Do Christians Need To Join A Local Church?

Christians should join a local church. One might ask, "Do I have to join a church to be saved?" . I will readily admit that the Bible does not say in so many words, "You have to join a local church.", but a study of the church in the New Testament DEMANDS that you should. We have examples of individuals being a part of local churches. Acts 9:26 says, "And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples..." Paul himself saw the importance of becoming part of a local church. There was hesitation because of his background, but with the help of Barnabas, Paul he was permitted to join them. Numerous passages speak of churches meeting in the homes of Christians: Romans 16:3,5 "Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,...Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ."; Colossians 4:15, "Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house."; and Philemon 1:2, "to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:" These examples show the importance of local churches. When we consider the importance of the work of the local church, we see the necessity of joining one. The epistles of Paul (Romans - Philemon) were written to give instructions to churches and men associated with local churches. They were told how to conduct themselves, what their responsibilities were, how to organize themselves, etc. This fact alone shows the importance of the local church [More on this in future lessons]. Furthermore, there are responsibilities that a Christian has that require them to identify with a local church. For instance, we are commanded to partake of the Lordís supper on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians. 11:23-29) and to lay by in store on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8). We are to teach "one another" and teach "one another" in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. (Col. 3:16, Eph. 5:19). Christians are commanded to consider and exhort "one another" (Heb. 10:24,25), to in honor, give preference to "one another", be kindly affectionate to "one another", be of the same mind toward "one another" (Romans 12:9-16), and numerous other passages that tell us to do things together. Doing these things together demand that we identify with one another.

Also, consider Ephesians 4:16 which says, "from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." This verse is speaking of a local church. Note how every joint is to supply something and every part is to do its share.

For these reasons, it is clear in Godís word, that when one becomes a Christian he MUST join a local congregation of Godís people. Yet in spite of this, many do not see this as important. To them I would ask, if one truly wants to please God, why would he NOT want to join a church of Godís people?





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