Posted by: SandreS | November 6, 2009

God’s Outsiders: The Called-Out Ones (A Biblical Look at God’s Ecclesia), Part 4

Membership in the One Church

We have learned from God that the church, or ecclesia, is the Body of Christ. In this definition we were also able to learn that this church is, therefore, the one true church of our dispensation.

How can one become a member of this one true church? How do we become members of the Body of Christ? Let’s again consult the only source of ultimate authority – God’s Word!

For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body … (I Corinthians 12:12-13).

This passage tells us that the one Body has a membership. One does not “join” this church. One is “joined” to it by baptism – not water baptism, but spiritual baptism, where God’s Spirit unites us into Christ’s Body. Thus, the one Spirit through the one baptism joins us together into the one Body.

Look at the passage again, with emphasis upon these truths:

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body

We also see these truths in Ephesians:

There is one Body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Ephesians 4:4-6).

Here is the seven-fold oneness that we have in Christ:

  • One Body
  • One Spirit
  • One Hope
  • One Lord
  • One Faith
  • One Baptism
  • One God and Father

This unity we have with Christ, and with every member of His Body. The one Spirit, by the one baptism, placed us into the one Body. There is no other Body of God today!

This one Body is at the heart of Paul’s message about who we are in Christ:

    … many members in one Body … (Romans 12:4)
    … members of Christ … (I Corinthians 6:15)
    … members of that one Body … (I Corinthians 12:12)
    … members of the Body … (I Corinthians 12:22-23)
    … members of His Body … (Ephesians 5:30)

Notice in each verse we are said to be members. One cannot “join” this church. One is joined to it by divine calling. This church is made up of all the saints of this dispensation. What a wonderful privilege to be already “members one of another” in Christ, His Body, which is the church!

For as we have many members in one body … So we, being many, are one Body in Christ, and every one members one of another (Romans 12:4-5).

… for we are members one of another (Ephesians 4:25).

We are gloriously blessed with divine membership! God has made us members of His ecclesia! Membership in any other “church” stands in competition and contradiction to God’s present purpose: His one church, His one Body!

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2000, 2009

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