The Meaning of Church Membership (Discipleship)
Biblical Text: Acts 2: 37 - 42
I.The Conditions of Membership/Discipleship
- A Regenerate Heart - Godly sorrow, a change of mind or attitude, a desire to live differently. v.37 "...they were pricked in their heart..."
- A Confession of Faith - Speak with your mouth that the Lord has brought about a change in your heart/mind. Peter exhorts" repent". Paul (Romans 10:9) says "Confess with your mouth.." If you have been changed, born-again, saved.. you ought to confess it or say so
- The Reception of Baptism- Submersion into water as John the Baptist submersed Jesus. (Baptism of Jesus - Matt. 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21:22. Peter preached the Gospel message and people believed it and gladly received (v.41) and were baptized.
- A Christian Life - A life that is pleasing in the sight of God and exemplary in the sight of men. "If ye be risen with Christ, seek those thing which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. " Col.3:1 - 3 (Acts 2:42)
II. The Modes of Admission (Hiscox Guide)
- By Baptism- Upon a profession of faith in Jesus Christ a person may be admitted into the Church after they have been baptized. (Acts 2:41). The conditions of a Regenerate Heart and a Confession of Faith should already be met.
- By Letter- the letter from a previous Church should certify that person had good Christian character and regular church participation and or attendance. With the letter, we are accepting the supposition that the conditions for membership have already been satisfied.
- By Christian Experience -If the person has met the Conditions of Membership, but have no letter, they can be received by vote based on their confession of faith.
III. The Modes of Dismissing (Hiscox Guide)
- By Letter- A Member may request a letter of commendation and dismissing from the church so that he may present that letter to the church that he is moving to. Within the Trent River Oakey Grove (TROG) Association, a member should, if possible, have a letter before moving to another Church within the Association.