Church membership is not a certificate of advanced Christianity, it is simply the recognition of the profession of saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Again the text says, "The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." They were really "added" to the church. I am afraid certain persons' names are added to the church, but they themselves are not. Be careful about adding those whom Christ has not added.
A true church is a living entity, and only living men and women made alive by the Spirit of God are fit to be grafted into it, and the grafting must be done by the Lord himself, otherwise it is no true addition to the church of the Living God.The church is a living organism, alive, full of life, John MacArthur often says.
Some members are only tied on to the church, and they are neither useful nor an enhancement, just as a dead branch fastened to a tree would add no beauty to it, and would certainly bear no fruit. There must be a living union, so that the life which is in the church will join with the life that is in the man or the woman, and the one life of the one living Spirit will flow through the whole of the body.
Every member that has been added by Christ will be a part of the living organism and will desire to have their name along side every other member of the body.
Another point in the text is this, that "the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." There were additions to the church every day. Every day God added to the church in Jerusalem.
- "Some churches, if they have an addition once in twelve months make as much noise over that one as a hen does when she has laid an egg" Spurgeon.
But, you answer, or counter, we are not preaching daily. That may be, but we ought to be; if not daily in the pulpit, there should be the daily preaching of the life, and if all the members of the church were daily teaching of Jesus Christ from house to house, a daily sowing would bring a daily reaping; if we were daily praying with earnestness, and daily using every effort we could by the power of the Holy Spirit; and if daily the church lived in fellowship with her master, we would soon see added to it daily those who were being saved.
Most of my earlier experience in my dad’s church, there was the expectation that many would be added to the church weekly.
- When we were in First Baptist Church in Hammond there was the expectation that daily people would be added to the church.
- When we were at Madison Baptist Church, we expected to see people added to the church membership via Christ’s addition.
- "Why don’t we see it," says one, "in many churches?"
Why, because many churches do not believe in it. If there were many converts added to them, they would say, ""Yes, we hear of a great many additions, but what are they? We hope they will hold on," or some such unkind remark.
- John MacArthur has said: "Doing the Lord’s Work in the Lord’s Way will result in the Lord adding to His Church."
A SURE SIGN OF A GOD-REJECTED CHURCH:
- God will not cause His children to be born where there is no one to nurse them; He will be sure not to send converts to churches which do not want them
- He will not have His lambs snarled over and kept out in the cold for months together to see whether they will howl as wolves or bleat as sheep.
- He loves to see His people watchful for new converts, and watchful over them. The Good Shepherd would have us feed His lambs, gather them in from the cold field of the world, and carry them to some warm sheltered place, and nurture them for Him.
- When He sees a church ready to do that, then will He send them his lambs, but not till then.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Check by Charity Whisnant