The Body of Christ
1 Corinthians 12:27, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”
All of those who profess a faith in Jesus Christ alone are members of the universal church. When we are regenerated by the work of the Holy Spirit we are brought into the kingdom of God and we are made a part of the bride of Christ.
However, there is a big difference between being in the universal church and being a member in a local, particular, body of Christ. Scripture demands both. In the passage in 1 Corinthians 12 Paul makes it pretty clear that we cannot be a part of the body by being separated from the body. All parts of the body are needed.
It has been a couple of years since we looked at our membership vows in the OPC and the topic of Church membership. For the first two Sundays of January we are going to look at the joy of Church membership. For our corporate confession of faith we are going to take the membership vows and recite them together as statements:
I believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the Word of God, and its doctrine of salvation to be the perfect and only true doctrine of salvation.
I believe in one living and true God, in whom eternally there are three distinct persons – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – who are the same in being and equal in power and glory, and that Jesus Christ is God the Son, come in the flesh.
I confess that because of my sinfulness I abhor and humble myself before God, and that I repent of my sin, and that I trust for salvation not in myself but in Jesus Christ alone.
I acknowledge Jesus Christ as my sovereign Lord, and I promise that, in reliance on the grace of God, I will serve him with all that is in me, forsake the world, resist the devil, put to death my sinful deeds and desires, and lead a godly life.
I promise to participate faithfully in this church’s worship and service, to submit in the Lord to its government, and to heed its discipline, even in case I should be found delinquent in doctrine or life.
Another resource, if it has been awhile or if you have never gone through it, is our Confessing Christ class. This is a membership class that discusses the Christian faith from a Biblical, Reformed perspective in seven lessons. If you are interested in going through that material let me know and we’ll find a time that works for everyone interested. I hope you enjoy these two messages on why it is important to belong to a local body of believers.