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SECTION 1. THE CHURCH DEFINED
The word church (ekklesia) means “called out ones” and can refer to the entire spiritual body of Christ or a local congregation of that body. In the New Testament it most often refers to an established local congregation of believers. Scripture teaches that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united body called the Church, the family of God, of which Jesus Christ is the head (Col 1:18; Eph 1:22). Further the word “church” derives its meaning from the Greek word kuriakos which means “belonging to the Lord.” The Church is made up of individual local congregations of believers that assemble together for the cause of fellowship and growing in Christ. God has given each local congregation all that it needs to individually and corporately mature and carry out the commands and commissions of our Lord (Col 4:15). The church exists for the spiritual purpose set forth in Chapter 23 of The Confession of Faith.
SECTION 2. MEMBERSHIP DEFINED
Members of this church shall be comprised of those who have:
1. Repented of Sin and Believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Matt 10:32, Rom 10:9).
2. Requested to be a member of this church.
3. Made a commitment to abide by the membership covenant of this church.
4. Publicly affirmed the Grace Covenant Church Shorter Confession of Faith.
5. Been baptized (Matt 28:19, Acts 2:38, 8:12, 19:5).
6. Been received as members of the church.
SECTION 3. PURPOSE OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
Church membership is important in that it facilitates:
1. The defining of who belongs to our local congregation (Phil 2:2).
2. The knowing of who should participate in the privileges and responsibilities of the church
(I Tim 5:16, James 5:14).
3. The providing of adequate care, nurture, and protection for every individual that belongs to this
church (Acts 6:1).
4. The exercising of authority and oversight in discipline and restoration of those members not
maintaining a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (I Cor 5:1-5).
What is the Church?