The Importance of Baptism & Church Membership
Baptism and church membership are righteous works! (Tit.3:5) If you are not a believer, these righteous works won't do your soul any good. What you need is repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior!
As believers, baptism and Church membership are immensely important to your Christian life and Christian Service. Because of false teachers in the world, Baptists sometimes fail to emphasize these important truths. We trust that this message will express to each one of us just how important baptism and church membership are to true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
1.† What is Scriptural Baptism?†††††††
1.† Scriptural† baptism is water baptism, not Spirit baptism. There is no Holy Spirit baptism today.†
This was a one time event upon the church at Pentecost to inaugurate, accredit, and
empower the Lordís Church.† Never was it performed upon individuals as some teach
2.† Scriptural baptism is by immersion and never by pouring or sprinkling. The Greek word Ďbaptizoí
means to dip or immerse (Acts 8:36-39). This is the only way that believers were baptized in the scriptures.
3.† Believers only were baptized in the Scriptures. Baptism is a manifestation of faith, but does not
produce or procure it in any way (Acts 8:37).
4.† The one doing the baptizing must have proper authority (Matt. 28:18-20). Only the New
Testament Church has God given authority to administer baptism.
5.† Scriptural baptism is a picture of salvation through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for
the sins of His people (Rom. 6:1-11). It is also a picture of a believerís death to sin and
resurrection to walk in newness of life.
2.† What is a New Testament Church?
1.† A church is not a physical building or the meeting place of the church, but a spiritual building
made up of its members.
2.† A church is a local, visible body of baptized believers. "Ecclesia", the Greek word for "church",
means a called out assembly.
3.† Christ is the founder of His Church (Matt. 16:18). Peter, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Charles
Wesley, Alexander Campbell, Joe Smith, nor any other man started or restarted the Lordís
4.† Christ is the head of His Church (Eph. 1:22-23). The pastor, the members, Peter, nor the pope is
the head of the Lordís Church; but Christ alone is the head of His Church.
5.† The church is the House of God (1Ti.3:15). The tabernacle and temple were the house of God in
the Old Testament. Today the church is the House of God with God given power and
1.† Baptism is important because it is the first act of obedience to Christ:
-The church has the authority and commission to baptize believers (Matt. 28:18). Thus the church is
commanded to baptize believers.
-Believers are to follow the Lord in baptism (Matt 3:13-17). Baptism is so important that Jesus
walked 60 miles to be baptized of John to fulfill all righteousness; that is, to obey the
commands of God. Baptism is a command of God to every believer!
2.† Baptism is important because it identifies believers with Christ:
-Sometimes we refer to baptism as the Christianís uniform (Gal. 3:27).
††††††††††† -Soldiers in the army wear an army uniform because they are in the army.
††††††††††† -I can buy an army uniform and wear it, but it doesnít mean Iím in the army!
††††††††††† -Wearing a army uniform, therefore, does not make one a soldier.
††††††††††† -But if you are in the army, you must wear a uniform.
††††††††††† -Soldiers must wear the uniform to be identified with the army.
-As our Christian identification, baptism is a proclamation of a new life (Rom. 6:1-6).
††††††††††† -Baptism is a proclamation of what our faith is in, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
††††††††††† -Baptism is a proclamation of our death to sin and the old man.
††††††††††† -Baptism is a proclamation of our commitment and allegiance to Christ.
3.† Baptism is important because it is the answer to a good conscience!† (1 Pet. 3:21):
As a new believer your conscience wants to obey the Lord and follow the Lord. The Spirit bears witness with your conscience that this is the right thing to do!
4.† Baptism is important because it is the door into the Church!† (Acts 2:41):
You must submit to scriptural baptism to enjoy the power and the privileges, and blessings that are given to members of the Lordís New Testament churches. Never in the New Testament were believers granted the right to church membership without Scriptural baptism.
1.† Church membership is important because God Receives glory in the church!
-Church membership is Godís design!
-We may have other ideas, but our thoughts are not Godís thoughts, and our ways are † †††††††††††† ††††††††††† not Godís ways. We need to conform to the revealed will of God.
††††††††††† -If we desire to worship God and serve God and give Him the glory, we must do it His †††††††††††† ††††††††††† way! And His way is through His church!
2.† Church membership is important because The Holy Spirit Resides in the Church †††††
-The church was baptized with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and that special ††††
manifestation of the Holy Spirit has resided in the Lordís churches ever since!!!
-The Holy Spirit empowers the Church to witness of the grace of God, to evangelize our
communities, and to serve the Lord, and worship the Lord in His house.
-You will not have the power of the Holy Spirit to serve the Lord until you submit to Scriptural
baptism and membership in one of the Lordís true Churches.
3.† Church membership is important because Jesus Loves His Church:
-Jesus loves and cares for His church (Eph. 5:27-32).
-Jesus shed His blood for the church (Acts 20:28).
-Because Jesus loves and cares for His Church so much, shouldnít we as Christians ††††† ††††††††††† ††††
desire to be a member?† If we are not a member, we miss so many blessings!
4.† Church membership is important because believers need the Church:
-In the Scriptures the church is compared to a building (Eph. 2:20-22).
††††††††††† -We need the strength and support of other believers to be built together and fitly ††††††††† †††††††††††† ††††††††††† framed into a strong house.
††††††††††† -Think of a brick or a board all by itself; what purpose does it serve? But when it is
incorporated into a building, it not only adds to the building, but it also benefits from
all the other parts. It is like that with the church!
-The church is also compared to a body! (Eph. 4:15-16).
††††††††††† -As members we grow up together, we suffer together, we hurt together, we rejoice †††† †††††††††††† ††††††††††† together!
††††††††††† -The church was designed by the Lord not only to serve Him, but also to serve us!†
††††††††††† ††† ††††††† We need the church!
5.† Church membership is important because the Church is the Bride of Christ:
††††††††††† -There is a wedding day coming (Rev. 19:6-9).
††††††††††† -The eternal dwelling place of the bride (Rev. 21:9-10).
As believers, we should desire to be a part of the bride of Christ!
It is a great privilege and honor to be a member of one of the Lordís churches! Next to being saved it is the greatest blessing that mortal man can experience.
It is also our great and solemn duty as blood bought children of God to be faithful to the Lordís church. We owe everything to Jesus, for all Heís done for us!
Have you been saved by the grace of God? Have you repented and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior?
If so, have you followed your Lord in Scriptural baptism and membership in one of the Lordís Churches? These things cannot save you, but if you are saved, baptism and church membership are so important to the rest of your Christian life of service to the Lord!
Will you say with the Eunuch in Acts Chapter 8: ďhere is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?Ē†
We invite you this morning to come confessing your faith in Jesus Christ, and to be baptized into this local body of Christ.