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For I am not ashamed of the Gospel!

Sunday Services

10:45am

Sunday School for all ages

9:30am

Emmanuel Bible Church

3 Pleasant Grove Road

Schooley's Mountain, NJ 07870

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“AND CAN IT BE?” a blog by Lou Koncsol

church in country

“AND CAN IT BE?”

Wonderfully this is the title of a Christian hymn noting the remarkable reality of God’s all-effectual grace to us in Christ Jesus at so great a price, the ultimate price, to Him.

These words can also be an appropriate question for some bona fide regenerate Christians who don’t want to officially join a faithful congregation as the local body of Christ. For some particular reasons, these well-meaning saints don’t see joining a local congregation as God’s Will and don’t understand they unintentionally discourage their fellow believers who they do love in the Lord.

The Word of God says, “Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27). The individual parts of our bodies have no informal membership to one another. Instead, they are wonderfully, amazingly connected to one another as a real, practical, and official unity that makes the body work as a marvel of God, cf. Psalm 139:14! A loose associate of body parts will not work according to God’s perfect plan in which there’s an inseparable union on the most necessary and basic level! God’s way is not satisfactory but abundantly glorious!

When someone is truly connected such a member of a family, a marriage, through American citizenship, a military corps, a trade or professional union, a sports or scholastic team, the Boys Scouts or Girl Scouts, a homeowners organization, a home-school chapter, a business partnership, etc., there are special, blessed privileges involved due to select and stated membership but all those benefits cannot coexist without accountability as the Lord graciously tells us, “…When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required” (Luke 12:48).

Think of the joy in the Lord’s heart when someone’s membership is translated from those under Adam into those under the Second and last Adam, the redeemed of the Lord. This miraculous identity-change is confirmed by the public profession of faith in Christ as Lord and Savior and baptism into His local body. Likewise, I believe the Lord is overjoyed when a precious brother or sister in Christ bought with His blood makes a stated, public, commitment of official membership to one another at a faithful local congregation. It is a blessed demonstration of love for Christ by loving His saints in a local body in full commitment, cf. John 13:35.

O, the wonder, “and can it be?” that you and I can bless the Lord Who has blessed us with every blessing in Christ including church membership. Amen. -Lou Koncsol

“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from His love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.” Philippians 2:1-2