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Your Church Membership: Not the Watered-Down Version

July 2nd, 2006

“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks,
slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit”

(1 Corinthians 12:13)

We are living in a society that attempts to devalue Christ and his church. There is a real tendency, these days, to water-down the gospel. When Paul wrote that baptized believers were “made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:27) we are persuaded that he did not mean watered-down benefits. Nor, does God intend that we return to him watered-down service. The basics of church membership mean—

1. The baptized are the members (1 Corinthians 12:13; Acts 18:8). Only the washed are justified in the name of the Lord and the Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6:11). The Lord adds people to his church at the point of baptism (Acts 2:41,47)—not before. Immersion in water for the remission of sins is essential (Acts 2:38; 22:16). To break with the plan of salvation is to dilute the message with the traditions of men (Mark 7:6-9).

2. All members are the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). When Paul told the early church that they were the body of Christ, he affirmed (1) that they belonged to Christ and, (2) that they now had a function (1 Corinthians 12:15, 19). We are aware that the Lord, himself, went about doing good while in his earthly body (Acts 10:38). In the same way, the body of Christ, the church, was meant for good works (Ephesians 1:22; 2;10; Romans 12:3-8).

Christ and his church are one—“For we are members of his body, of His flesh and of his bones” (Ephesians 3:21; 5:30-32). If, today, you find yourself out of touch with the body of Christ—perhaps you have forgotten just how important church membership is—may these reminders serve to re-dedicate your service in the body, which is the church of Christ.

-Robert M. Housby