by David Lasseter


In order to receive the benefits of being a member of the Lord's church, one must first become a member.  In this study we'll briefly review a few of the benefits of membership in the Lord's body and how one becomes a member.

Benefits of membership

  1. Spiritual blessings.  Paul tells us that God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).  What spiritual blessings exist outside of Christ?  None!  Every spiritual blessing is available only to those in Christ.  Paul tells us that we are one body in Christ (Romans 12:5).  We know from our earlier study that the church is the body, and the body is the church.  Therefore one may exchange "one church" for "one body."  In Romans 12:5 Paul states that we are all one church in Christ.  Since the individual members of Christ's body are all one church in Christ, and all spiritual blessings are in Christ, then all who are members of His church have access to all spiritual blessings.  On the other hand, if one is not a member of the one church in Christ one has no access to any spiritual blessings.  The next question you should be asking is, "How does one get in Christ?"  The answer:  One must put Him on.  How does one put on Christ?  In baptism (Galatians 3:27).  Is one in Christ before baptism?  No.  Is one in the church before baptism?  No.  Does one have access to any spiritual blessing prior to baptism?  No.  For a further study on the spiritual blessings available in Christ, please consider the gospel.
  2. Salvation.  We read in Acts 2:47 that "the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." (NKJV)  Who did the Lord add to the church?  Those who were being saved.  If one was not being saved, did the Lord add them to His church?  No.  Did the Lord exclude any people who were being saved from addition to His church?  No.  If you were being saved, He added you.  So we see in this verse that salvation is found exclusively in the one church established by Jesus.  If one is a member of a church not established by Jesus, is that one saved?  No!  Luke uses the definite article ("the") in Acts 2:47.  He didn't say, "and the Lord added to a church daily those who were being saved."  The use of the definite article tells us which church the saved belong to, and it tells us which ones they don't!  They have been added to the Lord's church and none other.

We've mentioned only 2 of the benefits of membership in the Lord's church.  But consider the significance of the two we've discussed.  No spiritual blessings are outside His church, and one cannot be saved without being a member of the church built by Jesus.  These are benefits any reasonable person would crave.  But how does one become a member of His church?  Please return to Acts 2:47.  How did Luke tell us those who were being saved became members of Christ's church?  They were added.  How do many (if not most) religious organizations grant membership today?  Prospective members join the organization.  Let's consider the importance of the difference between being added to and joining a church.  If I'm added to some organization, who has the final authority granting my membership?  It's not I!  Some person or persons has been given authority to determine who is fit to become a member and who isn't.  However, if I join an organization I do so under whose authority?  Mine!  I decide if the group is right for me, and declare myself a member if I feel it is.  In the Lord's church I cannot declare myself fit to join the other members of His body.  Jesus decides if I meet the qualifications.  If I do, then He adds me to the membership roll of His body.  What qualifications does He require?  One must be saved.  But how do I know if I'm saved?  I have to look to the requirements for salvation.  But where do I find these requirements?  In the Bible.  If I have met the requirements for salvation then I know I have been added to His church.  Again consider how Jesus adds every saved person to His church.  If I'm saved, I've been added.  On the other hand, I can know that I'm not a member of His church.  If I've followed some pattern for salvation other than that we have recorded in the scriptures then I know I'm not saved and therefore am not a member of His church.  In such a state I have no access to any spiritual blessing.

It's beyond the scope of this study to consider the first principles one must obey to receive forgiveness of sins.  Please link to my study on salvation should you have any questions.


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