Summary: Does the Bible Want You to Join A Church?
A. Does The Bible Want You To Join A Church?
1. It teaches all believers were part of a fellowship that was called both an assembly and body.
a. Organism: Every believer is part of the body of Christ because, (1) they were initially placed by the Spirit into the body, 1 Cor. 12:12, (2) they are one part of the body, 1 Cor. 12:12; (3) they received/give to others in the body, 1 Cor. 12:20-22; (4) they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor. 3:16; and (5) the have the indwelling of Christ, Col. 3:1-4.
b. Organization. Every believer was part of the local church because, (1) each had a responsibility to the local assembly, 1 Cor. 6:1-8, (2) could be corrected by the local assembly, Matt. 18:15-17, (3) was edified by the local assembly 1 Cor. 14ff.
2. It teaches that believers in a church were numbered. Numbering was an Old Testament method of determining the population of Israel, and the New Testament was of reflecting the strength of the church, (a) 1:15 – 120, (b) 2:41 – 3000, (c) 4:4 – 5000 men, (d) multitudes added. The term added 2:41, 2:47, 5:14, and 11:24. The term multiplied 61, 6:7, 9:31. The term numbered 1:15, 4:4, 6:1, 6:7, and 11:21.
3. It teaches they recognized other churches acceptance of church letters Acts 18:27.
4. It teaches church responsibility/accountability by baptism.
a. No example of a believer who is not baptized and no example of a believer who is not a part of an assembly.
b. No believer was not responsible to an assembly and no believer is free from the watch care of an assembly.
5. It teaches following church leaders, Heb. 13:7, 17; 1 Thess. 5:12.
B. What Is A Church?
1. An assembly of baptized believers.
2. In whom Christ lives.
3. Under the discipline of the Word of God.
4. Organized to carry out the Great Commission.
5. Administer the ordinances.
6. Reflective of spiritual gifts (2 officers).
C. Why Join A Church?
1. Church membership completes the symbol of the body of Christ, Rom. 6:4, Gal. 2:20.
2. Church membership laces you under the discipline of the Word, Acts 2:42, 5:42.
3. Church membership helps you to exhort one another, Heb. 10:25.
5. Church membership continues the principle of “God’s Place” (corporate worship) in the Old Testament.
a. Corporate worship was where the presence of God was located, Deut. 12:1-5.
b. Where symbols of redemption were located, Deut. 12:6-11.
c. Where God’s man was ministering, Deut. 12:12.
6. Belong where you live.
a. New church will watch over you.
b. New church will extend your testimony.
c. New church is a place of effective service.
d. New church may hinder you from backsliding.
e. New church will network your faith.
D. What Is Required To Join A Church?
“Him that is weak in the faith, receive ye” (Rom. 14:1; 15:7).
a. A profession (confession) of faith in Christ, Rom 10:9.
b. Must be assured while never positive. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5).
c. Example for early believers
d. Silence (no example of unbaptized person)
3. Agree with doctrine.
a. Can’t know all doctrine, but must know the fundamentals. (Living application of doctrine guarantees mental agreement).
b. False belief, “Any doctrine that would later become a basis for excommunication is a reason to keep a new convert out of the church.” Commit to growth: (1) church is not a place for perfect people, but for those who want to grow, want to love and want to obey.
4. Two Baptist positions.
a. Open door of members
b. Pure membership
c. Any sin that would later become a basis for excommunication is a reasons to keep a new covert out of the church.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.