Author: Ron Graham
It is just a coincidence, but our theme word "Remember" happens to contain the word "member" and our membership in the church of Christ is something we should never forget or let lapse. This simple lesson outline reminds us of the need to be a member of Christ's body, the church, and what a marvelous privelege it is.
Ephesians 5:23 states that "Christ is the dead of the church, and he is the Saviour of the body". (The terms church and body here refer to the same thing as you will see from Ephesians 1:22-23). The Bible nowehere says that Christ is the Saviour of anything else.
You may remember that he is called "the Saviour of the world" (John 4:42 1John 4:14). However that is telling us that everyone and anyone in the whole world is invited to receive membership in the body or church of Christ, none is excluded. Nevertheless, not everyone accepts that salvation, and so the whole world is not in the body of Christ as it should be.
Paul describes the church of Christ in this way: "the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1Timothy 3:15). Again, "the whole family in heaven and in earth" (Ephesians 3:14-21). Christians are called "children of God" (Romans 8:16-17). We should never forget that we belong to God's family. That's what it means to be a member of the church.
We have seen that Christ is the Saviour of the body or church, and that The Bible nowehere says that Christ is the Saviour of anything else. This means that all the saved are members of his body, and only members of his body are saved.
The church's beginning in Jerusalem (circa AD30) is recorded in Acts chapter two. We are told that "The Lord added to the church day by day those who were being saved" (Acts 2:47). Paul speaks of this as being "delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of his beloved Son... who is the head of the body, the church" (Colossians 1:13-18). When we believe and obey Christ, then we are granted membership in his kingdom, his church, effective immediately.
Membership in the body of Christ is recorded by God in heaven, not on earth. Members of "the general assembly and church of the first-born are registered in heaven" (Hebrews 12:23). The names are in God's book of life (Revelation 20:15).
All Christians, whether Jews or Gentiles (or for that matter whether male or female, rich or poor, etc) are "reconciled to God in one body through the cross" (Ephesians 2:16). This makes them one people, and so we may say that, being reconciled to God they are also reconciled each to the other and there is no enmity.
Paul expresses it this way: "Speaking the truth in love, we grow in all things into him who is the Head, Christ, from whom the whole body (being assembled and held together by every ligament and the proper working of each part) causes itself to grow and build up in love" (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Faith in Christ
Repentance from sin
Confession of Christ
Baptism into Christ
1Corinthians 12:13 Romans 6:3 Galatians 3:26-27
Christ’s Body the Church
1. Whom does God add to the church? (A) The world, (B) Those being saved, (C) People chosen at random.
2. How does one gain membership in the church? (A) Faith in Christ, (B) Repentance from sin, (C) Confession of Christ, (D) Baptism into Christ, (E) All of those.
3. What is the church? (A) The body of Christ, (B) The kingdom of God, (C) The family of God, (D) God’s called out people, (E) All of those.
4. Where are members of the church of Christ registered? (A) In Melbourne, (B) In heaven, (C) In the United Nations.
5. What is Christ’s relationship to the church? (A) The Head, (B) The Saviour, (C) The Great High Priest, (D) All of those.