The Centrality of the Church in Puritan Thought

puritan_theology_front__17352_1352735242_1280_1280There is much we can learn from our forefathers in the faith even those as recent as the Puritans. After reading through the book A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for life, I came to realize just how much the church impacted them and how committed they were to her. Today there are countless people who attend church without being an integral part of her. It is so important that our lives be focused upon the Lord Jesus as the head of the church all the while becoming, not only a servant of Christ, but of His bride. Finding a good church and growing there is vital to the Christian walk. Here is a small quote from the Puritan Theology book:

The Puritans had great respect for the local church and its fellowship. James Ussher (1581-1656), whose writings strongly influenced the Westminster Standards, wrote that God makes His church visible on earth in “particular congregations” to which “all that seek for salvation must gladly join themselves.” Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians abundantly justifies the Puritan conviction that no Christian is called to be a lone ranger for God. We are born again into a church family; we were made for fellowship, and we are to live in fellowship. Believers are to identify with the church and become part of the church, bending their prayers and efforts to advancing the well-being of the church in every way, for the church is the center of the purposes of God. However much the gospel makes an individual aware that he must personally deal with God and that no one can do it for him, the gospel does not turn someone into an individualist who goes off to do his own thing, oblivious to whether the rest of God’s people know or care. [A Puritan Theology, Joel Beeke & Mark Jones, Reformation Heritage Books, Page 850)

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