I have been reading the P.C. Nelson’s Bible Doctrine book, and finally finished it over the weekend. What a relief! I enjoyed it so much and the passage that I was able to review reminded me of what was shared with us (ladies) last night at a woman’s bible study at a local church. There was discussion about what to do do judge actions of other believers by the Word of God, and my friend made a good point that (New Testament book of James is what we are reading) we can know we are Him if we judge ourselves, by what we see in God’s Word. We meet at Chick-Fil-A and have a great time around the Word of God.
This passage that is below is a direct quotation again, from the Bible Doctrines by P.C. Nelson book. It is in regards to the members of the true body of Jesus Christ, that is the church that has been meeting (now for about 2,000 years) in Jesus’ Name ever since his life, death, burial, and resurrection. It is found in point 5 of Chapter 10 entitled “The Church and Its Mission.” I believe this passage is written by Anthony D. Palma. This understanding of the idea of there being one large body of believers, that idea itself, was a major contributor to the way my beliefs were shaped when I got born again. Here is a great passage that surely must be a gold nugget of truth!
“5. The Members of the Church
A distinction must be made between human requirements and divine requirements for membership in the Church. It is possible to be a member of a church or denomination without being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Only those who have been saved or born again of the Spirit of God are true members of His Church (“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved,” Acts 2:47). A person does not need to “apply” for membership in the universal Church; he is automatically a member when he is saved. This in no way eliminates the desirability of a Christian uniting himself with a local congregation of believers, for the local assembly is really a concrete manifestation of the unity of all believers in the universal Church. “