Most modern churches have some type of church membership and a
procedure to become a member. I heard recently of 3 people becoming
members of a certain church in town. These 3 had to attend many classes of
indoctrination leading up to the membership ceremony.
During the induction ceremony the following words were spoken;
"now you have full membership in the Body of Christ. Now you can
fully participate in the Body of Christ".
As usual, I ask myself, "what does the Bible say about this
statement"? This should be the most asked question by anyone who
claims to be a Christian. Sad to say, that many, if not most Christians
seldom ask this question, leading to much wrong thinking in the church.
he above statement implies that these 3 people were not full members
in the Body of Christ prior to this induction ceremony, and therefore
could not fully participate in church activity. They were in fact only
partial members. This is not New Testament thinking.
First of all, the Body of Christ is the universal church, past, present
and future. It is not one particular church group or denomination.
Beyond this, there is no ceremony in the New Testament that allows
people to join the church, whether a local expression of the church, or
the church universal.
New Testament thinking is that when one gives his life to Jesus and
becomes a true believer, a real Christian, then at that time, and then
only, does that person become part of the Body of Christ. One’s entrance
into the Body of Christ is his initial conversion experience. From that
point onward, one is expected to participate in the Body of Christ.
To suggest that one is a partial member of the Body of Christ before
they go through some ceremonial right of passage is not Biblical thinking.
You are either in the Body of Christ, or outside of His Body. You are not
a partial Christian. You are not a partial church member. The blood of
Jesus was shed in order for you and I to be full members of the Body of
Christ. This takes place when we give our lives to Jesus as our Lord. We
should never confuse, or even imply that that becoming a member of a
Christian organization has anything to do with membership in the Body of