5 Marks of Biblical Commitment to the Visible Body of Christ by C. Matthew McMahon
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This work, in an effort to serve the Lord Jesus Christ in his church, demonstrates how Christians ought to have a sound theology surrounding biblical commitment to Christ’s visible body. This topic includes the privileges and benefits of church membership under the commands of Christ. Church membership is a topic sorely neglected in today’s contemporary church culture. From today’s modern vantagepoint, such a topic detracts from the attractiveness of the contemporary church. In this detraction, the church growth movement has quickly cultivated a memberless church (a rejection of a real commitment to Christ) and has appealed and marketed this new brand of false teaching to the “individual Christian.”
Individualism can become sinful very quickly. The sin of individualism is always “evolving” to cope with society’s current trends and attempts to market the church and the Gospel in a humanistic manner. Such a view gives a license to people to dictate how they may or may not live within the bounds of Christ’s visible covenant body; both in the context of their own lives and also within the local assembly of Christ’s mystical body.
Christians are to be biblically committed to Christ’s divine oversight which includes the directives and regulations he has laid down concerning his visible body in the world. Under this theological doctrine of covenanting, we find the need for understanding what the visible body of Christ actually is, how Gospel unity contributes to its health, what need there is for unified public prayer, how one is to support the church financially, what worship in the church contributes to the health of the church, and how membership to a local body is an important element to the overall well-being of church polity and governance.
C. Matthew McMahon, Ph.D., Th.D., is a Reformed theologian, and pastor of Grace Chapel in Crossville, TN. He is the founder and chairman of A Puritan’s Mind, the largest Reformed website on the internet for students of the Bible concerning Reformed Theology, the Puritans and Covenant Theology. He is the founder of Puritan Publications which publishes rare Reformed and Puritan works from the 17th century, specializing in the Westminster Assembly. He is also a managing partner at Reformed.org, and the Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics.
Table of Contents
Prolegomena: The Visible Body of Christ
Mark 1: Gospel Unity
Mark 2: Public Prayer
Mark 3: Tithing and Support
Mark 4: Gospel Worship
Mark 4: Gospel Worship Part 2
Mark 5: Church Membership