Sunday, September 01, 2013

Receiving members

As most Baptists, we believe in regenerate church membership, that is, a scriptural church is made up of born again believers who have received scriptural baptism. Membership is voluntary on the part of both the individual and the church. People must request to be members. The church must accept their request. This is a fellowship matter that ought to be unanimous on the part of the church.

We receive members in three basic ways: (1) by profession of faith and baptism, Acts 2:41; (2) previously baptized believers by "recommendation", Acts 9:26-27, Romans 16:1-2, 2 Cor. 3:1; and (3) by restoration or reinstatement, Gal. 6:1, 2 Cor. 2:6-8. Many churches state this as four ways: by profession of faith and baptism, by letter, by statement, and by restoration. I don't disagree with this. I see "letter" and "statement" as two parts of the same category -- both are by "recommendation," in one case accepting someone else's recommendation and in the other accepting them on their own recommendation.

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