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The Church of Christ


All of us who are trusting in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior are members of the true church of Christ. We are members of His body. We have experienced the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of His grace. “We are accepted in the Beloved,” and we are “redeemed through His blood.”

The moment we put our faith in Jesus Christ we are born again, and at the same time placed in the body of Christ in a vital union with Him. The essence of saving faith is to rest upon Christ alone for eternal salvation. We trust in the atonement and the righteousness of Jesus Christ to save us. Saving faith is to trust in Jesus Christ and what He has done for your salvation.

Our justification is an instantaneous act from the moment we believed on Christ as our Savior.  Justification is completed in one instant never to be repeated. It is complete the moment a sinner believes on the atoning death of Jesus Christ. In that moment is the remission of all our sins. In that moment we are made clean by the blood of Jesus.

What a gracious joy to know that in one single instant we are declared just, complete in Christ, without a sin, freed from all its condemning power, guilt and iniquity. In an instant a person is pardoned. Never again will the Christian ever be unjustified! “There is therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

From the Day of Pentecost on as each believer became saved he also became a member of the body of Christ. It is impossible to be saved and not be a member of the church, which is Christ’s own body, because a part of the divine work of salvation is the uniting of the individual to Christ by the baptism with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13).

Every Christian is baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ at the moment he or she believes on Jesus Christ to be saved. We are by the Holy Spirit brought into the body of Christ. This baptism into the body of Christ is not limited to any particular group of believers. Every Christian, from the moment he believes in Christ and is saved is baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ and therefore the universal church of Christ. The church of all the people of God, all the redeemed, all believers is the real and only Church of Christ.

Are you a member of the true church of Christ? Are you a member of His body? Have you been saved by the grace of God alone through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ?

It is obviously true that an individual may be saved and not be a member of a local organized church. All born again believers should declare their identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus by believer’s baptism, and become a member in a Bible-believing congregation.

Moreover, water baptism and church membership are not required for salvation. The true church of Christ is composed of all people who have repented of their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and who are thus joined together in one living union by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Does an individual have to be baptized in order to be saved? Yes, if you are referring to the baptism of the Holy Spirit when you believed on Christ as your Savior; however no, if you are referring to water baptism.

The New Testament refers to the “church” in two ways. The main emphasis is on the church as a living organism, a vital living union of all true believers in Jesus Christ.

The second category is the local church, which is composed of professing Christians in any local community (1 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:1; Phil. 1:1).

The only candidates for membership in a visible local Bible-believing church are individuals who have put their faith in the work of salvation of Jesus Christ, and have given testimony of their salvation by water baptism.

Every person who is a candidate for baptism and church membership must give a clear testimony as to their salvation. Am I saved? Have I believed in Jesus Christ? Have I been born again? Church membership is simply the recognition of the profession of saving faith in Jesus Christ. It is to join the fellowship of other believers of kindred spirit.

You do not have to be a member of the local Church of Christ, or be baptized by one of their officials in order to be saved.

If you are looking for a perfect church, you will not find one on this earth. If you did find one, they would not let you become a member because you are not perfect. However, do find a local group of believers in the area where you live who are saved by grace through faith, and who are nearest to the Scriptures in doctrine, the ordinances of the church and practice. Become a member of the local church regardless of what tag their wear.



Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006





Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.

Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.


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