February 22, 2006
I was talking to a friend recently who mentioned that someone "loved the gospel." We were talking about a church with a pastor in which the Gospel is not consistently preached and the authority of Scripture not upheld. The current pastor won’t mind anyone thinking whatever they want religiously so long as they don’t think other people need to agree with them. I told my friend that when he wanted to get the others who loved the Gospel to agree together that they would make sure (as best they could) that there was a person who was truly preaching the Gospel, then they could be a true church. No Gospel, No Church. Gospel, but with no covenant, structure, way to assure Biblical teaching, then No [stable] Church.
As I talked with another friend tonight, counselling him about living as a Christian, I told him that what he needed was to be a member of a local church, to have his discipleship congregationally-shaped.
Seal the Tupperware! Practice church membership! Keep the Gospel witness fresh!
“I want to get back to the discipline of the church
discipline for the minister as for the members
and to recapture the glorious conception of the Christian life,
that men may feel that there is no honour which can be conferred upon them so great as their church membership,
and that ministers may feel that there is nothing in life to be compared with the preaching of this glorious and incomparable gospel.”
That was D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in a sermon around 1929 (cited in Iain Murray, Lloyd-Jones, volume 1, page 228).