing to watch how she is diligently preparing for this event. It occupies a great majority of her thinking. Likewise, we as members of the body of Christ should be mentally dwelling on the awesome delight that is awaiting us.
Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” Rev. 21:9
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. Rev. 22:17
Both adoption and being the bride of Christ best makes sense in being lived out in the context of community. Why would a person be adopted into a family, then proceed to function in isolation from that family? The bride of Christ is always spoken of in a plural form in the scriptures. The concept of living our lives out in community as expressed in the local church is a marvelous thing to behold.