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Those Who Must Give an Account: A Study of Church Membership and Church Discipline

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“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.” –Hebrews 13:17a

There is a surprising, even dangerous, gap in the literature on the church in the areas of church membership and church discipline. The former sets the boundaries of a leader’s responsibility, and discipline is the last option of a church when members will no longer live in fellowship with their brothers and sisters in the Lord and accept the guidance of their leaders.

And so this book is written first to church leaders, offering guidance on how they should receive and minister to those for whom they will have to give an account according to Scripture. But under the view of the church upheld in these chapters, the receiving of members and discipline of members are both acts of the greater church body, and thus all members of the church share in the accountability for each other. Consequently, Those Who Must Give an Account will be of interest to all believers.

Among this volume’s nine notable contributors are Mark E. Dever (“The Practical Issues of Church Membership”), Thomas R. Schreiner (“The Biblical Basis for Church Discipline”), and Bruce Riley Ashford and Danny Akin (“The Church as God’s Missional People”).

  • Addresses church leaders, seeking to provide them with guidance on how to receive and minister to those for who they will have to give an account
  • Includes biblical, historical and practical chapters
  • Seeks to challenge, edify and refresh readers who will consequently live as "those who must give an account"

Top Highlights

“But how can someone be removed from the church who has not really belonged to it in the first place” (Page 41)

“church membership is a formal commitment to a local church.” (Page 32)

“By not formally joining a church, a person is essentially communicating to the leadership that they do not want to be held accountable.” (Page 38)

“Who among us would deny the doctrine of the Trinity simply because the word Trinity does not occur in the Bible” (Page 32)

“describes the church in Rome as those who are ‘Jesus Christ’s by calling’ and ‘called as saints’” (Page 12)

""The authors of Those Who Must Give an Account have done us a great honor in giving us a book that deals with church discipline as well as church membership. If there is one great need within the context of our Southern Baptist churches, it is accountability. This book must be read by every member.

Johnny Hunt, senior pastor of First Baptist Church Woodstock, Woodstock, Georgia

"A generation ago Southern Baptists reclaimed their heritage on the doctrine of the Scriptures when they fought for and, by God's grace, won the battle for the Bible. This generation faces a task even more daunting, to reclaim our heritage regarding regenerate church membership and the practice of church discipline. Those Who Must Give an Account provides a biblical, historical, practical guide to a leaner and healthier convention of churches which bring glory to God."

Al Jackson, pastor, Lakeview Baptist Church, Auburn, Alabama

"In a day when the church is growing stronger in numbers but weaker in influence, this book is a clarion call to return to the biblical model of a church where membership is important and discipline is practiced. This book is extremely convicting, and it will take great courage to apply its truths - but the medicine is sorely needed!"

James Merritt, senior pastor of Cross Pointe Church, Duluth, Georgia

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.


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