Thursday, August 18, 2011
Why Church Matters by Joshua Harris
Why Church Matters: Discovering Your Place in the Family of God by Joshua Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Short and sweet, this book cuts through to the heart of the matter - why being a part of a local church (not just the Universal church) is important in the life of the Christian. The author points out several reasons why being part of a local church is important, including because of the importance that God placed on the church and our need for other believers in living out the Christian life. We are not meant to live this life as Christ-followers on our own but as part of a greater community.
How God views the church, as seen in Ephesians, is how we are to view the church. He views the church as His bride and His body.
The author also takes us through key things to look for when looking for a local church to commit to. Obviously, no church is perfect, but there are important things to consider before joining, most highly their view of God's Word. He then also takes us through ways that we can make Sundays more meaningful and not just another day of the week.
"...the church was actually God's idea - not some plan or program invented by humans. In fact, the church is the only institution God promised to sustain forever."
"...the local church is the key to spiritual health and growth for a Christian."
"...a wholehearted relationship with a local church is God's loving plan for me and for every other follower of Christ."
"The church is the vehicle that Jesus chose to take the message of the gospel to every generation and people."
"Through the local church we take part in His eternal plan to rescue men and women from their sin and totally transform their lives. This is the mission of the church. It's our duty, our calling, and our privilege."
"The church community is where we learn to love God and others; where we are strengthened and transformed by truth from the Word; where we're taught to pray, to worship, and to serve; where we can be most certain that we're investing our time and abilities for eternity; where we can grow in our roles as friends, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. The church is earth's single best place - God's specially designed place - to start over, to grow and to change for the glory of God."
"The greatest motivation we could ever find for being passionately committed to the Church is that Jesus is passionately committed to the Church."
"Our assurance of salvation must include a changed life. Confidence that we've truly been saved shouldn't rest on an emotional experience or a prayer we prayed during an altar call years ago. 'I don't care how much you cry during singing or preaching,' Mark Dever states. 'If you do not live a life marked by love toward others, the Bible has no encouragement for you to think that you're a Christian. None.'"
"The local church is the place where our new life in Christ is lived out and proven. 'Joining a church won't save you,' Dever states emphatically. 'It's only the death of Christ that saves you. He alone is our righteousness. But if He really is our righteousness, if we really love He who we have not seen, it will show itself by us loving those that we do see.'"
Thought-provoking and cutting right to the heart and core, this was an excellent book on the importance of the local church in the life of the believer.
*This book was provided to me by the publisher as part of the LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.
*Previously published as Stop Dating the Church!