Terms of Membership
Perhaps you are wondering, “How does one become a member of the church of Christ?” What are the terms of membership?
Churches of Christ do not speak of membership in terms of some formula which must be followed for approved acceptance into the church. The New Testament gives certain steps which were taken by people in that day to become Christians. When a person became a Christian he automatically was a member of the church.
The same is true of churches of Christ today. There is not separate set of rules or ceremonies which one must follow to be inducted into the church. When one becomes a Christian, he at the same time, becomes a member of the church. No further steps are required to qualify for church membership.
On the first day of the church’s existence those who repented and were baptized were saved and added to the church (Acts 2:47). According to this verse (Acts 2:47) it was God who did the adding. Therefore, in seeking to follow this pattern, we neither vote people into the church nor force them through a required series of studies. We have no right to demand anything beyond their obedient submission to the Savior.
The conditions of pardon which are taught in the New Testament are:
1) One must hear the gospel, for “faith comes by hearing the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
2) One must believe, for “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).
3) One must repent of past sins, for God “commands all men, everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).
4) One must confess Jesus as Lord, for he said, “He that confesses me before men, him will I also confess before my father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).
5) And one must be baptized for the remission of sins, for Peter said, “Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins…” (Acts 2:38).