Becoming a member of the church can mean a couple of different things. Depending on where you live, there are probably many different “local” churches. Within the Christian faith, these “churches” meet at a certain place, at certain designated times, and profess a certain belief system (e.g. denominations). These all may have their particular guidelines for membership, but how does one become a member of the church – Christ’s universal church?

How Scripture answers "When is someone a member of the church?"

Someone is a member of the church (universal) when they are baptized1,3,4. It is God doing the “adding”1, therefore, when someone is saved/baptized1,3,4 they are automatically a member of the church of Christ universally – actually His kingdom!6. However, in the case study of Saul5, joining a local body/church requires mutual effort. Saul was a member of the Lord’s church when he was saved (e.g. baptized) in Damascus. However, when he came to Jerusalem he had to seek out the local (requesting to join them), and the local group had to confirm2 that they could indeed fellowship with this person5 and together offer “acceptable worship” to God6.

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