Recovering Church Membership

As a body of believers, Christians are called to be together and not neglect the local assembly (Hebrews 10:25, “Not neglecting to meet together” ESV). We are covenanted together by Christ and what we confess. 

The local church displays the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who confesses Christ as the forgiveness of sins should gather with fellow believers every Lord’s Day and be renewed in the good news. The people of God are first and foremost united in the Gospel. When the world looks at the church, and they ask what we have in common. The people of God should unanimously say, “Christ!”. We forgive one another, we teach one another, we hold one another accountable, we comfort one another, and we exhort one another to press on in the faith. Membership matters because the people of God and the Gospel matters. 

John Hammett in Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches lays out some reasons in which Baptist Churches can recover meaningful church membership. (pg. 114-116)

  1. Recovery of meaningful church membership should be the number one priority of Baptist churches today because of the effect it would have on our corporate witness. 
  2. Our corporate health would be strengthened. 
  3. Doing the hard work in recovering meaningful membership is the potential for awakening literally millions of lost church members. 
  4. Recovering meaningful church membership would honor Christ. 

“Christ is honored when churches are composed of people whose church membership means first of all a genuine, vital commitment to Christ, and second, a commitment to the people of that local body. Christ is honored when church membership is meaningful.” – John Hammett, pg. 116, Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches

So may our churches once again pursue meaningful church membership! For God’s Glory and our good!

To purchase a copy of Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches, click here. (2nd Edition)


Evan Knies is from West Monroe, LA. He is married to Lauren and father to Maesyn. He serves as Minister of Students at Bullitt Lick Baptist Church in Shepherdsville, KY. He also serves as the Executive Assistant of the Nelson Baptist Association. He is a graduate of Boyce College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. You can follow him on Twitter @Evan_Knies

15 Quotes from Reformed Preaching by Joel Beeke

1. The Truth of Christ must be brought home to the heart by the Holy Spirit in order to produce love (pg. 23).

2. Faith opens a window to see into heaven, but experiential knowledge brings a foretaste of heaven into the soul (pg. 48).

3. Reformed preaching is declaring biblical truth to promote biblical spirituality as it was rediscovered in the Reformation of the sixteenth century (pg. 58).

4. Preaching Christ is the only way to give solid comfort to suffering people (pg. 60).

5. The holiness of a minister’s heart is not merely an ideal; it is absolutely necessary for his work to be effective. Holiness of life be his consuming passion (pg. 67). reformedpreachingimage

6. If a man teach uprightly and walk crookedly, more will fall down in the night of his life than he built in the day of his doctrine (pg. 69).

7. The law is no means for sinners to find justification before God, but it is also no enemy of grace (pg. 75).

8. Preachers who preach casually convey the impression that they do not have anything really important to say (pg. 77).

9. The church today desperately needs preachers whose private prayers season their pulpit messages, and who continually remind themselves that awakening, heart engaging, life-transforming preaching does not depend on ministerial eloquence, self-generated passion, or powers of persuasion, but on the sovereign good pleasure of God operating through the ministry of the Holy Spirit (pg. 81).

10. Half-hearted piety slowly bleeds away the minister’s strength (pg. 83).

11. If the heart of the preacher is increasingly sanctified toward God, his preaching gains new depths and nuances that reflect his spiritual growth (pg. 85).

12. Preaching is the instrument and the authority that the Spirit uses in His saving work of illuminating, converting, and sealing sinners (pg. 112-113).

13. The true knowledge of God results in pious activity that aims to go beyond personal salvation to embrace the glory of God (pg. 117).

14. Where God’s glory is not served, true piety cannot exist (pg. 117).

15. Effective preaching does not merely inform people about God; it glorifies God (pg. 388).


Evan Knies is from West Monroe, LA. He is married to Lauren and Father to Maesyn. He serves as Minister of Students at Bullitt Lick Baptist Church in Shepherdsville, KY. He also serves as the Executive Assistant of the Nelson Baptist Association. He is a graduate of Boyce College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. You can follow him on Twitter @Evan_Knies

The Reformation Means Resurrection

By Evan Knies

On the morning of October 31st 2016, my cousin’s body was laid in the grave. It has been a tough year since his passing. He was like my older brother and he impacted those he came in contact with. My cousin had his own struggles and faults, but he had his hope rested in the gospel! The temptations he faced were great, but Christ died for his past, present, and future sins. As our family has grieved losing him in this life, we have often been reminded of the hope the gospel offers. Those who repent, turning from their sin, and trusting in Christ by faith alone will be saved. Since Christ was raised from the grave, He will raise His people from the grave!

2 Corinthians 4:14 – For we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you. 
Continue reading “The Reformation Means Resurrection”

Israel of God

By Evan Knies

In Galatians 6:16, Paul uses the phrase “Israel of God”. He calls the Galatians the “Israel of God” to show that there is one People united in the Son. The Israel of God is the blood bought, elect, bride of Christ. In Him and because of Him, “Israel” receives her promises. In Him, the True Israel receives the blessings and promises bestowed on them because of the work of the Son. Continue reading “Israel of God”

Book Briefs: Practical Religion By JC Ryle

JC Ryle was born in 1816. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1841. He became the rector of St. Thomas’s, Winchester in 1843, then to Helmingham, Suffolk the following year. From 1843 to 1879, he wrote various works and gospel tracts. In 1880, Ryle became the bishop of Liverpool and retired in 1900 at age 83. He died later that year.fullsizeoutput_5b9

I have benefited from the writings of Bunyan, Calvin, Luther, etc. But none have been more beneficial than JC Ryle. In his work Practical Religion, Ryle cuts to the heart of the Christian life. He saw problems in his day and addressed those. But those same problems are present today.

Practical Religion is divided into 21 Chapters: Self-Inquiry, Self-Exertion, Reality, Prayer, Bible Reading, Going to the Table, Charity, Zeal, Freedom, Happiness, Formality, The World, Riches and Poverty, The Best Friend, Sickness, The Family of God, Our Home, Heirs of God, The Great Gathering, The Great Separation, and Eternity.fullsizeoutput_5b8

Ryle addressed the skewed views of the gospel of grace such as “nominal Christianity”. Ryle calls it “churchianity”. But it is the same problem that still exists in many of our Churches today. Some claim Christ when it benefits them, but when life is tough, those  “nominal” believers are found not to be true. In reading Practical Religionthe Christian will be encouraged in Praying and Reading their Bible. But they will also feel conviction on living this life for eternity, not for the “here and now”.

fullsizeoutput_5baI am thankful to God for the life of JC Ryle and his influence in my life. But I am also thankful for Banner of Truth for publishing his works and other various works that are so important for the Christian life.

If you would like to purchase Practical Religion, you may do so here.

Banner has recently released Ryle’s Autobiography, you can purchase it here.


Evan Knies is a student at SBTS, grad of Boyce College, and Minister of Students at Bullitt Lick Baptist Church in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. He is married to Lauren and you can follow him on Twitter at @Evan_Knies.