A question I am learning to ask is: What does the Bible say? For sometime on my life, I thought that the Bible doesn’t say anything about church membership and that we do it just because it’s a good thing to do. But the Bible does say something about church membership. In fact, according to the Bible, church membership is a commitment every Christian should make to attend, love, serve, and submit to a local church.
We see examples of membership throughout the Bible. Throughout Old Testament history, God made a clear distinction between his people and the world (see Lev. 13:46, Num. 5:3, Deut. 7:3). In Matthew 16:16-19 and 18:17-19, Jesus says that entering the kingdom of God means being bound to the church “on earth”. So one needs to ask: Where do we see the church on earth? The answer is in the local church.
As we move into the New Testament, it explicitly refers to some people being inside the church and some people being outside (1 Cor. 5:12-13). This is much more than a casual association. In Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth, there are a definite number of believers, such that Paul could speak of a punishment inflicted by the majority (2 Cor. 2:6). Not only does the New Testament speak of the reality of church membership, but its dozens of “one anothers” are written to local churches, which fill out our understanding of what church membership should practically look like.
You may be asking: why is this such a big deal? Biblical church membership is important because the church presents God’s witness to himself in the world. It displays his glory. In the church’s membership, then, non-Christians should see in the lives of God’s changed people that God is holy and gracious and that his gospel is powerful for saving and transforming sinners. (Taken from 9Marks.org)
On January 13 we are excited to be baptizing 4 people, followed by a celebration. These 4 people are taking steps of obedience as they proclaim their faith in Jesus Christ. As part of moving forward in their walk with Christ, Kevin and Hillary Battson and Alyssa Freele are moving forward in seeking church membership. Members of Knollwood have the opportunity to read over their testimonies and praise God for how he has worked in their lives. Also to get to know these potential members and come alongside of them as a family to encourage them as they walk in the Spirit. If no issue is taken, on the 27th, we will give them the right hand of fellowship, welcoming them into membership at Knollwood.
Praise God with me for these testimonies of God’s saving grace.
Hello, my name is Alyssa. I grew up in a Christian home andhave been attending Knollwood Baptist Church since I was born. I learned about God from my parents and in Sunday school. When I was 5 I made the decision to follow Christ. Growing up I continued to attend church on Sundays as well as going to Awana and Youth Group when I was a teenager. I don’t really remember my life without God in it but I know that with Him my life is better. As I continue to know more of Him, I know I have made the right decision to follow Him. So today I have chosen to get baptized as God has asked us to.
Before I surrendered to Christ I felt a lot of anger and anxiety for the things I could not control in my life. I felt that my marriage was struggling due to different work schedules and communication issues. I often worried about my kids and my job. All of the worry and anxiety was starting to take over my life.
Kevin and I went to a marriage counselor. After attending several sessions, the counselor suggested we complete areligious marriage counselling book. The book got us to open up communication through answering questions in the work book and reading the bible. After the kids went to bed we started watching preachers on TV. We started attending Knollwood every Sunday.
I started putting less emphasis on pleasing others and more on living for Christ. My way of thinking started to shift. I felt less anxiety for the things I can’t control. I got a new job to allow for more time with the family. I feel comfort in the fact that I can pray and rely on God to be there for me. I feel comfort from my Church family at Knollwood.
Anyone who feels overwhelmed about the uncertainty of life can benefit from a relationship with Christ. It’s freeing to be able to trust and rely on Christ. I strive to be the person that God intended me to be.
I used to live my life on the premise that hard work and strength in one’s self would lead to a fulfilled life. For years I worked as hard as I could to build a life for my family. Life was coming together, but my way of life was deeply flawed. I fell into pitfalls of sin in an attempt to feel whole. Pride consumed by decision making, preventing me from reaching out when I needed help. I was so determined to fix problems myself that my marriage nolonger felt like a partnership. I relied on denial and addiction to get through the days.
There came I time where I thought I would lose everything; my wife, my children, my home. We found ourselves in marriage counseling. After a few sessions our counselor confided that her lord and personal savior was Jesus Christ. That sparked a conversation about faith. We got ourselves a bible and started our journey. This brought us to Knollwood where we were welcomed with open arms by the congregation. We started praying and were astounded by the power of prayer in our lives. As I witnessed God working in our lives I proclaimed Jesus Christ as my lord and savior and I was saved. I am being baptized today to show obedience to God and as an outwardexpression of this inward change.
Recently God put it on my heart to recognize and resolve my problem with drinking. By the grace of God I have found the strength not only to stop drinking, but to go running instead. I have quit drinking and gone running the past 105 consecutive nights. Let me be clear, that would be impossible by my own strength. Praise the Lord for that!
How great is our God; that he sought me out among the undeserving and saved me. I am forever changed by Christ and I will never be the same again.