Membership in the ONE TRUE CHURCH

There is much confusion of how one becomes a member of the church. This confusion is brought upon because of the many varied ways that the denominational world has introduced various membership requirements.

As with any religion or sect or faith, there are rules one must adhere to in order to be be eligible for membership in the organization. The ONE TRUE CHURCH is no different. But the difference in the ONE TRUE CHURCH and all the denominations is the fact that the requirements for membership are written in the Holy Bible instead of creed books of human doctrine and wisdom.

Many people will want to disagree with what is taught on this page concerning membership requirements. Well the reason is not because the teaching is in error, but because many cannot tolerate the truth. No matter how religious a person may be, they are still subject to God and His word. If we let God's word speak to us we do have the ability to understand. For after all, Jesus Himself spoke the words: "Hear and understand".

Because many different religious groups disagree with membership requirements, they just seem to insist that the Bible is not understandable. But God teaches us through His word that we are to "understand what the will of the Lord is" (Eph 5:17).

Now we will examine what the Bible teaches concerning membership.

First of all we see that the Lord adds those who are being saved to the church. This we find in Acts 2:47 "praising God, and having favor with all the people, And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved". Now compare this passage with v.41 and let us reason together. V41 "So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls."

Notice that God does the adding as souls receive the word and obey the commands of that word. Let us notice those commands.

{Note: These commands are by no means conclusive and self contained to provide salvation, however they do form a foundation for instruction from God's word as we have teaching and examples of such being practiced. It takes a lifetime of developing oneself to obtain salvation. See the study on salvation.cs}

Faith is the foundation and catalyst that drives the ultimate result of salvation. Thus it is very important to acquire faith. That is done from hearing the word of God.

Rom 10:17 "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ"

The apostle Paul understood the importance of hearing as we quote from the same chapter.

Rom 10:13-14 "for 'Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved,' How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom thay have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

Now we must understand that a preacher is not really necessary, but most of the time it is those who preach that effect the most conversions to Christ and the Gospel. (And it is not necessarily those who occupy the pulpits that are considered the preachers). All members of Christ are preachers in one form or another. It is possible to read God's word and understand it in such a way as to learn what to do for salvation. Many people consider themselves blessed because someone took the time to introduce them to Jesus and the teachings from God's word.

One such person is commended for hearing and believing and obeying. Notice;

Acts 18:8 "And Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household, and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized."

Of course we see that upon hearing, these souls responded to that teaching by believing what they had been taught. Notice also, that their belief caused them to act according to the commands of God.

Another command of God is included in the subject of repentance. As we hear God's word proclaimed, we should be convicted that because of our sins, we have been separated from God (Isa 59:1-2). Because of our unbelief and failure to be obedient, we are lost. When we learn that Jesus died for us and wants to be our Savior, we are commanded to repent.

Acts 2:37-38 "Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Brethren, what shall we do?' And Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let each of you be bapized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Repentance is the result of ones understanding that they have been in violation of God's will, and moved by sorrow, they determine not to continue in sin nor live in sin.

In one example of conversion we see a convert confessing Christ. This is understood because Jesus taught that whoever confesses the Christ will be favored by God (see Matthew 10:32). As the Eunuch was inquiring about baptism, as the context implies that the teaching of Jesus included baptism for the remission of sins. When he asked about water and being bapitzed;

Acts 8;37 "And Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may,' And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,'."

It might be noted that there is really no particular formula or standard confession that needs to be made. As long as the individual confesses his belief in God and Jesus as the Savior of mankind, the words are of little consequence. As long as everyone understands that this individual is acting upon their new found faith and belief in Jesus, words are not really necessary. We do practice, by tradition, an acknowledgement by the recipient of their faith, and we ask that it be a public acknowledgement.

(Another thing to note about confession is that it is a life-long profession of our faith in Christ, and not a one time statement.)

As we also notice from Acts 2:41 about those being saved is the fact that they were baptized for the remission of their sins according to the instructions by the apostle Peter. Many people teach that baptism does not save us. Of course that statement is in direct conflict with 1 Peter 3:21.

Though true, that baptism in and of itself cannot save, we see that baptism as a result of our faith and repentance and acknowledgement of Christ will produce a purified state for the soul which would now be able to approach a relationship in God.

Please consider the following verses related to baptism;

Romans 6:4 "Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life."

Colossians 2:12 "Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead."

Acts 10:47,48a "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he? And he ordered them to be bapitzed in the name of Jesus Christ...."

Acts 22:16 "And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name."

Acts 2:38 "And Peter said to them, Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

1 Corinthians 12:13 "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."

Galatians 3:27 "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ"

1 Peter 3:21 "And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,"

Mark 16:16 "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned."

Acts 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,"

Let us now draw our conclusions.

* All of these are the requirements for membership in the ONE TRUE CHURCH. Of course it would be prudent to mention that continued faith and obedience are necessary to remain in the ONE TRUE CHURCH and thus remain in a state of saved by the grace of God.

Return to the ONE TRUE CHURCH