I Am a Church Member - Thom Rainer (part IV of V)
Membership Means Everything We Say and Do Is Based on a Biblical Foundation of Love
Most Bible readers will speak glowingly of 1 Corinthians 13, commonly known as “the love chapter.” It is read at weddings. It is used for a husband to declare his love for a wife, or vice versa. It is preached to demonstrate a fuller meaning of agape or unconditional love.
While there is nothing wrong with using the love chapter in these contexts, its original meaning was to demonstrate how church members relate one to another. Can you imagine 1 Corinthians 13 being read at an acrimonious church meeting?
In its full biblical context that might be the best place to read it.
If we could just abide by the principles of the love chapter, we would have completely healthy churches. It would be a revolution!
Just look at some of the relational principles of 1 Corinthians 13: “Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs”.
The principles of these two verses alone are sufficient to cause a revival in most churches! We are not to love fellow church members just because they are lovable. We are to love the unlovable as well. We are not to pray for and encourage our pastors just when they are doing things we like. We are to pray for and encourage them when they do things we don’t like. We are not to serve the church only when others are joining in. We are to serve the church even if we are alone in doing so.
Church membership is founded on love. Authentic, biblical, unconditional love.