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What makes a church a church? Part 5: enrollment by covenant

Scripture models for us in many places that there is an enrollment in heaven—a book of life consisting of all the members of God’s covenant people. As in heaven, so on earth: in the New Testament, elders are required to know who is enrolled under their care, and church members are required to submit to their elders. The only way for this structure to have moral force is through membership vows.