Pillar Journal

We practice hospitality


Personal love and public confession become practical in hospitality. First Peter 4:9 counsels, “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” The church aims to be a family, and nothing characterizes a family as much as maintaining fellowship and eating meals together. Extending hospitality to others in the church, however, is far more than sharing food; it is sharing love and life, especially with those who might otherwise be deprived of it. The church in the United States desperately needs to practice such hospitality.

Alexander Strauch writes about a woman who attended a church more than an hour’s walk from her home. Every Sunday after morning worship, she would eat a lunch by herself, then go to a park or library until it was time to go to the evening service. She did this for four years. Not one family in the church invited her to their home. On her last Sunday at that church, an elderly woman invited her to her house.1Alexander Strauch, The Hospitality Commands (Colorado Springs: Lewis & Roth, 1993), 5.

Friendly handshakes at the church door can go only so far; true relationships require spending time together. What blessings hospitality offers, not only to single people who are drawn into a circle of love, but also to your children, who have the opportunity to interact with missionaries, visiting preachers, and other adults in the church. When you extend hospitality, unbelievers see real godliness in a Christian home firsthand. Young believers learn from mature Christians. Needs surface, and prayers can be lifted up for God’s help in meeting those needs. Make your love for the church practical by practicing hospitality.

In addition to hospitality, we have the further duty to promote the good of our fellow believers by putting our gifts and resources to work on their behalf, assisting them in things that pertain both to this life and the next. For instance, you might help someone find a job or make repairs on his house or car. Or you could offer encouragement and accountability to those who struggle with temptation or are just beginning to find their way in Bible study or personal prayer.

Read: Fifteen ways to exercise faithful church membership

Excerpt From
Beauty and Glory of Christ’s Bride
Joel R. Beeke

The Beauty and Glory of Christ’s Bride (Beeke, ed.) (453 in Stock)

MSRP: $25.00 $18.75


This collection of a dozen addresses given on the church as Christ’s bride at the 2014 Annual Conference of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary unpacks three overarching themes: looking at the loveliness of Christ’s bride, walking in the path with Christ’s bride, and sharing in the sorrow and hope of Christ’s bride.

Specific topics addressed include the beauty of the church’s essence, communion, holiness, unity, diversity, membership, preaching, worship, sacraments, discipline, mission, persecution, and future glory.

Together these chapters form an appreciative and practical book on the doctrine of the church, stirring up believers to have greater devotion to Christ’s bride. 

Read Sample Pages


Table of Contents: 

Looking at the Loveliness of the Bride of Christ

1. Our Devotion to Christ’s Bride—Conrad Mbewe

2. The Bride’s Spiritual Essence and Communion in the Body of Christ—Gerald Bilkes

3. The Healthy Holiness of Christ’s Bride—Michael Barrett

4. The Unity and Diversity of Christ’s Beautiful Bride—David Murray

Walking in the Path with the Bride of Christ

5. The Beauty of Church Membership—Joel R. Beeke

6. Preaching to and Shepherding Christ’s Bride—Michael Barrett

7. The Beautiful, Biblical Worship of Christ’s Bride: A Puritan View—Joel R. Beeke

8. The Beautiful Sacraments of Christ’s Bride—Gerald Bilkes

9. The Bride’s Beautiful Discipline—David Murray

10. The Mission of Christ’s Bride—William VanDoodewaard

Sharing in the Sorrow and Hope of the Bride of Christ

11. The Persecution of Christ’s Bride—William VanDoodewaard

12. Christ’s Bride United with Her Bridegroom in Glory—Conrad Mbewe



Joel R. Beeke (PhD, Westminster Seminary) is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; a pastor of the Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan; editor of Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth; editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books; and a prolific author.



“Not many people are prepared to place the word ‘beauty’ in the same sentence as the word ‘church.’ For too many, the experience of church is far from beautiful. But to see the church through Christ’s eyes, as this book helps us to do, is to discover a spiritual glory that derives from her marriage union to the beautiful Savior. Just as the church says that her bridegroom is ‘altogether lovely,’ so the Son of David says of His bride that she is ‘all fair.’ May these studies enable us to see the church, as M‘Cheyne expressed it, ‘dressed in beauty not her own.’” — Iain D. Campbell, pastor, Point Free Church, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

“Compressed in this volume is the fruit of much sanctified thought, reading, and scholarship, setting forth Scripture’s teaching on the church: its nature, worship, holiness, mission, unity, and hope. Thoroughly orthodox, it is also consistently practical, teaching its readers how to love, treat, and value the church. In a day when the church often suffers at the hands of friends and enemies alike, this book will prove a necessary and useful corrective. It teaches a better and more excellent way. I commend it most readily and warmly.” — Malcolm H. Watts, minister of Emmanuel Church, Salisbury, England

“To be with several hundred people at the annual Puritan Reformed Conference and hear these addresses is an exciting and moving experience, a taste of better times for the church of Jesus Christ. The next best thing to being present is to read the messages given there. In this symposium of loving, intelligent, and challenging addresses, you will meet careful theological exegesis, biblical doctrine, practical application, and fresh insights into ministering to the people of God. John Rabbi Duncan said that when he got to heaven, after seeing Christ, he was longing to see Christ’s bride. Reading this book will give you an understanding of what Duncan was anticipating.” — Geoff Thomas, pastor, Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, Wales